Growing up in Northern Maine as a person with a disability, sports were my way into the world. As a child, I would challenge myself to accomplish goals in the outdoors. I remember one day I noticed a natural dirt ramp off the edge of our driveway. I decided I was going to use that ramp to make my way into the woods to see how far I could get. There weren’t any built trails or paths. I was simply blazing my own path in my wheelchair. I kept going until I got stuck. At this point, I just hopped onto the ground and started crawling and dragging my wheelchair behind me. I knew there was an interesting-looking swamp area somewhere in the direction I was going. I could see it from the sliding glass doors in our house. I eventually made it to that area and finally back to the house. This was the first big thing I had accomplished in the outdoors on my own.  

I started sports in earnest after I met my Phys. Ed teacher, Bob Dyer, on my first day of junior high; my life changed for the better forever. The first thing he ever said to me was posed as a question. He asked if I could do 20 push-ups in my wheelchair. I told him I could do 40. I pulled it off and from then on he pushed me to do things that most people with two working legs don’t ever try. He got me into wheelchair racing, I joined a wheelchair basketball team, I got into downhill and cross-country skiing, became part of the biking club, and many other things. I had the opportunity to race in the Maine Marathon three times and many other races around New England. I went skiing at Sunday River with Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation for a week every winter. Somehow Bob was able to make that part of my curriculum. I remember that first week, I was not very happy with Bob – I was eating a lot of snow and crashing a lot. By the end of the week, I was making turns. I have been skiing now for 30 years off and on.

For the past 10 years, I have been rock and ice climbing thanks to inspiration from the loss of a friend, Nick Hall, and an organization called Paradox Sports. I have had some amazing opportunities to see the country thanks to rock climbing. I climbed El Capitan in October 2016. There happens to be a movie about it on my website that really illustrates what an unbelievable experience that was. I am currently raising money for my next big adventure. My goal since losing my friend Nick Hall on Mt Rainier has been to try to summit the mountain on my sit ski. I am going to pull myself up on fixed ropes while sliding along in my ski. I am hoping to ski back down at least some of the way. This will all be to honor the memory of Nick. I also hope to use this adventure to raise money for kids in my hometown community of Patten, Maine. 

Please take time to see Enock’s experience summiting El Capitan, Yosemite, joined by a band of strangers who came together as his guides. Enock’s passion for sports, unbounding determination to push himself and love for the outdoors seems fitting for an end of year inspiration. 

Go Beyond the Fence

El Capitan Summit Documentary

Enock’s Adventures: Presque Isle Bike Path