How Adapting With Alex Began: Part 1

by Alex Garrett

Over the years , many have paved a path in my life for me to follow along right up to this blog post. That is where the backstory of ‘Adapting With Alex ‘ starts. Because of all the kindness, love and opportunities from all around, I can say God has me here writing you tonight and looking to pay it forward through this network!

That kindness, love and opportunity for life was firstly created by my mom and dad and entire family! They believed in that NICU fight that we would get through it, 77 days later we did and we DO nearly 30 years after the inaugural January release from the NICU.

My family wasn’t alone in that belief, the NICU unit and the amazing Doctors and nurses at then- St. Luke’s Roosevelt cared and made sure round the clock care was there for those in the NICU. We as a family are very blessed to have that connection, which we maintain ever year by visiting the remaining nurses on 10/20, my birthday.

Physical adaptations were provided over the years from the encouragement to walk to a walker to the uniqueness of the rollerblade. In between those years and beyond, our family has been provided numerous crutches thanks to WalkEasy each year. WalkEasy has even helped us when the crutches would break down due to active use! We were provided multiple tries at a prosthetic leg by Charlie our orthotics maker through the Henry Viscardi School. Eneslow has helped us with adaptive shoe insoles over the years as well.

The brainpower of my father, the approval and support of mom and my stepdad Vic as well as my family paved the way to rollerblade, that to me is the most natural adaptation ever made starting at the age of eight. Not only has it saved my foot YEARS, it’s also brought me to different experiences which I’m sure our tiny cluster never thought imaginable.

The social adaptations were made available to us through the love and care of so many and ramped up soon after the wheels took off in 1999. Adaptive sports has been my true love! I want to thank my dad for installing running into my life at the age of 2.5 at NYRR Pee Wee Races. The New York Road Runners also helped us and many in other groups like Achilles make running adaptable!

I want to thank the Henry Viscardi School for giving us all a chance to be adapting in baseball, football, hockey and wheelchair basketball! Our gym coach, Mike Sweeney is awesome and wheelchair basketball lead Joe Slaninka as well as Joy Krebs have inspired us to stay adaptive and active for all these years!! Anthony Fitzgerald, HVS associate, runs adaptive football at Eisenhower Park, for those interested!

I want to thank the likes of Susan Maxwell, Nassau CountyGames for the Physically Challenged founder the last 30+ years at Eisenhower Park and Mitchel Field. Volunteer Dominic introduced my dad and I to the competition at the age of 4 and 5. The Games family has grown, and I highly recommend you check us out if you have friends or family that might find it time to get out there, compete and enjoy a late May, early June competitive weekend! (https://nassaucountypcgames.com/#:~:text=With%20the%20safety%20of%20our,join%20us%20again%20in%202021.)

The thanking doesn’t stop there, but I’ll make this a series because I want to hone in on the adaptive sports for now. Having been born with just the one leg, seeing amputees overcome having an ENTIRE limb removed and kick ass in life, is what has inspired me to start ‘Adapting With Alex’. I’m ready to pay the adaptation opportunities forward to those who are still unsure how to adapt, or afraid to!

It takes a network, and I’d LOVE you to join this journey whether you are a company that helps people adapt and want to share your story OR have a story of your own of adapting, I’m all ears !

So let’s ADAPT TOGETHER!