Amy Purdy: On my own two feet


Amy Purdy is the top-ranked female adaptive snowboarder in the U.S., a three-time World Cup para-snowboard gold medalist, the 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, the founder of Adaptive Action Sports, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a professional motivational speaker who has been featured at both TEDx and Pop Tech, and is also an actress, model, dancer, clothing designer, and an experienced product spokesperson.

THINK Review

“If your life were a book, and you were the author, how would you want this story to go?” This is the question that Amy Purdy asked herself when she lost both of her legs at the age of 19. In her moving and powerful book On my own two feet, she shows us how to draw inspiration from life’s obstacles. She encourages us to take control of our lives, and our limits.

After bacterial meningitis took her legs, Amy struggled with depression, and only beat it when she learned to accept her new reality, but not any limitations. After being unable to find prosthetics that would allow her to snowboard, she built her own. Today, she is a world champion female adaptive snowboarder, a TED speaker, and author. In 2005, she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports.

Amy’s story does not crop out detours. Not only do we learn of dreams fulfilled more than she could have imagined, but we also see some laid aside, delayed, or swapped for new ones. This is valuable because it is true of life: it isn’t always certain why we must move on or let go, and it isn’t always certain what we should dedicate our focus toward. Amy lets us see her making moves in uncertainty. That is a big part of bouncing back.

Very helpful was her awareness of how she was able to recover hope after setbacks. How does a person keep moving when meeting one roadblock after another? That’s where Amy’s story excels. It is full of specific examples, the wells from which she drew strength. In each of her trials, she cites a special inspiration. From the loving support of her family, encouraging words from strangers, empowering thoughts learned from training, the healing habit of gratitude, the joy of solving a problem, to the thrill of learning something new–Amy shares how each gave her the strength to keep moving.

Instead of looking at our challenges and limitations as something negative or bad, we can begin to look at them as blessings, magnificent gifts that can be used to ignite our imaginations and help us go further than we knew we could go.

Amy Purdy will join us at THINK 19, May 6-9, 2019 at the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, as we explore how to live our lives beyond our limits. Now through November, credit unions can save 35 percent off the full registration. Register now.

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