Some of us are our own worst critics. When you listen to that inner voice, do you hear “Great job! Good for you, you fabulous creature!”? Or do you hear a list of your failings and what you haven’t done? Adam K. Lane listens and, unlike most of us, has decided to do something about it. That’s why Adam Lane is in a lane of his own.
A paraplegic from a motorcycle accident in 2008, Adam has done triathlons and multiple yoga teachers’ trainings. I caught up with Adam a month before his fundraising “handcycle Across America”, and asked him about his life before and after SCI.
“At one point I noticed how much self-talk affects what we are capable of doing.” Adam says contemplatively. “Fast forward to 2019, I’m going through another yoga teacher training, and I found myself talking about authenticity – the power of words we speak to ourselves.”
On April 11, 2022, Adam Lane begins his ride across the USA on his handcycle. The trip is a fundraiser for United Spinal Association and Adam’s way to raise awareness of the fact that ‘there is life after SCI’. Talk about authenticity! What message will Adam be spreading, on his ride across the United States?
“I want to promote exercise, normalized disabilities, and advocate for accessibility.”
“The big thing I want to say to the newly injured is there’s a lot of life after injury.” Adam replies firmly.
“I’ve traveled the world doing triathlons, I became a yoga instructor, met my wife, and got 3 daughters. I’ve lived way more life since my injury!
All the best things that happened to me in my life have been post injury.”
Raising Awareness and A Million
Why United Spinal Association? Adam goes back to the early days of his SCI. “In the beginning I was washing and reusing catheters. United Spinal was instrumental in getting Medicare to pay for single use catheters, so we didn’t die from urinary tract infections! They fought for us, and still do.
“I have helped out with fundraisers before, but never actually been ‘the one’, Adam says with a rueful laugh. “When we talk about doing the ride, I know what to expect physically. What terrifies me the most is the marketing, the fund raising. Thankfully I have lots of people who can help, my wife has a marketing background, United Spinal has great marketing people.”
“I’m good at the big ideas.” Adam confesses.“ Don’t give me the little details, I like the grand schemes. At the yoga teachers’ training I was talking about this wild idea and suddenly it really snowballed! The more people found out about it, the more excited I got. Like during triathlons, I wanted to tell my buddies about this idea to bike across the US, but I thought they might say it was dumb. Funny though, no one did.”
On this trip, Adam is sticking to bike trails, and it takes research to find the right ones. “Not only do I have to find the trails, I have to look up reviews from other bikers. Not all trails are well-maintained, some don’t even have curb cuts!” It could be dangerous, not just for Adam, but for other bikers he will invite along.
“Some of my rides can be point-to-point (going in one direction). But at multiple events I will be inviting other bikers along, so we also need to plan loops.”
As he rides, Adam will be making appearances at the offices of his sponsors.
“That’s the other part of the equation, paying for the whole thing!” Adam states, sharing his mental checklist. “I knew I wanted to raise money for United Spinal, and I didn’t want cost of trip taking away from donations.”
Does Adam have room for more donors?
“I would love more corporate donors, but it is very competitive. I understand corporate sponsors have people hitting them up for money all the time. But it isn’t all about the big guys! The $5 and $10 people can make a big impact.”
Adam assures me that he will only be riding 50-60 miles a day (only?!) and is planning 2-3 events per city. Curious, I ask Adam how he handles using his catheters on the long ride.
“I can go all day without urinating if I have to.” Adam admits, “Although it isn’t the best thing for me. I use Cure Medical catheters because when I tried them, I found that my out-of-pocket expenses were lower so I am more inclined to cath with the frequency that my doctor recommended.
“I really admire the way Cure Medical puts money aside for medical research. That’s the way it should be.”
Watch for Part 2 of Adam’s Story
In the upcoming article, Adam talks about how he determined that his desire to ‘erase the stigma of disability’ – first, he had to change how he viewed himself! Read it next month.
Follow Adam’s Progress
Adam’s schedule starts in San Diego on April 11, 2022 and is scheduled to finish in New York City on June 25, 2022.
San Diego – April 11, 2022
Phoenix – April 19, 2022
Albuquerque – April 26, 2022
Oklahoma City – May 3, 2022
Kansas City – May 11, 2022
St. Louis – May 18, 2022
Indianapolis – May 25, 2022
Columbus, OH – May 31, 2022
Pittsburgh – June 7, 2022
Washington DC – June 12, 2022 (Break for ROCH)
NYC – Saturday, June 25, 2022 (CLOSING EVENT)
To track Adam’s ride and contribute to United Spinal, go to:
You may also enjoy: