Photo by Layna Hendrich of PhotographyLayn

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Guest Blogger: Jake Winlow

Even though I've only know Jake for a few years, I feel like I've known him forever. Both he and his parents are some of the most genuine, down-to-earth people I have ever met. Throw in the awesome beard (eat your heart out, Duck Dynasty!), and his love for the outdoors, and it's easy to see why I enjoy hanging out with Jake. He and his Dad, Charlie, have rigged up some pretty great equipment over the years to allow Jake to continue to enjoy accessible outdoor recreation, which just so happens to be my passion, so I am really excited to not only introduce you to my friend, but also to share with you some of the pictures he sent me of his awesome four-wheeler and his hunting set-up. Meet Jake!

Jake and his parents, Charlie & Pat

  • Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jacob Winlow.  I am 29 years old and I was born in Riverton, Wyoming.  Throughout my life I’ve lived in Alaska, North Dakota, and finally returned right back here to Wyoming.

  • Tell us about your disability?

I was involved in a single vehicle rollover accident near Williston, North Dakota on August, 8 2009.  During the accident my head hit the roof of the passenger compartment causing the C6 vertebra to slide on C7, “kinking” my spinal cord.

  • What is your platform/motto in life?

My motto in life, hmm that’s a tough one.  No one has ever asked me that.  I’m pretty certain of one thing though, I don’t have a platform in life.  That just sounds way too involved for me.  I guess my motto can best be summed up by the Arthur C. Clarke quote:  The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible”.  I just try to always push myself a little harder or a little further whenever I do something.

  • What are your favorite activities?

My favorite activities include four wheeling, hunting, camping, watching hockey, and just relaxing in front of the computer.  I went hunting for both deer and elk in the fall of 2013.  The elk hunt was in the Hyattville, Wyoming area and was made possible by the Wyoming Disabled Hunters.  The deer hunt took place on a neighbor’s farm near my house.  

Sweet ride!

Jake elk hunting in Hyattville, Wyoming
  • What is something we might not know about you?

During my time in Alaska I was an avid archer.  I took first place statewide in my age group in multiple competitions throughout the last few years I lived there.

  • What are your future plans?

My future plans are pretty simple at this point.  I plan to stay in Wyoming, try to stay healthy and continue doing the things I enjoy.  I’m always working to improve upon my physical limitations whether it be with adaptive equipment or exercise and physical therapy.

  • What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome?

The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome is without a doubt my loss of independence and the fact that I must now rely on others to help me with things I once did on my own.  I work hard to try to become as independent as possible and will continue to do so, but I realize there are many things I simply can not do without assistance.

  • What is the best advice you would give to someone with a recent injury/diagnosis?

I know the phrase is probably over used in these type of situations, but in all honesty my best advice is, “It gets better.”  I know I got tired of hearing it sometimes after my accident, but when I look back on those days it is certainly true.

  • Anything else you would like to share?

No, I think that’s about it.  Thank you, Ashlee, for the opportunity to be a guest blogger.  

P.S.- It's Jake's birthday on the 29th. Happy early birthday, Jake!!! 

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