Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Little Inspiration.

Below is a photograph of Sgt. Robert H. Brown, United States Army. He is part of the crew I was focusing on this past summer for the National Parks magazine shoot.

Rob was wounded in Iraq. For months he wore a brace on the lower part of his right leg, utilizing a cane as well. The doctors were hoping that in time the nerve endings would regenerate in his leg and the feeling would come back. If not, they'd have to amputate.

Rob has been training long and hard to become a serious paddler. Totally driven man. He had an email signature that once read, "Soon to be world class athlete." He eventually changed it to, "Soon to be one-legged world class athlete." This October he became just that. Below the knee amputation. And despite a few setbacks (a recent fall broke his good ankle and one of his wrists!) he is indeed a world class athlete.

This is a shot from an outing in May of this year. He's surfing at Rocky Island waves on the Potomac. I noticed the Heron on the rocks across the way and scrambled to get in position to include it with whichever kayaker I could get. (there were several out there that day.) Turns out Rob got the best spot with the sun and the bird and the wave all coming together perfectly. He held this position for several seconds before getting tossed out! For a variety of reasons it's one of my most favorite shots ever.