“RUGBY – I want to thank you both for the very and the most WOW time I have had in a long time. I will be there every chance I get, to learn and have fun. Thank you!”
Dallas is my second home and when I moved back ten years ago from Chicago I figure I’d just start playing basketball for the Movin Mavs or what ever team that was around. I couldn’t find anything, had a chance to tryout for the Movin Mavs but missed the tryout and I couldn’t get on the UTA squad. So I figured that’s it, I’m done with playing sports. Which was cool as I stayed in shape and shot around. I even went back home to Chicago for a few months and practiced with a division three team but I missed that competitive outlet, missed the exercise, missed the comradery. When I found RISE and went to rugby I was excited even thought I never played. Two things I learned my first night at rugby: quads are faster than I thought and protect your feet. I was sore for four days after that but I was hooked. Participating in rugby has been awesome and humbling. Playing with North Texas Cowboys last year full-time was cool, my body hasn’t been pushed that hard since my SIU days. I haven’t been to rugby in awhile and I miss it but I have tried indoor soccer. What I got from RISE is the opportunity to get back into sports again and to try new things.
My name is Justin Collier and I am a C6 quadriplegic. A couple of awesome friends of mine Chris Goad and Lea Stewart introduced me to RISE Adaptive Sports about 2 years ago. RISE has meant so much to me and has given me a much greater look on life. Through all the hard work and dedication of the many RISE volunteers they are constantly able to put together adaptive activities to show SCI patients that there are many things you can still do living with a disability. Without being introduced to RISE I would not be as active in the “wheelchair community” and would not have known about all the fun I can still have. To any and all of the hard working, big hearted, and dedicated workers/volunteers I sincerely thank you.
Coming across RISE Adventures was one of the best things that has happend in my life. It helped me with the transition in my life after my accident by learning how to persue an active and healthy life style. Furthermore, it gave me the opportunity to connect with great caring and loving people. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten this far without RISE and its mission.
I was laid off six years ago. Did nothing and had nothing to do and laid on a couch for at least five those years. I was alone depressed and didn’t know where to turn. Doctors had put me on different antidepressants to try to change my mood. All they did were make my life more miserable with all the side effects. Then I was invited out to rugby by a few people. The very first time I went to rugby I met at least two dozen people with different disabilities. I met Paul and Peanut for the first time. They showed me that people didn’t care about the disability that one might have but they cared about the person. I was immediately hooked on rugby. I tried different activities such as kayaking and hand cycling. With all activities that were offered and the camaraderie shared amongst everybody that participated changed my mood without in any kind of medication. Now I am competing in rugby on a national level with a great group of guys and girls that would not exist without RISE, Paul and Peanut. Now I have purchased my own rugby chair and hand cycle which I use almost every day. I owe rise so much for showing me that there is actually a life other than just work. I feel I owe RISE so much for improving the quality of my life and I share all the information about RISE with any and everybody I meet With a disability or if they are around people with disabilities.
RISE lets a person know they are not alone when it comes to dealing with a physical disability. And that life in a chair doesn’t mean you are destined to sit on the sideline of life watching. RISE programs and events teach people to do things for themselves through example. For me, the numerous activities and events RISE offers has fostered friendships with other wheelchair users and has helped me to live a more active and rich life where I now want to share my experiences and help others do the things I’ve been blessed with doing. Often people can’t believe it when I tell them of some of the activities I’ve done or better yet, showed them pictures! A cruise, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, water skiing, and soon to be snow skiing in February are a few examples. Playing rugby has taught me team sport, to dress myself in my chair, to travel, and got me exercising regular to where I’m healthier now than probably any time in my adult life. Every person associated with RISE is inspiring in their own way and I’m proud to be a part of Team RISE.
“When I found RISE I thought going into the chair was the worse thing that happened to me. Rugby taught me to push a shopping cart and that I could be active again. Water skiing taught me to push my limits and confront fear. Sailing helped me find peace again. The support of other women in chairs helped get me out of deep depression without medication and learn I could live alone and let go of a destructive relationship.”