“It brightens my soul to ride”: Rediscovering the Joy and Community of Cycling with Grant Aagard

I am a right below knee amputee. Around the time I turned 57 years old I developed a degenerative bone condition called Charcot Foot Syndrome which caused my right foot to become misshaped and extremely painful. I was told by four doctors that it was more than likely unrepairable. Before I asked for my amputation, I had suffered extreme pain for almost three years.  I was 60 years old by that time and unwilling to “try” a series of at least 5 surgeries with long recoveries between them and no guarantees that they would succeed in saving my foot. I had my amputation surgery in December of 2017. 

From the early 1980’s to the late 2000’s I was very involved in many aspects of the local cycling community. Cycling and cycling events were a big part of my life. After I started having foot problems I didn’t know if I would ever be able to ride a bike again. Then an amputee support group activity just a few months after my surgery introduced me to Wasatch Adaptive Sports. They taught me that it would be possible for me to take up cycling again. Six years later I still love cycling with WAS every chance I get. It brightens my soul to ride, even on days that I physically can’t reach the goal I had set for that day. The programs at WAS are top notch and everyone associated with WAS are fantastic. They are a great group of people.

Last year I was excited to sign up to do the WAS Hustle to help raise funds for their programs. It was great to have a goal to increase my mileage every week. It even got me out riding and exercising on my own more. This year I have again joined WAS for the Hustle. I plan on riding more miles and raising more funds than I did last year. The Hustle is a great chance for people to support Wasatch Adaptive Sports and all the fantastic programs they offer. 

To support WAS participants like Grant during the WAS Hustle, visit https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/WASHustle.