I enjoyed sports at school, but it was always just Army, Army, Army for me, so I didn't really participate at a serious level. After the injury I got the chance to try all sorts of crazy adventure and extreme sports through the likes of the charity BLESMA which supports those who have lost limbs in conflict and another charity called Battle Back. On one trip in 2012 we went to a lake to try sit down water-skiing and while I was there I saw a guy wakeboarding. I realised it could be done and that's when the learning process really began.
I went on to Colorado on a BLESMA ski-ing trip, which was great. They were happy for me to snowboard instead of ski and I loved it. I went to Canada after that for three months to complete my instructor’s course. The following winter I was all over the place snowboarding, and at the end of March 2014 I entered the French National Adaptive Snowboardercross Championships, which also doubled up as my trials for the Great Britain Paralympic Team. My coach just wanted me to get down the course without falling and clock a better time on each consecutive run. I outdid that by a mile – I got the silver with only four day’s training, against guys who has been competing for two years or more.
I describe it as being like a motor cross track on snow. It’s a downhill race against the clock – and I absolutely love the adrenalin of racing. The track is made up of banked turns, jumps, whoops, spines and other obstacles. The aim is to keep the board on the ground as much as possible. It’s about absorbing all the bumps, so you need power in your legs and get your balance and edges just right.
One of my longer term goals for me is to get other guys on the mountain. I’d love to coach more any my message would be: some bad stuff has happened to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy yourself.