This past weekend, I attended Paradox Sports’ Gimps on Ice event in Ouray. Paradox Sports is an organization that provides inspiration, opportunities and equipment to the disabled community, helping them to continue to participate in outdoor sports despite the odds. I had heard many great things about this particular event from my friends involved, namely Osprey sponsored athlete, Timmy O’Neill. In that sense, I felt prepared to be inspired. Little did I know that I was going to have the most profoundly life changing experience of my life.
Recently, Osprey became an official corporate sponsor of Paradox, and I was proud to be in attendance to represent our company. I came equipped with a bit of schwag to better represent Osprey and also to help raise money and enthusiasm for Paradox. The evening after our first climbing day in the park, Timmy and I got together to determine how best to go about raffling the grand prize, a Variant 37. We decided that the best use of that prize would be to present it to the individual who most inspired all of us, Austin Bushnell.
Austin is a young man with a brain deterioration condition. He has a seemingly endless supply of enthusiasm and self-motivation. With the help of both Chris Folsom and Chad Butrick assisting him throughout the entire route with gear placement and tips, Austin successfully topped out a climb, repeating “I will not give up, I’m going to the top” every inch of the way. Most everyone stopped in their tracks to witness this remarkable event, and I think we were all made better having witnessed this truly inspiring effort.
Paradox continues to grow, and yet will never cease to need help from the community in order to resume providing support to those affected by disabilities. Please visit their website, http://www.paradoxsports.org for information as well as how to support them.