I started in archery when I was 7 years old. My dad had recently taken up bowhunting and he would take me to the range with him when he practiced. I shot a little yellow fiberglass bow with my dads broken arrows that he would cut off to my length.
Then things changed. When I was 15 my dad and I were in a rollover car accident. A drunk driver broadsided our truck and caused it to flip several times. I lost my right arm above the elbow. At the time, I thought my archery days were through. Surprisingly I had a really good attitude about how I would adapt to life with one arm except for when it came to shooting my bow. For some reason I made the decision that it was the one thing I would never do again.
Nearly 10 years later my dad decided that it was time to tackle my fears. Without telling me, he registered me for an archery hunt. He had seen a National Geographic episode that showed an African tribe shooting spears with bows they held sideways with their feet. I was away at college when he called to tell me the good news.
"I've got good news for you, you're going bowhunting with the family again!" my Dad said. I was very skeptical and at first I wasn't very excited about his plan. Eventually he convinced me that we would work on it together when I came home for the summer.
After a lot of hot hours in the garage we had a bow that I could shoot with my feet. I didn't work very well but I was able to shoot a bow for the first time in nearly 10 years. Very soon after that I found out that several archers around the world were using their teeth to pull the bowstring back. I soon started shooting with my teeth and the rest is history.
Over the course of the last 15 years I have learned to shoot numerous types of bows using numerous methods. I have been a successful bowhunter, an accomplished coach, a national champion, a world champion, and a Paralympian. I've shared my story near and far and helped countless people find joy in archery.
The next step is a Gold medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. I am excited to share this journey with you.