Meet extreme para-athlete Jeremy McGhee. When a 2001 motorcycle accident left him without use of his legs, he turned adversity into a quest to explore the farthest corners of the earth.
“There’s something about being in nature,” says Jeremy. “I just feel small. I feel part of something huge. There’s something about that feeling that I can’t get enough of.”
We met Jeremy last September at the Kamikaze Bike Games and we were immediately struck by his presence. Seeing him wield his JEETrike off-road upright handcycle so expertly against unruly terrain was the first thing that caught our eye.
But after spending a little more time with Jeremy, one can’t overstate his commitment to his mantra, “Do what you love.” Turns out not only does Jeremy tackle wild, mountainous terrain armed with little more than skill, upper body strength and pure will, but he also surfs, skis, climbs, and paddles. In 2012 Jeremy climbed and skied Blood Couloir, a major backcountry ski route in the Eastern Sierras. Today he spearheads “the unpavement tour,” which promotes better access to nature and wild places for people living with disabilities.
For Jeremy, exploration is not a hobby. It’s a lifestyle. Says Jeremy, “Nature puts things in perspective. We think that our problems…are so important. But when we get out there we kind of realize that maybe it’s not so important.”
Today we are proud to share a piece of Jeremy McGhee’s story, and we hope that it inspires you as much as it has us. Truly it’s not our limitations that define our paths, but our own will to push through them; to get to the top of that mountain; to feel the wind on our faces; and to triumph.
To find out more about Jeremy McGhee and his project, “the unpavement tour,” visit www.jeremymcghee.com.
Film & Edit by Barnhart Photography