Scott Rigsby

March 31, 2014

Since I ran yesterday, today my training plan called for a 2-3 hour easy bike and a 15-20 minute run afterwards. So I spun for 2 hours (still a little cold for me to brave being outside). Here’s the proof:

two hours spin

Here’s a pic of me just before doing my short run:

Scott Rigsby and I before run

Wait, who’s that guy? WELL – My Tri Club hosted a very special guest this weekend: Scott Rigsby. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a double amputee who has TWICE completed an Ironman race. And not just any Ironman – the Kona Ironman in Hawaii.

Scott was awesome and agreed to do a little run with our club before his presentation, so I used that for my short run. I know, there was far too much time between the two for it to really be a brick run, but training wasn’t the point of this run.

Scott Rigsby 25Scott Rigsby 24

Scott has one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever heard. You can read more about himhere. This is also a great video of him:

Here’s a short summary (that totally doesn’t do him justice, so I apologize in advance): Scott was in a terrible accident when he was 18-years-of-age, where he immediately lost his right leg. Many attempts over a few years failed to fully rehab his left leg, and he eventually opted to have it amputated as well. He instantly felt better and more able. He began to take on endurance sports as a means to demonstrate to the world what physically challenged athletes can do. He completed several triathlons of all distances, and in 2007 he was the first double amputee to complete the Kona Ironman. Through his foundation, he continues to inspire and assist other physically challenged athletes.

I actually got to meet Scott at a small gathering last night, where he was able to take more time to describe his equipment and his journey. I was totally honored! There is no way I’m going to be able to describe any of his feet totally accurately, but I’ll do the best I can: Below is one of Scott’s running feet. It’s plugged in because it has an electronic mechanism for vacuum sealing the foot to him, plus for draining the sweat that pools in the upper part of the foot where it connects to his leg. The pic on the right shows that pump, it’s on the back.

Scott Rigsby 8Scott Rigsby 12

These are his bike feet. The front “shin” part is just a fiberglass shield for aerodynamics – it’s not solid. And on the bottom is a cycling cleat.

Scott Rigsby 14Scott Rigsby 13

Scott is also such a great guy. He’s so very nice, and very patient answering questions I’m sure he gets a lot. Hearing stories like Scott’s are so inspirational to me. Again, such an honor to have met him and gotten to spend time with him. And good luck to him while he runs the Boston Marathon AGAIN in a couple weeks!

Side note: I read an interesting article (read it here) the other day which basically said not to use disabled (their word) or fat (also their word) athletes as an inspiration. Basically, the argument is that by doing so draws too much attention/pity to people who have more challenges than an able-bodied/average weight person, and makes it about that, rather than the whole person. It also implies several stereotypes of such athletes. The purpose of this post is not to “glorify” Scott’s disability. It’s about the inspiration he creates. Yes, we all have challenges, but come on – double amputation is bigger than any of mine! Athletes like Scott are what motivate me far more than a professional, naturally gifted athlete, and I think it’s more than reasonable to call him inspirational without fear of degrading him as a whole person. Nuff said.

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