Be a Diva: The Importance of a Custom Wheelchair

I believe that everyone should have affordable access to custom wheelchairs and other mobility devices. For those who don’t understand this, or believe that this is not a necessity, let me paint a picture for you.

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You Don’t Have To Be Inspirational All The Time

Sometimes, being inspirational can be exhausting.

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In All Fairness: An Open Letter To Everyone About Disability Equality

Okay- this has gone on long enough. I, as a person living with a disability, would like to address the comments made by Meryl Streep  during the Golden Globes last night and dozens of others over the last several months in regards to the incident(1) where President-Elect Trump was accused of mocking a reporter living with a disability because the man has a disability.

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Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

With just a week or so left until Christmas, I wanted to share a few last minute ideas for those of you who may be procrastinating on purchasing gifts for your friends and family- especially those who love the outdoors. These are products I’ve been enjoying recently, and I hope you do as well!

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Looking For Someone Like Me: Representation in the Outdoor Community

Almost every time I open my mailbox, I have a magazine waiting on me. Whether it’s from my favorite outdoor store or one of the conservation organizations I support, I always enjoy flipping through the pages. Over the past few years, I have noticed a slight change in the images in these magazines. I am seeing more women and more people of color, which is always exciting. I am also noticing a slight shift on the television shows and online content surrounding hunting and fishing. I love that the outdoor community is recognizing the diversity of its population, and that in order for people to feel more connected to their environment, they need to see themselves represented there.

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Me Before You: A Story of Romance, Heroism, Bravery & Other Lies

 

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Why You Shouldn’t Thank a Veteran This Memorial Day Weekend

 

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Extreme Huntress Competition

As many of you know, I have been chosen as a Top 20 Finalist in the Extreme Huntress 2017 Competition. Beginning 12:01am MST, May 1st through 11:59pm MST, June 1st, the Extreme Huntress™ website (http://www.extremehuntress.com) will allow the public to vote for their favorite huntress. Voting will be limited to one voter per person, per email address, and a maximum of ten votes per IP address. After you enter your email address and vote, you will need to confirm the verification email.

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A Redefined Hunter: Funding for Adaptive Equipment

After a paralyzing ranching accident when I was 16, I had to learn to redefine my life. My future suddenly looked nothing like I had planned, and the outdoors became a scary, inaccessible view from my new wheelchair. I realized very quickly that if I didn’t redefine my life, someone would do it for me. Labels, stereotypes, and hearing over and over how you can’t do something anymore can wreak havoc on your confidence and do permanent damage to your soul. Fortunately, over time I began to understand the vital importance of creativity and courage, and my adventuress spirit returned. The outdoors didn’t have to be intimidating, but I did have to do things differently than I had before.

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How Should I Teach My Child To Act Around You?

Last month, I spoke at a local MOPS meeting here in Cody. One of the Moms asked me a question I hear often- “How should I teach my children to act around people with disabilities?”

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FREE e-Books About Hunting!

This is my buddy, John E. Phillips, aka Bubba. He's been the best mentor to me in the outdoor industry- and he's an amazing writer. He's also generous- check out three of his FREE e-books!!!

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What Do I Call You?

At a recent book signing, I ended as I often do, by opening it up for time of a Q&A.  One of the audience members asked, “What do I call you?” I knew immediately that she was referring to interacting with people living with disabilities. I always appreciate the opportunity for education and awareness, so I shared with her what I will share with you today. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure that your communication is positive and encouraging:

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2016 SHOT Show

Today, Russ and I, along with Renee Rongen and Lanelle Vasichek, will be headed to the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. SHOT is the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show, and it is the largest one of its kind in the country. My goal is to meet with companies and organizations to see better representation for people living with disabilities in the outdoor industry. I still can't believe that I have been given this opportunity, and I take it very seriously. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 54 million people living with disabilities in the U.S. represent approximately $1 trillion in aggregate income that translates into more than $220 billion in discretionary consumer spending power! What a huge market, and one that is currently not being represented by a single large outdoor manufacturer. My goal is to change that by helping to bring the disability community to the forefront in terms of advertising, representation, and product lines. I can't wait to meet all of the amazing people and companies that want to join me on this journey!

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Book and Website Update

While I am so very thankful for every year God gives me on this earth, I must admit, I am beyond excited for 2016! Since my accident over sixteen years ago, I have been a firm believer that the plan for my life was bigger than anything I could ever imagine. What I am learning recently is that the beauty is in the timing.

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Adaptive Hunting Equipment

With Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to give you some ideas for the hunter in your life that is living with a disability. At times, it may feel like the obstacles to getting outdoors pile up around you, but adaptive equipment like the following items can push through those barriers and open up adventures you never dreamed possible. These are a few of my favorite things- so let's go shopping!

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How to Choose an Accessible Four-wheeler

When Russ and I were dating, one of our favorite things to do was go four-wheeling. It was something we could enjoy together outdoors, and I wasn't limited at all by my paralysis, whether I was driving or riding. We were able to see places I wouldn't have been able to get to in my manual wheelchair, and we always had a great time exploring the mountains together.

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