Archery With One Arm – The inspiring story of Shaun Anderson

Archery With One Arm – The inspiring story of Shaun Anderson



[Applause] [Applause] imagine having to do everything in life with just one arm with the thought of picking up a bow even cross your mind I met up with Sean Anderson Paralympian and w1 athletes at the World Championships in Nimbus I first met Shaun 2015 when we went to South Africa for a training camp he welcomed us to his club so we could prepare for the Rio Olympics during our winter season here I learned he is not only a class Archer that an awesome human being to losing his arm and later on function in his lower body has never stopped them from working hard to achieve the schools this way of life has taught me some lessons in my own and gave me a deeper sense of appreciation in general as a way of saying thank you but also just to share his amazing story with you all we wanted to make this video for you guys to enjoy we understand it's a bit on the longer side but we really enjoyed having this conversation and we believe it was very worth it so Shawn your first appearance on triple trouble this is a premier first of all I want to start with thank you for for appearing on that on our channel and thank you for having me on the channel it's cool so I first met you in 2015 I think when we went to the South Africa for a training camp in Pretoria good and back then I was amazed by you lost your army but you were still positive in life you were still shooting a lot and enjoying everything you did and then in the time that I that was between so last year I was there as well three years between yeah you also lost the function in your legs correct but still you're still enjoy enjoying life and you're still enjoying your shooting yeah and can you tell us a little bit about how you find energy and how you find motivation to still keep going like this that's a good question I find the energy and the motivation is when I watch you guys and everybody else shooting and then and I want to be at the top but now I want to I want to put the work in and and it's not giving up you know you know I don't know how to give up but I don't believe in the word con so when when when I got the opportunity to be on the bow and I had to relearn how to shoot now in a different division and everything I just put the work in and I persevered and I carried on persevering and those days that I really feel bad and I really feel like things aren't coming together I've got a good support structure around me back home so I can pick up the phone and I can find a friend or I can phone that I can see somebody at just the University where I'm based so that helps me a hell of a lot I've got I've got an amazing family behind me so that that's the most important if it wasn't for my family I don't think I'd be where I am today but yeah at the end of the day I I persevere because for me it's about showing young people out there you have got opportunities that that no matter what obstacle comes in your life you can overcome it and it doesn't mean you have to be in a wheelchair but whatever it problem you're facing at that time I think you if you put your mind to it you can overcome it yeah yeah and I think what's interesting every time I talk to you I feel a bit more inspired Thanks so yesterday I hit my hand against a knock and I thought it was really yeah until I spoke to you again and I realized like that this is nothing and like in the course of a lifetime something as small as grabbing in an orca is nothing and to put things in perspective like that is really something that I admire and and I learned from you thank you very much not for me just being here has been a huge honor I mean coming that I would I knew that it was there was a chance that I could come out early yet because for me now I have to this is my first travel since my accident yeah so we were really concerned about my half from there yeah but so far touchwood everything's been going well but to come at you and spend time with you guys have pop and all that it's been unbelievable and yeah I always say we knew we knew when I get motivated and you want to get to the top you you get around the guys who at the top and that pushes you to try harder and and that's been something that this week's really been really been cool for me and when you guys came out in December it was it was so nice because that that inspired me again to work harder again and it made me realize that all this work that I put in back home it's not for nothing it's yeah the results are coming and yeah I mean the Archie family is just one big family and and I'm really looking forward not to get into to to to the world champs yeah yeah yeah you're here to compete in the world championships I'm there to compete and be a competitor and and be to be a force to be reckoned with you know I don't want to sound vain but yeah I mean I've always been a person who wants to compete it at my eyes they all like give it all I've got and not give up and yeah so I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends and and getting the job done and hopefully securing a slot for IKEA that's that's the big reason we yeah and being here for this week has been also mom I said Murtagh I could easily do this more yeah I enjoy it last time in in Rio you were in a different class a different shooting class so you changed your your setup a bit you know shoot without the scope and without a peep sight for instance yes correct how has this changed your shooting as a whole you you get that respect for the recovers they that they I've always had but I mean you really realize what Archie's about when you're shooting without a peep and without a scope I had to change pound each side to go down to we're not allowed to shoot over 45 pounds in your body one I had to change my whole setup and then I had to learn to shoot again because she with a scope and a peep you can make those few Hank talk mistakes and you still get a