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Adaptdefy

Author: Mike Brown

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Welcome to Adaptdefy®. Here you'll meet people who have learnt to adapt to intense physical and psychological challenges, and defy what they, and those around them, thought was possible.

We'll dive into the tools and equipment they use, and the mindset that allows them to succeed and find freedom. This is a podcast to strengthen the adaptive community and increase freedom for everyone. It's a podcast for Adaptdefiers, and those who want to become one.

Hosted by paraplegic Mike Brown all the way from New Zealand.
29 Episodes
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Teal Sherer is an award winning actress, who also happens to be a wheelchair user after a car accident left her a paraplegic when she was 14 years old. Teal shares her tips for being an actor as a wheelchair user, her thoughts for how society views wheelchair users and hr role in educating the public on what really goes on. Check it out. 
Brooklyn might be considered the hood, but to Garrison Redd it has always been and always will be home. Even after the self-proclaimed authentic Brooklynite was shot in the back just steps away from his childhood home. An immensely physical and intelligent teenager, his life was thrown into turmoil as he lay in the hospital bed, learning he would never be able to walk again. But wise words from one of his doctors: “you might not be able to play football, but you can still coach,” soon changed his entire perspective. Now a model, a Paralympic powerlifter, public speaker and the founder of the Garrison Redd Project, an organisation that runs adaptive programs for people with spinal cord injuries, there’s almost no stopping Garrison from achieving his goal. All that’s left is to become the mayor of New York City.
Paralyzed in a car accident at age 13, Reveca thought her dreams of a career in art and fashion were over, but rolling in the footsteps of Mexican legend Frida Kahlo, Reveca has forged a career in the arts and is a pivotal figure in the disability rights movement in Chicago. She is the co-Director of ReelAbilities Film Festival, founder of Backbones and uses painting, illustration, photography, film, movement, and other media as a tool for advocacy and social justice. 
Martyn is a man on a mission. A mission to make our society a more inclusive place to live.  He's had to overcome major spinal fusion surgery, fundraise for vital mobility equipment, manage strangers to do his personal care, fight bouts of pneumonia, struggle through inaccessible housing, experience weird societal stereotypes, and many other barriers. He is the co-founder of Disability Horizons, a published author, podcast host, adventurer, government, business & charity adviser, and entrepreneur. He co-founded Accomable which was later acquired by Air BnB and is on a mission to travel and adventure to as many places on the planet as he can. He's a self confessed smiler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy . 
Yannick Benjamin is a world class sommelier (wine expert), the founder of charities Wine On Wheels and Wheeling Forward, and a man who knows what it's like to push through barriers to do what he loves. Yannick has paved his way into New York’s restaurant scene as an Adapdefying wheelchair using Sommelier Extraordinaire!
Paraplegic Sebastian Westin is a Swedish prankster, para bobsledder, wheelchair instructor, musician, YouTuber, and meditation advocate. Giving himself a year to overcome the depression which almost killed him, he moved to India where the unthinkable happened. This is his story. 
Alana Nichols is a world-class athlete with a passion for challenging herself and others. From a young age, her passion for sports and adventure has driven her and no matter what obstacle life throws her way, she takes a challenge head on.  After suffering a spinal cord injury at age 17 while attempting a back flip on her snowboard, Alana quickly transitioned to adaptive sports.  She is the first American female to win gold medals at both Summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and Winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Olympic/Paralympic Games. 
Nothing seems to stop mobility master Stuart Dunne. After breaking his neck at 17 years old, following a car accident, Stuart quickly learned he just had to get on with life, and seize whatever opportunities were presented to him. He returned to university to study accountancy before making his own wheelchairs, and forming successful mobility products company Cyclone Mobility in 1989. In his spare time he likes to keep active, including playing wheelchair rugby for Great Britain, and spending time with his wife of 20 years. 
