Thursday, August 21, 2014

T Minus 19 Days until the Invictus Games!!!

How is it even possible that we are less than 20 days away from the Invictus Games?!? We still have a ton of Jeremiah for the Gold T-Shirts at the new discounted donation of $10 so make sure to visit this page to find out how you can order yours!!!

Now onto what you really want to hear about...Here is an update from Jeremiah!

The last training camp before Invictus and the Warrior Games was in Colorado Springs. It was beautiful, as always, and I was sad to leave. This trip was great for multiple reasons. One was being able to see the whole team together again. It is always fun and there are many laughs along the way.

During this trip we got to see what the altitude would feel like and require of us while hand cycling. I was told during the camp that I would not be swimming during the Warrior Games because of the rating I was given by the Olympic Training Committee (OTC). The lead coaches did not like this news because I would be swimming against able bodied people with leg kick ability. They decided to do this because they wanted to set me up for success and not failure. So I will just be swimming at the Invictus Games because we do not yet know how we will be rated. With that decided and out of the way I still had to swim for two days at this camp and that was fun. 

I hand cycled two days of the camp. On day one I rode 12.59 miles and day two I rode 17.89 miles at the Air Force Academy. There were such beautiful views and the track was on a mountain. It was fun and fast going down but low and slow coming up. 

We went to Fort Carson for two days and shot air rifle. On the last day we had a match and I tied for first in the match and came in second during the noise finals. It was a good group to shoot with! 

For three days I shot archery with the new competition bow I was given. It was frustrating trying to get used to a new bow and a new way of shooting. On the brighter side, Ashley and I had a camera crew following us all week long videoing and taking pictures. They even recorded my breathing while shooting air rifle and archery. They got some cool underwater pictures while I was swimming too. At the end of the week both Ashley and I were interviewed about what life has been like for us since 2009, and how these adaptive sports have aided in my recovery. 

During the week, Ashley, along with all of the other NMA's (non medical attendants) were taken on a horse back ride through the the mountains of Colorado Springs. 

There were other perks to this trip, as well. On the flight out Ashley got to experience what first class was like. We also found out that the jounalists that followed us all week had plans to come to Georgia to follow Ashley in her normal, everyday ventures of being a disabled veterans wife, as well as a mother. Needless to say she was not sure about doing this at first but after talking about it and seeing how many more people we may be able to reach for Christ, she said yes. 

We had one really excited 5 year-old when we got home and he was excited to see what we got for him while we were gone.

Thank you so much for all your support! I can't wait to represent everyone at the Invictus and Warrior Games!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

T-Shirts On SALE!!!

Alright everyone!!! We have a TON of t-shirts left after that second order we made...well maybe not exactly 2,000 but probably around 200 and with only a month left before the Invictus Games the t-shirts are going ON SALE!

All adult size t-shirts are now $10 and children sizes are $5. BUT for every adult size you buy you will get a free child size, while sizes last.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to find out how to order yours.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blessings and Opportunities

I have been remiss! So much has happened in the last month so grab a snack, settle in and read about it all from Jeremiah himself!

Don't forget about Jeremiah for the Gold T-Shirt Day next Sunday, July 27th in honor of Jeremiah's 29th birthday! If you don't have yours yet you can get it here

The Lord has given me many blessings and opportunities these past few weeks to bring Him Glory. On July 8th I had a chance to speak to the Columbus Exchange Club at the Columbus Country Club in Columbus, Georgia. There, I was able to tell my story, as well as tell the group what I believe the Lord is doing in and through my life. 

July 9th I was on the Dee Armstrong show where I was interviewed on live TV by Dee herself to share my story. After we finished the segment, all the staff gathered and told me how I have such an inspirational story and outlook on life. I was truly humbled and was then free to tell them that none of this would be possible if it was not for Jesus Christ and what He is doing in my life. (Link to the videos of the interview will be at the end of this post. The volume cuts out of the first video in the middle. You can finish watching the interview with the second.)