result unfortunately without the peep and and with that you've got to learn how to line up the bow properly you got to learn that you don't tilt the bow and you really gotta follow through properly with your front end and then and and that's something that I've been working really hard so yes it's been a big change for me for the first I would say the beginning of since last year when I started training again and up until even January I was still really fighting to get good results and get good get up where I want to be ya know I can't be but you're likely two weeks before coming yeah I had a very good result back home and and and that that just gives you that lifted a boost that to get you and this last week trading yeah I've been shooting well I've really been putting good errors in so I'm happy I'm you know I've done the work so it's not that I'm coming to all chance to do the work I've done the work now it's just climbing that ladder and hoping that I can pick it all champs and it'll be really cool and and how far along do you think you are because you started from zero basically we started shooting again it was a different class you are in a different condition how far if you would have to name a percentage would you think you are on getting back to your at your top level I would say 70% is I've still it's still a lot to learn that's the mass thing about this division and you know it's every day we once you think you've just got it right the next day you realize I have done something wrong again you know so I would say I'm between 70 and 75 percent II I'm not near we are now can't achieve that in my heart on our can be I really believe if I work really hard I could be shooting the scores I was shooting when I was shooting see Emma yeah so on and and I can't see why I can do that if I put the working so yeah I'm I still got a way to I still got a bit of weight to go so that's that's why the goal for this trip is not trying to do anything crazy it's just to secure that spot and then they will focus on after that will focus on the next goal but yeah you have more than a year to prepare exactly world championships and the actual Olympic Games are gnarly so that's that's we are going to put so down I'm yet to learn and and and and and just take it as much as what I can and this whole trip so far has been a learning curve for me you know it's my first travel on the plane and and long hours and transfers at Mercer net so that's really been eye-opening for me and there's a few changes that we can bring to the to the list I'm really working on controlling the controller bills yeah the races you can't control you can't control the weather especially here in the Netherlands there is something to be reckoned with you cannot change anything about the weather so you just have to accept it and you go with it yeah so the controllables we can control and that's what we've done this week we've we've brought things in to say okay if it's like 8:00 we got to do that but yeah I'm really happy with my prep I think I've really put the work in and coming this week before has been awesome and I've got a lot of people to thank and your community from poppin ball and and and your your your touch Association have been amazing you guys as well I mean a lot of people don't always realize when they see you guys on the line they we all we all can have fun together and we're all serious as well and it's really been an honor to be here with you guys that's really nice to hear it's a bit of a weird question but I've been playing with it in my mind let's say back in 2016 where when you were at your peak of your shooting I think at least do you reckon you are as good as a one-armed Archer as you would be with with releasing your hand or do you think that it's a definite definite advantage to hold your release actually in your hand instead of having a brace now there's definitely advantage with holding a release you know you you can you can go into the wall better so you can you can push them cool and and that that is definitely the whole defining of Archie's the push and pull motion and I've really had to work hard now especially shooting in my new division and that push and pull is so important because if I don't put enough pressure got into the back I don't get the result in front so that has changed quite a bit since when our shooting in 2016 in 2016 I could push and I'll get the result yeah now I'm having to push and then I'm having to manipulate my shoulder to get that pool bouncing back almost as if you were shooting a recurve and goes really clicker yeah so yes having two arms definitely these different the advantage is not that about that are there days which you wish you had two arms or have you accepted your faith in that in that sense I'm a better person I've learned to accept it I've learned to to achieve things with one arm that many people can't even do with two arms yeah I've and now that I'm in a wheelchair that's been one of the hardest acceptance for me I took me a long time to accept that I'm in a wheelchair now and again I need to ask for help because I'm not that type of person to ask for help so that's been a real hard acceptance accepting something doesn't mean you going to give up it just means you you're dealing with it and and it means you you're okay with what's going on so I'm still trying to get deal with being in the wheelchair it's still tough these for many days that I wish it never happened yeah but but I've accepted it now and I've accepted down again to say hey can you help me it's not as certain to us and nine out of ten people uh prepare to help yeah I mean I lost my arm sixteen years ago you know I'm amputated about four-and-a-half years ago through medical reasons I was having problems with medical reasons you know a lot of people ask me would I have a robotic arm put on my arm it's not gonna change short I've learned to do things with one arm and and if you know if I if I look at my kids mom my son