2016 Adventure Summit at Wright State

Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy speaks on adversity

Kristen Wicker

If you love the outdoors, there’s an indoor event this week you can’t miss. Seriously.

The Adventure Summit, held Feb. 12-13 at the Wright State University Student Union, provides inspiration and information for planning your next epic outdoor journey, whether that be a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail or a bike ride to your neighborhood park. Hear from some of the world’s best adventurers, try new activities, participate in competitions, connect with the region’s many outdoor clubs and retailers and learn what makes Dayton, Ohio, the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.”

“The Adventure Summit has something for everyone, from the armchair adventurer to the hard-core enthusiast,” says Lucy Sanchez, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation event coordinator. “Attendees always leave feeling inspired to adventure outdoors in their hometowns and consider planning more extensive outdoor adventures away from home.”

Join several competitions by registering in advance (details and costs online) or watch others. For example, the Adventure Summit Triathlon includes a 15-minute run/walk, a 15-minute bike and a 15-minute swim. Try out kayaking and climbing or check out a fitness class. Enjoy live music while browsing the expo or stop by a beer tasting.

Presentations by adventurers—from local experts to those internationally known—are always an Adventure Summit favorite. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, hear stories about backpacking, cycling, climbing and paddling adventures from across the globe, how to handle allergic reactions in the backcountry and even “Sharks vs. Man: Who’s Really the Predator?”

The summit also includes two keynote presentations: at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, Luke “Strider” Jordan—one of the few people to hike the entire North Country National Scenic Trail, which runs through Dayton—will tell tales from his epic hike. From North Dakota to the Adirondacks, Strider’s story about hiking the North Country National Scenic Trail, the longest such trail in the United States, is about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal growth.

Also speaking on rising above obstacles will be Amy Purdy, Paralympic medalist, Dancing with the Stars runner-up, world-class snow boarder, author, actress, model and clothing designer. Her presentation, “Living Beyond Limits,” will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 and is also part of Wright State University’s Presidential Lecture Series.

After contracting meningococcal meningitis at 19, Purdy underwent a double leg amputation. Challenging herself to move on with her life, she attained goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve. One of those is co-founding Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) in 2005, a nonprofit organization that helps those with permanent disabilities get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs adaptive action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games, which were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.

Indeed, Purdy is a testament that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. In advance of her Dayton appearance, Dayton City Paper asked Purdy where she finds inspiration to attain the type of adventurous life celebrated at the summit.

Why did you seek an adventurous life? 

Amy Purdy: I grew up spending weekends and vacations in the mountains or on the lake. I think it’s just in me to want to spend as much time outdoors and be as active as possible.

How does an adventurous life enrich your soul? How have you seen it do the same for others? 

AP: For me, challenging myself and being in nature fulfills me. I am a naturally curious person and that leads to my desire to travel, see and try new things. Through AAS, we offer these experiences and adventurous lifestyle to others. It’s life changing. We have many athletes and wounded vets who join us for a week during a mountain bike camp or snowboard event and basically pack their bags and move to be closer to us. Once you live a life of adventure, you never want to live any other way.

What would you tell someone who dreams of an adventurous life? 

AP: You have to make the first step. Follow the things you’re passionate about. They feed your soul. Sign up for something exciting, new and challenging. You never know where that may lead.

What inspires you? 

AP: Seeing others live an inspired life. Also, I am inspired by nature, music, art, photography and so many things.

You talk about getting creative, relying on imagination and believing in possibilities for our lives. How do you go about doing that in your own life? 

AP: I think when you are in difficult
situations, there is no other way to get out besides being creative. There have been times in my life when it’s a necessity. Other times, I get so fired up thinking of the possibilities, whether it includes legs, events, projects or travels. My brain is always going.

How excited are you to come to Dayton, Ohio: “The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest?”

AP: I feel so honored to be invited to share my journey and adventures. I truly am grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to experience something new: Dayton, Ohio.

The Adventure Summit, co-produced by Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University, will be held from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. Admission and parking are free. Please visit theadventuresummit.com for more info and a complete schedule.

Reach DCP freelance writer Kristen Wicker at KristenWicker@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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