Those of you who have followed me for a while, or know me personally, know of Mike Conneen as I talk about him often. He's an inspiration to me and someone I admire very much. Working to help people like Mike is one of the main reasons I do this job.
Mike and his buddy John went on a 100 mile kayaking trip in an effort to raise money for educational programs on the Indian River Lagoon. This story is incredible and worth your time, I promise. Please take a moment to read his story and remind yourself what’s important in life.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his story:
"Leave the wheelchair at home in order to push myself harder by walking with my paddle."
"Packing wisely I brought my previous legs, the Bending Branches Angler Classic, with me just to have a spare because you should never go on a trip without an extra paddle."
"Aside from propelling kayaks and helping me walk, a good paddle will help you feel secure."
"The kayak is like my invis-disability cloak. “You’re what? Where is your wheelchair?”"
"We pushed on and finished the trip on December 18th, raising close to $4,500 for educational programs on the Indian River Lagoon."
"Beside me every step of the way was my trusty Bending Branches paddle that never gives up on me. "
"A paddle can be an object that is a tool for your boat or it can be something totally different. My paddle has taken me to places that were once told never possible. It goes without saying that I depend on and put confidence in a product. In 2003 I was told I’d never walk again. In 2014 I stood up in my Ocean Kayak while on the water for the very first time. Thank you, Bending Branches."