As a renowned athlete, Erica has competed in several different sports throughout her life. She has participated in more sports than many able-bodied people will do in their lifetime: high school varsity football, volleyball, basketball and softball. She became captivated by triathlons when she competed in her first one in 2005 while she was in Hawaii teaching high school PE and coaching basketball. Erica has competed in over a dozen triathlons, several relays, over thirty cycling races and numerous half and full marathons. In 2012, Erica won the Paratriathlon National Championship in Austin, TX. That same year she was a member of Team USA in the World Championships held in Auckland, New Zealand. Her determination and hard training have led her to achieve her goal in competing at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralymic Games, where paratriathlon will make its debut. Her all-time goal is to compete in the Hawaii Ironman one day.
One of her biggest achievements took place in 2010 when she made history by becoming the first woman in a wheelchair to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and the tallest free standing mountain in the world. Her journey to the summit was documented in the film “Through the Roof,” a project to benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“With the traveling that I have done and especially climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, I was always worried about what I was sitting on. Now I use the Stimulite® Contoured XS cushion and have never had to worry about my cushion popping at high elevations or any other damage, making Stimulite the most reliable cushion I have ever used. So when making my next travel plans, my cushion will be the least of my worries!”
Erica's life is about more than playing sports and training. It's about making a difference as an inspirational speaker and mentor in advocating for positive change, inspiring others to always shoot for the moon. As a national spokesperson and mentor for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Erica enjoys connecting with individuals of all ages who have found themselves facing what she did years ago. She says it's not about inspiring them with her story, but to be a guiding light of information necessary for making the transition in to their new life. In these situations Erica always emphasizes the unexpected blessings that can come from a life in a wheelchair: the great people, places and experiences that are waiting for them. Erica continues to look forward to whatever adventures come her way as she helps blaze the trail for others to follow. She says it always starts with “I Can.”