It seemed like there was some weird energy in the air. I couldn't really place it, says Evan Strong, 22, as he starts to talk about the day of his accident. At 17, while Evan still lived in Maui with his family, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and had to have his left leg amputated just below the knee. Evan says his old self died on the road that day and left him with a completely new outlook. The recovery process left him in what he describes as an "infant-like" state - having to be fed, helped to go to the bathroom, and dependant on others for nearly everything. Evan hopes to show others how to walk a path to a more fulfilling life, to be able to show somebody peace within themselves. Before the accident, he was extremely active - played sports, did skateboarding, mountain bike riding, etc. - life, to him, was all about being the best and wanting more. Now, Evan says, it has shifted into being able to help and support people. He works with Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization, which sponsors clinics where Evan is able to teach disabled kids and adults how to mountain bike, skateboard, and hopefully in the future, to rock climb. "I want to see people break out of the shell of what they thought their limitations were."
Words by Jill Webster for the Ian Ruhter ENABLED photography project!