doesn't even know me the two arms he yeah when he was born I I didn't have my other arm so he's always known me with one arm and we've achieved everything together what we did together and so y'all know I I'm uh I wouldn't sell him a better person because I going on but my life is taking a whole different route which I'm very thankful for and I'm really I would have never got into our chief but if I I don't think I would have tried archery because yeah yeah so this is something that just amazes me how you can see everything in a positive light even though most people would see like from the outside you would assume that somebody in a wheelchair is struggling with it whereas seems like you can always see the bright side of you struggle you get your struggles I mean these I mean flying here was the struggle for me a fly Nia was really a big struggle because it was different thing and you know a big thing I think for a lot of people in wheelchairs are I'm speaking for myself but I gather with a lot of us is is your integrity and we're not we're not stupid because we're in a wheelchair with nautically you don't have to fear us but you know sometimes I just feel you get cheated not like a guy who is not in a wheelchair sometimes and it's upsetting am i'd like to had a change I must say arriving yeah was unbelievable I mean I got treated like gold at the airport and there was really something amazing but yeah we have our bad days and like anybody also have a bad day but that sometimes our bad days are really bad and and and and you're really good work deep dig deep to get through it you've got a really pull on all your energy and you gotta say to yourself you know like today I stupid thing us I was trying to get into the wheelchair I slept with my bin and I'm Thomas my head yeah now I I don't have a phone nearby to fire bothered to come and get me or anybody to help me so I had to get myself back in to my chair and they took a good half an hour and at one stage I felt like just taking the chain thrown across the room but you can't do that because you know you're not winning anything by that you're just making your situation worse yeah you got to deal with it and and I just feel if you've got something facing at that time in life no matter if you're in a wheelchair not in a wheelchair and you got obstacle the best way is to deal with it and and and and make sure you surround yourself with positive people and that's something I've really worked hard on keeping negative energy out there and keeping positive people around me and keeping and staying positive even when I see people on positive I try to keep them myself positive sometimes they're dropped off and I'm happy when that does yeah yeah yeah it sure does to us yeah we always enjoy having you around because if you just bring a positive vibe in the into the whole situation so we're happy and grateful for that and something I forgot to ask in the beginning and I don't know if you want to elaborate on it but how did you end up losing your arm and function under your waist the arm was Superbikes sixteen years ago I was in um I was involved in a super bike accident I broke my buckle plexus and I've told movie inside of mine which damaged my home yeah my front part of my arm was for Christ's it was basically I smashed it completely in the end so there was not much that they could do for me with that so what happened is in about 2015 just before qualifiers at a 2014 you know 2014 year I was really badly in pain and I was having bad blood circulation and then so we had to make a decision and I decided to amputate yes which was a very good decision I should have done it back then when the doctor said you know it's not it's not gonna work but just always believe it will come back so yeah that that arm side the legs October the 7th 2017 we just got back from the Olympics yeah I had I went to Beijing for world champs just before Beijing I had shoulder operation recovered really well from that and went to Beijing didn't have the results in Beijing that I wanted but I knew why and I knew what I was working towards got back from there and we took our first family vacation in Believe It or Not for years because everybody thinks going overseas and traveling his family vacation it's not that it's our jobs and and we do it because we love it and so we had a family vacation and I loved deep-sea fishing I loved anything and I rented a boat to take me in my family out deep-sea fishing and unfortunately the skipper that we trusted ourselves with he didn't do what he was supposed to do and ended up getting hit by a wave and I ended up getting my family often on the Charter there was another family and I stayed on the boat to help them get off and I got them off when I try to jump off the boat I slipped and I thought makes to the boat and the boat came down on my back yeah and I've got stuck under the boat for about three minutes and I started drowning and somehow popped out and I got to my family and in a diatomic I had no feeling in my left leg my right leg was putting the needles and yeah I couldn't tell my family because we were all bleeding and everybody's worried we in the middle of the ocean and in the end luckily I got my family we got they got art with with help of lifeguards and everything and then when when I woke up I basically apparently I was recessed on the beach and when I woke up I was lying in hospital I got told from my t9 the the impact went on t9 and caused like a impact on my spinal cord and yeah so it's neural nerve damage the asshole no damage and and for the people who are not physios because I have no idea where is the t9 about what's around about just above father billy batson dying yeah so I've got little feeling from ya down basically nothing here so in the last 19 months of head to undergo quite a bit of I was in rehab for two for two months after the accident I was in ICU for quite a while and then transferred into rehab when I was strong enough spending