Karen Darke, MBE is nothing short of legendary. What she has achieved with her life after becoming paralysed from the chest down at age 21 is extraordinary. Her wild streak and love of adventure drove her to cross-country ski across the Greenland ice-cap, kayak for 3 months from Vancouver to Alaska, and traverse multiple countries via handcycle. She is gold medal winning Paralympian, author and sought after speaker who leaves audiences energized and wanting more.  
Derek Herrera is a former Marine Special Operations Officer who was paralyzed after being shot in the spine while on duty in Afghanistan. Derek re-focused his energy and skill to complete an MBA and started Spinal Singularity, a company that is developing medical technology to improve people’s lives. 
Sophie Morgan is a prolific TV personality, artist, adventurer, entrepreneur, and paralysed icon who never sits still. She is the face and star of numerous BBC TV series and is at the forefront of a global movement for inclusivity. A self described wild child Sophie has channeled her energy after a life changing accident into a force that is changing the world for the adaptive community. 
When Rob Smith broke his neck he never thought he'd go onto play sport for Great Britain, or apply his mechanical engineering skills to create a company which would improve the lives of thousands around the world. Rob is an athlete, entrepreneur and father with an Adaptdefying mindset. Check him out!  For this story and more visit adaptdefy.com/adaptdefiers
Nathalie McGloin is the world’s first female tetraplegic racing driver. She races a hand-controlled Cayman S in the Porsche Club Championship, competing against able-bodied men. She has an impressive list of sponsors, is the President of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission, and founder of Spinal Track that offers disabled drivers the opportunity to experience track driving in specially adapted cars. Nathalie is also an sought after speaker, who delivers keynotes around the world to share her unique story, encourage women and disabled people into Motorsports, and help audiences believe that anything is possible.
Paraplegic Christian Bagg is a brilliant engineer. He’s the founder of BowHead Corp. and designer of the Bowhead Reach, which is the world’s gnarliest and most capable off-road electric trike. He’s a family man, adventurer, and entrepreneur on a mission to increase freedom for wheelchair users! Sound familiar? An Adaptdefier™ with so much to share. Check him out.
Josh Dueck is an absolute legend in the adaptive community. He became an instant celebrity after he appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show for becoming the first person to do a backflip in a sit ski. He is a Paralympic gold medalist, ambassador and mentor, and one of the reasons adaptdefy’s Mike Brown was able to bounce back and keep his head held high following his spinal cord injury. Josh has so much wisdom to share and is one of the nicest guys around. 
When doctors said Aaron Baker would never regain function he visualised the outcome he wanted and set about proving them wrong. Aaron is the founder of the Center of Restorative Exercise (C.O.R.E.) and believes that exercise is medicine.  
Roy Tuscany is the founder of The High Fives Foundation whose vision is to be the “safety net of the outdoor action sports community”. Roy is such a positive guy, he hardly has a bad word to say about breaking his back, and has paid his experience and gratitude forward to help others find their freedom in the outdoors. Roy’s attitude and zest for life is exactly the spirit you need to become an Adaptdefier.
As if riding a skateboard wasn’t hard enough, paraplegic Erik Kondo has found ways to ride them while in his wheelchair. And while at first this sounds foolhardy, there is some real logic behind his pioneering way of thinking about movement in a wheelchair. Erik is a strong advocate for finding ways to be free in a wheelchair without expensive equipment. 
From remote wilderness rafting trips, to yacht racing, to business and politics, paraplegic Quentin Smith is a true all rounder. But it’s took Quentin time and introspection to get there. Finding the cause, and a way to move past, “depression” helped Quentin build his emotional intelligence that enables him to thrive in his personal, family, business and community life.  
From the highs of a professional mountain biking career to the deepest lows of living life paralysed from the waist down, Tara Llanes has risen again to become a world class wheelchair athlete and leader in the adaptive mountain biking community. 
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Comments (1)

Dorje Mckinnon

awesome interview. Bruno thanks for sharing your story and experience with Mike , come down to New Zealand for a surf.

Jan 28th
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