Yes, You Can Kick Ass Without Having Legs. Here’s Proof.

Posted on May 26, 2011

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A few days ago, I opened my inbox and found a surprising email. It was a forward from Cass; the subject line read RE: Questions. This could only mean one thing.

I guess it was about a year ago already that I read the book Double Take. Cass pointed me to it and I’m thankful she did. It was about this young guy from Helena that won a silver medal skiing at the X Games, which helped him travel and photograph the world from his deck of his skateboard. It’s a great memoir; a quick read—just how I like ‘em—but written with an honesty and youthful humor that I really related to.

The author’s name is Kevin Michael Connolly and he just happens to be on the board of Montana Independent Living Project, where Cass works. Ever since I read the book, I’ve paid attention to this dude named Kevin that works with Cass—you know, us authors and creative types need to stay together. I even wrote a short post about him on the expeditioner.com. Plus, he slays powder… I’m down with meeting this guy.

Oh, I should tell you that he has no legs. No crazy story or anything—born that way. His silver medal was in the mono-skier cross and he uses a skateboard to get around. Those photographs I mentioned, 32,000 shots from 15 different countries all of people’s reactions to seeing him. He calls it the Rolling Expedition. Yeah, I’m down with meeting this guy.

So, it was on a chairlift at Discovery Basin when Cass remembered to tell me that his travels caught the attention of the Travel Channel. As it should; it’s a great perspective–pushing ideas and understandings of the word ‘disability’. When I heard that, I thought is was high time to see if he had some time between tram runs to answer a few questions. After all, I could start drumming up some buzz for his projects through the exped site; we’ve been blowing up since the book release. I shot Cass a few questions about his travels and when I could buy him a beer and honestly didn’t think too much about it until this recent email.

It turns out that the snow was so good this year that he, in fact, didn’t have time between turns. I don’t blame him, it was that good. But as winter releases its chilly grip on the Northern Rockies, he now found a chance to catch up on some emails.

These last few days, since I received that forward from Cass, I’ve been on Kevin’s blog, website, his photography website, reliving those memorable moment from his book, and reading his press kit. I’ve called dibs on a July feature post on theexpeditioner.com which is always a good thing. It is turning out to be a hybridization of book review, travel insight, backstory, Q&A piece… At least I have some time to read through it until it publishes. July… don’t forget!

For all of you not familiar with Kevin, I’ve provided the trailer to his book for your viewing pleasure-it is worth your time (think: epic struggle of print versus e-book). I also highly recommend his book, not just cause you can finish in a few days (but that’s a perk), and not to hear another struggle of overcoming adversity (which it’s not), but to understand the world and the world’s different people, of which Kevin (and each of us) is one. It’s been great to virtually meet him, and I have a feeling our physical paths will cross very soon… and perhaps PBR will be involved.

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