Paradox Sports: Pushing Forward

It's not what you can no longer do. It's what you can do now.

Malcolm Daly climbing in Ouray.
Photo: Kitt Daly

I read and was pondering this sentiment recently, seven months pregnant, unable to ice climb with my husband, downhill ski with my son, or bag winter Presidential peaks. I admit, I was feeling a touch sorry for myself.

Then I saw the press release for Gimps On Ice and got over myself.

Next weekend, March 8 and 9, athletes who are missing limbs, eyes, or the use of their legs will travel to Ouray’s famed park to climb vertical ice. The event is organized by Paradox Sports, a non-profit started last year to help integrate the physically disabled into the human-powered outdoor community.

The organization, led by executive director Malcolm Daly—founder of Trango, climber since 1968, and below-knee amputee since 2001—also recently announced the development of a prosthetic climbing foot in conjunction with Evolv and TRS Orthotics.

Paradox poster of Warren Macdonald.

Paradox Sports was co-founded by D.J. Skelton, an Army captain wounded in Iraq in 2004, and professional climber Timmy O'Neill, who has climbed El Capitan with his paraplegic brother, Sean.

After reading clips about some of the athletes and volunteers involved in Paradox Sports I felt inspired, not sorry. These are hardcore individuals climbing ice and rock, kayaking the Grand Canyon, reaching the top of the world’s highest peaks.

As co-founder D.J. writes in his story, “once you get over the fact that life is not supposed to be, but just is as it is right now, life becomes too easy. Deal with it and keep pushing forward.”

He's right. I'm going cross-country skiing.

For more info:

Paradox Sports:
Paradox Sports also will be at the Red Rock Rendezvous, March 28-30.

No Barriers:
A similar organization, No Barriers will hold its annual festival July 10-13, 2008, in Squaw Valley, Calif.

Filed under: People & Organizations


338 reviewer rep
16 forum posts
March 20, 2008 at 2:11 p.m. (EDT)

Looking in the mirror this morning, evaluating my fifty-year old-biking-climbing-skiing frame, I was feeling almost fat and sorry for myself––but then reading this article kicked me right in the ass to a positve momentum. Congrats to all and wish I was in Ouray.

Bill S
4,404 reviewer rep
6,007 forum posts
March 20, 2008 at 4:21 p.m. (EDT)

You mention Mal Daly. I knew Mal for a couple years before I realized he was an amputee. He walks better than I do, and I have two healthy legs. I also get humbled on the ski slopes all the time by blind skiers, amputees, paraplegic skiers, and other supposedly handicapped folks. Somewhere along the line (inspired in part by my friend Warren), I realized that in a very true sense, we are all handicapped. But mostly our handicaps are the limitations we place on ourselves.

As for pregnancy limiting you, Barb was bicycling up to a couple weeks before Young Son arrived (and on a road racing bike, at that), and back on the bike about 2 or 3 weeks later. Actually, the reason she stopped riding was because she was finishing her graduate work and spent the two weeks filing paperwork and getting her dissertation through the publishing process.

848 reviewer rep
3,899 forum posts
March 20, 2008 at 6:17 p.m. (EDT)

Thanks for the comments. I agree that it's the restrictions we impose on ourselves that are most limiting. We probably all can use a kick in the rear sometimes.

I should mention that I am a huge supporter of women being active during pregnancy. Unfortunately, I had some complications at the mid-way point that curtailed most of my activities for a good month or two this winter.

But, even though there are things I temporarily can’t do while pregnant (I didn’t do a winter Presi Traverse, for example), there is still a lot I can do. For the first half of this pregnancy I was still running, hiking, and so on daily. At this point I’m active again, though not quite as mobile, but I can walk, hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. And those are all good things too.

Not to sound too Pollyannish, but accentuating the positive and taking advantage of the opportunities available is far more empowering and fulfilling than dwelling on any perceived negatives. And it’s a lot more fun.

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