October 25, 2019
Welcome to What MovesU a show aimed at highlighting the amazing individuals we come into contact with. Whether its telling the incredible stories of our MoveU members, interviewing experts in their fields or learning how people became movement masters; this show will certainly have something for everybody. If you want to learn more about MoveU, your body or your mind you don't want to miss this!
This week’s episode features Logan Aldridge otherwise known as the fittest one arm man on the planet. After a wake boarding accident at 13 took his dominant left arm, Logan’s life was never the same and he is beyond grateful for that. After his Mom defined his life on the way to the hospital by saying 'Its Just an Arm’ Logan took that to heart to lead a life of opposition to prove to himself that he can achieve anything he sets his mind to.
Here the full story of Logan's past here.
You can find out more about his organizations here
Wheel Wod http://wheelwod.com/
Adaptive Training Academy - https://www.adaptivetrainingacademy.com/
Follow Logan Aldridge on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/aldridgelogan
Mentioned in the podcast is Helen Keller’s work ‘Three Days to See’
As promised the piece that Helen Keller inspired Logan to write about having three days with both of his arms.
Three Days With Two Arms
by Logan Aldridge
If someone told me when I was young that I would lose my arm, I would not have believed it. But now, fifteen years later, I would not trade this life for anyone’s or make myself any different, I love the person I have grown to be. Helen Keller explains it best in her writing, “Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable.” The freak accident I experienced on June 26, 2004 at the age of thirteen was all but unimaginable.
I learned this lesson when I was the victim of a traumatic boating accident. As the sun began to slowly fade behind the tree line reflecting its radiance after a typical day of wakeboarding, I recall stopping for a moment and cherishing the life I so fortunately live. Being a competitive wakeboarder requires endless amounts of training and riding, but I love every second of it.
After dropping off good friends and fellow rider at his dock – only five docks away from mine – I stood on the back platform of our 2003 Malibu Wakesetter, yelling back as we pushed off his dock, “Get ready for the early session tomorrow morning! Six o’clock sharp!”
I began to put life jackets away and wind in the rope. My father began steering the boat as it was just in gear, cruising slowly. There is a procedure for pulling in the rope in order to keep it neatly wrapped. Similar to how you would wind an extension cord, looping it over the thumb and under the elbow. As I began this procedure, my eyes followed the rope back, and after the first or second loop, I realized the rope had drifted under the boat. I said with little emergency in my voice, “Dad the rope is caught under the boat again.”
This sort of thing is sometimes common when wakeboarding. He immediately shut off the engine. I did not think about how I was holding the looped rope in my left arm and in that split second the propeller snagged the rope, coiling it rapidly. I felt a tight squeeze around my left bicep and tricep, followed by a numbing sensation. I looked to my left arm, confused. My arm was limp, with the rope going straight through it. That tight squeeze was the rope cutting through all flesh, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and artery down to the bone.
I was rushed to the local hospital where doctors cleaned and examined my wound but did not have the proper equipment for immediate surgery. The doctors called North Carolina Children’s Hospital where they had the Tar Heel 1 helicopter crew standing by. As I was flown to NCCH, I remember wondering if I would ever play lacrosse again or wakeboard. My mind was overwhelmed by this harsh reality. The doctors at NCCH brought me into immediate surgery, removing an artery from my left leg and connecting the severed one in order to regain blood flow. I remained in ICU for two weeks with daily routine dressings of the wound, which were unbearably painful. Then we went into surgery to see if the muscles were pumping the blood. It was too late. The muscles have a six-hour window of opportunity to survive without blood. It was the seventh hour. My muscles would not accept blood. My left arm was amputated six inches above the elbow. I was left-handed.
For the past six years I have faced many challenges and obstacles but have always adapted and improvised in order to do anything; it has not limited me in any way. But still to this day I ponder what life would be like with two arms. I see people every day doing things that are so simple and miniscule, yet they have no appreciation for the gift of a fully functioning body. What if, for one day, someone experienced life in a wheelchair? It would drastically change their view of the ability to walk. Not to say that amputees are not fully functioning bodies, nor that we cannot do the same things normal people can do, but we must adapt and do things uniquely. This ability that most consider a disability is solely a passion to live the life they have been blessed with. It is the same old story of not being grateful for what we have until we lose it. And when lost, we must maintain the ability to still succeed.
If by some miracle I were granted three days with both arms, and on the fourth day I should awake to one arm again. I would fulfill every day with endless activities, encounters and experiences.
On the first day, I want to greet family and friends with arms wide open to give and receive hugs, not handshakes. For some reason the gesture of wrapping arms around people compared to a handshake or a “single armed hug” shows compassion and warmth. This first day would be filled with simple tasks I have longed to do. When I begin the day, I will awaken and sit up stretching my arms high into the air. Oh how a shower will feel so wonderful, being able to scrub both arms smoothly, running my hand from my shoulder down my arm to where my hands meet. Rubbing my palms back and forth, putting ten fingers through my hair as the warm water rains down; appreciating the ability to touch my own two arms, feeling every muscle and finger motion. Dressing myself would be quite easy, tying my shoes and buttoning my pants with ease. I will eat a feast of a breakfast with silverware including a fork and knife, using both utensils to cut my food appropriately, a fork in the left and a knife in the right. I should meet with friends for a casual game of basketball, enjoying the gift of left and right-handed lay-ups. I should later go for a swim, or surfing if the waves allow, using my two arms as thrusting paddles to propel me through the water. After, I should attend any sort of event that calls for clapping; the product of using both arms to create a round of applause. As the first day comes to an end I should come home and relax, assuming the position of relaxation with both legs crossed propped up and my two arms behind my head reminiscing on the great day I experienced.
The next day – the second day with two arms – I should enjoy playing the sport I grew up playing: lacrosse. Although I have been a successful lacrosse player throughout my life with one arm, I should play the game again with both arms, able to go left or right with no limitations or restrictions on what I physically can do. I should then take a girl on a date, able to hold her hand or put my arm around her regardless of what side of her I may be walking. The simple ability to show compassion and interest through human contact.
The last day with both arms would be exciting and never feel long enough. On this last day I should go wakeboarding with friends and family all day long. Even though I wakeboard regularly and have been competing since my accident, the opportunity to ride and compete with both arms would be one I should cherish. Although wakeboarding is the reason for the loss of my arm, it has also been my medicine for comfort and reassurance. I should not be disappointed when this day came to an end. The three days would have been a memory of a lifetime but I would understand and appreciate the person I have come to be with one arm.
The fourth day, upon my awakening, I would rise out of bed just as any other day. Walk down the cherry wood hallway into the bathroom and look closely at myself, my figure with one arm. I would smile a huge smile, grateful for the previous three days and the life I still have. An arm is merely a limb; an extremity considered an instrument attached to the most impressive system, my heart. With my heart I am complete, no one or thing can ever take that from me, knowing so, I should not remorse at the end of the three days. But leave my house on the forth with great stories to tell and memories to hold onto forever.
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