For any athlete, completing a Sprint Triathlon is quite an incredible feat. But for Josh, a C6 incomplete quadriplegic who was injured less than two years ago, it makes it that much more incredible!
Josh Smith, an avid athlete, completed his first Sprint Triathlon, which consisted of a 300 meter swim, 12 mile bike, and 5k push, in May of this year. It's hard to believe that less than two years prior to this event, Josh was facing the greatest challenge of his life when he sustained a spinal cord injury from diving into a wave and hitting a sandbar. He could have died that day had it not been for his friends and Josh’s ability to remain calm under devastating circumstances. His recovery from such a catastrophic injury has been nothing short of remarkable. To this day, Josh continues to pursue his love of all things athletic by participating in every adaptive sport available to him - no matter how challenging.
There is no doubt Josh’s number one cheerleader is his mom, Caroline, who has been by his side since he was injured. Caroline told us, “In spite of very cold and rainy weather conditions on the day of the Sprint Triathlon, Josh refused to give up and pushed himself to complete it.” She said she is so proud of how much Josh has accomplished in such a short period of time.
When training for athletic events, Josh pushes himself very hard. He recently acquired a hand cycle through a grant from the Kelly Brush Foundation. Josh plans to use this equipment to help him stay in shape and train for future events. To quote Josh, “I was really active before my accident so I want to stay active. I tell people, especially in wheelchairs, it is kind of ironic that you're not going to go anywhere unless you push yourself. Literally and figuratively. Being able to do the triathlon actually empowered me."
Josh has many followers on Facebook and posts like “turning it up a notch” keep his supporters engaged in his adventures.
Hashtags such as # stopwishingandstartdoing #hustlehitneverquit and # cantstopwontstop follow many of Josh’s posts and reflect his strong willpower and determination in all that he does.
During the Sprint Triathlon, Josh was accompanied by Marielle Rando from Sportable. Sportableis a non-profit adaptive sports and recreation organization that provides their athletes the opportunity to participate in many adaptive sports and events like this. Josh’s mom said Marielle and Josh made a great team and recalled the difficulties of that day. “The horrible weather conditions made the event even more challenging, especially the 5k push. Wet wheelchair hand rims and limited hand function made pushing practically impossible. With Marielle’s help and encouragement, Josh did not quit! I could not have been more proud of him.”
The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0716/0256