On July 11th Ashley, Gabe, and I drove to Wetumpka, Alabama to get a lift installed on my truck to make it easier to get my wheel chair down. We were also able to get my electric wheelchair which Gabe was impressed with. He certainly approves of the chair. We will have to go back soon to get my seat, the proper arm, as well as hand controls installed. 

So for now it's back to training. We will be leaving in August to head to Colorado for our last training event at the Air Force Academy before we leave for London! To all, thank you for your continued support and encouragement. 

I hope this update finds you all doing well... The life and motto of the Means Family is not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward...With God on our side anything is possible.


Part One

Part Two

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Update from Jeremiah on T-shirt Day!

It is exactly 3 months until the Invictus Games (sorry if that stresses you out, Jeremiah)! Yay for our first T-shirt Day!

In other is an update from Jeremiah! 

The last few weeks have come and gone so fast! You've already seen pictures of the Valor Games and then I went on to the Blaze Military Sports Camp in Warm Springs, Georgia. 

Both events were great. Both events gave me the opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ with other wounded warriors. All I can say is, hopefully some seeds were planted. 

Blaze introduced me to an Olympic archery coach who said, "Means, I want to see you with a competition bow in your hands. Put that hunting bow down and you will go places."

Well back to normal at home. 

Gabe is growing into a fine young boy. All he wants to do is go for a ride. A few days ago he asked, "Dad, you wants to get on your hand cycle and ride around the neighborhood? I will help get you and it out of the garage!" 

And he did just that. He turned my cycle around and backed it out of the garage just like he has seen his mother do and then he said, "Okay Dad, I will help you get down on it." I love that little man. I sat down and he went straight for my legs to pick them up and put them into the leg stirrups. Again, just like he has seen his mommy help me. 

We went for the ride and he said, "Dad, keep an ear out for me!" Watching him learn to ride and venture to trying bigger and better things with his bike is a joy. All the training and events that have been going on has really taken its toll on the time I have been able to spend with just me and Gabe. I truly love how he stepped out and made it happen all on his own. That's my son, and in him I am well pleased. 

Last week was the World Cup and I was able to meet Bob Foth, the Paralympic shooting coach. It was cool to meet him but I had no range time last week to practice so it was great to be able to go and shoot yesterday.

After my time on the range I went and swam a little. When I got home my lovely wife says, "Don't you think you need to cycle tonight?"


So we went for a 12 mile ride down Rails to Trails. My times were 6 miles in 23:15, 9 miles in 40:45, and 12 miles in 54:23. Not that bad if you ask me! I was pleased, not to mention all of the roads you have to stop at along the way. 

God is good and He continues to reveal Himself to us each and every day. I had a good talk with a few folks at the archery range on Sunday. They said I was an encouragement just being there so even in the little things God gets the glory. 

This weekend my dad and I worked on a box to be able to put my hand cycle in on some of the up and coming events that will require me to fly. The weight limit for the box was 100 pounds. Dad and I did everything we could to keep the box within that requirement. Yesterday we took the complete box to Dad's work to have it weighed on the scale there...and it was 112 pounds. We were over! 

We went to the airport to see what they had to say about it. Well, they said we needed to lose the extra 12 pounds and then we would be good. They did give us a number to call to see if they would be able to make an exception just this once since Ashley will be leaving for New York soon, to compete in the Army Trials at West Point. We found out today that like the Air Force Trials this will be kind of a big deal. They are taking us into New York City for the Army's 239th Birthday and we will have the opportunity to visit Ground Zero. Words can't express the excitement my wife has and I am looking forward to it as well. That is all for now!

Thanks for everything,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Willa Says...

Willa says, "Don't forget to wear your Jeremiah for the Gold 
t-shirts tomorrow!!! And share, share, share!"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Exactly Where I Was

I remember exactly where I was when Jeremiah called to tell me he had been invited to compete in the Warrior Games and the Invictus Games. I was standing in my kitchen looking at a sink full of dirty dishes that should have been washed the day before but when I heard the word London they no longer existed.

