“Don’t let anyone limit you because of your disability. You have to be willing to put in the work, however, and put yourself out there. People and organizations like Sportable are there to help you get active and become whole again.”
If you know Robin, you know that she does not let anything hold her back. An Ironman athlete, she was determined to return to athletic endeavors after losing her leg to cancer in 2010. But as she discovered, there were not that many people who looked like her and almost none in the competitive field of sports. Until she discovered Paralympian triathlete Melissa Stockwell—the first woman in history to lose a limb in combat while she was stationed in Iraq in 2004. Melissa became a mentor to Robin over email and encouraged her to seek out adaptive sporting opportunities.
Just four months after her surgery, Robin found Sportable’s small office and convinced the founders of the fledgling nonprofit to add road racing to the slate of program opportunities. Since then, many Sportable athletes have trained for and participated in the Monument Avenue 10k and the Richmond Marathon.
Road racing isn’t only for those who want to compete for time or participate in a big race. Sportable provides a no-pressure environment where people with a variety of disabilities can come out and use our specialized equipment to get exercise and meet others with similar physical challenges. As Robin commented, it is an opportunity to learn something new in an inclusive setting and have fun together.
Robin, however, remains the steadfast competitor. For the kick-off of the inaugural Sportable Stampede 5k on May 1, she set her goal to row a 5k on her rowing machine in the middle of the track field that the road racing group ran and pushed around for 12.5 laps. Not only did she successfully complete her 5k, Robin set a world record in her class and age group rowing 5,000 meters in 23 minutes and 43.8 seconds! Kudos to you, Robin!
The virtual Sportable Stampede 5k continues through the month of May. All proceeds from the event go to support Sportable’s adaptive sports programs. Register and support an athlete today at: https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/Richmond/SportableStampede