two months they got home which people a lot of people don't know and then my house burned down the next day yeah so we as a family dealt with that as well and you know that's when you start wondering yeah but you know out of the light off the building in the house again we were able to build the house that I can use my wheelchair in it so there was positive they came out of that right in the beginning they didn't feel like it but yeah at the end there was a big positive this is definitely something that I was on about earlier when you when I said to you you can always see positives in certain things and burning down a house and in any case wouldn't be a positive I think but though they did wasn't I must say we took good heart as a family you know my whole family's been dealing with what I've gone through but yeah we dealt with it got through it and then my heart my house started taking quite a big turn and I started betting with blood infections and battling with us and battling with that and in the end I've hey Terry super pubic catheter now put in permanently so that's helping a lot of the bloody infections so I know it sounds funny but those are the things that we have to go through as disabled people and yeah you got routines so when I wake up I wake up an hour early hour hour and a half earlier do my routine get my stuff done and then then then I can take on the day yeah but now yeah I'm quite fortunate back home when I go to the University I got some of you helps me to get me out on my car get my stuff outside because normally when I do it myself it takes me an hour longer and I lose that hour of trainings so now I'm good so and the nice thing is I'm gonna start teaching him how to shoot because he's I'm quite keen to try and teach him yeah and the other nice thing that's come out of it I'm really I'm working hard I've always been working hard and promoting the sport of disabled Archie and Archie so I'm coaching quite a bit back home but I've managed I've really managed to bring three two of the guys who were with me on this trip on this trip we're coming flying out now or guys that I brought into the sport and I've been coaching and I've got them up to this level where they come into the world champs and yes right and and that that's been a big dream of mine not just to be the only one always coming to all champs but to have a team and we've got a team now coming out three arches and two of them are brought to the sport the other Archer was in the sporting came back to the sport which was really great so yeah that's a that's a has been a huge for me that that there's a bigger achievement to me than just me being yeah what I've achieved you know and in back home I've got guys who are quadriplegic so in wheelchairs and doctors I said they're not gonna be able to do anything and they shrieking at competitions mass archery is an amazing sport in that sense because there's pretty much no one who can not do archery exactly you got a world is away and I taught Erica to shoot and he's using his ear to release his his bow and he's shooting well and and he's having fun and and that's the most important I always say to the people and the kids are coach and the parents and that it's not about all all our kids must become a lot of big athletes or a big top arches as long as they're having fun in a sport that they're really enjoying that's the one thing about our kids it'll give you more energy than you take yeah everybody looks at Austrian things but it's such a challenge and that's what I love about it you know I come from sports or like ice hockey and things like that I need to arch ooh it's calm and relaxed but is a it's a itself challenge you know if you do a bad shot there's nobody else to blame makes it yourself and it goes from hectic around you to the hectic inside so you hate yeah and and and that's the big thing so yeah that that's that's something I'm I've really worked hard on and it's quite funny I'm feeling more morning some up I was less prepared but I've put a hell of a lot of mental working for this this world champs and which I haven't I did in the pot but not as much as what I've done so I'm really feeling good I'm physically strong mentally strong the health is in a good place yeah and and thank goodness I've got a physio this time is with be traveling with me so that that helps a hell of a lot but yeah they couldn't have happened without the support or my guys back home from the University from Tufts University and them and you know I'm so grateful for that and I'm really grateful to the guys yeah pop and all and and you guys and the National Federation they've been it's been awesome has really been amazing well thank you very much for this talk and I mostly just wish you all the best for the world championships aside to you how you use your worlds as well and you know it's like we're talking earlier on today and it's a lot of people can laugh about it but always you know when you you surround yourself with people who you at the top of the level you you want to perform at that same airline that aspire Enya yes and that's it that's what what it was for me this week again so thanks yeah no problem thanks buddy cool was that good

10 Replies to “Archery With One Arm – The inspiring story of Shaun Anderson”

  1. Best video yet! Thanks for doing this inspirational interview. Shaun's been through an unbelievable amount of hardship and the way he's handling it is heroic. Good on you!!!

  2. Very interesting, particularly talking about acceptance and how that doesn’t mean defeat. An inspiring man with a resolve as hard as granite.

    Thanks Sjef and co.

  3. You are an inspiration. And quite frankly, a bad ass. One of your best episodes guys. Really nice to see the human side of such a positive person.

  4. He's got the right stuff. Never complain, positive in any case, work harder and harder. demonstrate this state of mind always pays off

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