It was a short conversation that mainly involved a lot of excited screaming on my end and my brother's even toned, matter of fact, sharing of the facts. Two important competitions in less than a month of each other.

For several days all I could think about was could I get there...was there enough time to save enough money? I vacillated between the thoughts, "I HAVE to go" and "It's ridiculous to think I could go". Besides, I had another trip partially paid for already that was around the same time and I couldn't get enough time off work to go to both. probably just took me a day and a half but eventually, I settled on I HAVE to go. So I cancelled the other trip and my brain started kicking into gear. At every turn and idea I knew the Lord was fueling my creativity.

Fundraisers, t-shirts, this blog. I wanted to help my brother tell his story; our family's story.

In all honesty the fundraiser part of it started out so I could go to London. Is that wrong? Sure, Jeremiah would be competing in Colorado Springs as well but I wanted to go to LONDON!

Turns out I didn't have to worry about how I was going to get over the pond because Jeremiah and Ashley had an extra, paid in full, ticket, which they offered me and I gleefully accepted! All of a sudden the pressure was off but I had already set this fundraising thing in motion so, apart from helping get some family to Colorado, what were we raising money for again?

Then Ashley filled me in on the fact that not all of Jeremiah's training and travel expenses would be covered.

So what started out as an admittedly, partially selfish endeavor has turned into us being able to write them a $300 check for a travel case for his archery gear. And I tell you what, last night when I told Ashley we would have a check for them today, a joy seeped into my chest that I almost didn't recognize.

So, I guess I just wanted to say thank you. You guys are the ones who made that possible.

There is a lot being said lately about Jeremiah and rightly so but this really is a celebration of Ashley as well. She would be the first one to say that the last 4 1/2 years have not been easy, but in the face of all the loss and all the tragedy she has loved my brother well. She stayed when a lesser woman would have left.

She won't be competing in these games. There won't be the potential for her to win a gold medal in London or Colorado Springs this September but as far as I am concerned her treasures are stacking up in Heaven.

So, Ashley, I guess I just wanted to publicly say thank you. Thank you for staying and loving my baby brother well.

I remember exactly where I was when I found out Jeremiah had his first MRI 4 1/2 years ago. I was on the traction table at my chiropractor's office in Columbus, Georgia checking Facebook.

I remember exactly where I was when Ashley called to tell me they were taking Jeremiah to the hospital. I was in my car driving to my Growth Group.

I remember exactly where I was a lot during that first year of Jeremiah's illness, so remembering exactly where I was during all the exciting times of this season is just another blessing of the Lord. Restoring sorrow with joy, tears with laughter, regrets with excitement.

That is what He's who He is.

My favorite thing about this season so far are all of the smiles I am seeing on my brother's face. Even in pictures he looks like a man with purpose.

God is a God of restoration, friends.

I think I had forgotten that in the last several years of my life. Not like forgotten like I didn't know it intellectually any more, but more like my heart had forgotten.

Let Jeremiah's story, our family's story, remind you of the things in your life that need restoring that maybe you have stopped believing God for. I know I have. It can be painful to look back on forgotten dreams and a little scary to begin to hope again.

And then I decided to spend some time looking up verses with the word hope in them. There are a lot of good ones but I landed in the book of Lamentations. Seriously, the whole third chapter resonates. I can't speak for Jeremiah and the rest of our family but it sure resonates with me.
20 I well remember them,
    and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Help Us Have the Mother of All Garage Sales!!!

Since we don't have enough to do before the games...HA!...we have decided to have an EPIC yard sale in Columbus, GA in an effort to help us raise a good portion of our need.

That is where you come in! If you are in the Columbus, GA or Franklin, TN area and have some things you would like to donate for the sale, please e-mail Jeremiah's sister, Kathryn at and we will coordinate a time and place for delivery or pick up.

The yard sale will be sometime in July so stay tuned for more details! We would love to see you and help you turn someone else's junk into your treasure!

Now, go clean out those closets!!!