Born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect of the spinal cord, Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham has no use of his legs and has never been able to walk. Instead, he does something even better: he can fly.
“My doctor said I wasn’t going to be able to sit up on my own or do anything,” recalls Aaron. “I think, just from a young age that was always in the back of my mind, like ‘Ok, I gotta prove that I can do more than that.’”
At 23, he’s a pioneer in the burgeoning sport of WMX—or Wheelchair Moto Cross – and is among the world’s first Extreme Wheelchair Athletes.
Back in 2006, “Wheelz” – as he’s affectionately called by friends and competitors alike – landed the first wheelchair back flip and has since pushed himself, and his aerodynamic chair, to do more.
Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham: Extreme wheelchair athleteExteme Wheelchair Athlete, Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham talks about looking past your limitations and pursuing dreams in a unique way.
Aaron is adamant that he rides “on” his wheelchair verses “in” it and says it’s because of his wheelchair, not in spite of it, that he’s been able to travel the world and realize his dreams.
“I really enjoy going and doing motivational speaking too,” says Aaron. “Just going places and showing people that life gave you this wheelchair and you can be bummed on it or you can look at it for what it is and it’s a great opportunity.”
He spoke with Mike Walter, in our Los Angeles studio, about his hope to encourage others to look past their limitations and to pursue their dreams in their own unique way.
Follow Aaron on Twitter: @AaronFotheringham