Tell us more about yourself and how you are “On The RISE”
My name is Jamie Brown, and I am an American Triathlete who was born with Fibular Hemimilia. (Fibular Hemimelia (FH) is a birth defect where part or all of the fibular bone is missing, as well as associated limb length discrepancy, foot deformities, and knee deformities. Fibular Hemimelia (FH) is a very rare disorder, occurring in only 1 in 40,000 births.)
I have been training for the Paralympics Triathlon. I became an amputee when I was 11 months old and learned that I am diabetic when I was 20 years old. Despite these inherent challenges, I continued to pursue athletics and am a model of adaptation, enthusiasm, talent, and charisma. I am a competitive athlete who paradoxically seeks to include and play with those less gifted. I am driven to support a world of healthier decisions and happier people and through my life experiences, understand that it’s not about what happens to us, it’s about how we choose to respond.
Tell us a bit about how you know RISE, how you integrate RISE into your life, what you’d recommend to friends about it!
I am fortunate to be a sponsored athlete by RISE Brewing Co. RISE has chosen to support me in my endeavor to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games...which at this time will be in 2021. It is a bummer to have the games postponed but I am looking on the bright side that we as a community are working together for the health and wellness of the world. That is the point of the Olympics, to bring all the nations together. By postponing the games, we are working as a unified group.
How did you end up doing what you do?
I chose sports as my outlet to connect with my peers. Never wanting to be looked at or treated differently I always wanted to play the sports all my friends played: baseball, basketball, soccer, and football. As I continued through my youth I started to notice I excelled at baseball and ended up pitching in high school and eventually College pitching at Orange Coast College and Chapman University.
Once my college career was over, I still felt the need to be connected in sports. I ended up teaching and coaching at my old high school under my old mentor and coach. I spent 7 years as a “retired athlete” but trying to share as much of my knowledge on baseball and life to 15-19 year olds. As a coaching staff we had great team success over those years. After my 7th year of coaching I began working as a personal trainer with a wide variety of individuals. I noticed I had the ability through my diverse life experiences to connect with so many different types of people. As well as help them find joy in something that they previously viewed as intimidating or a chore. During this time I was introduced to an amazing organization Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).
CAF grants athletic equipment to amputee’s, and any other disabled athlete. My introduction to CAF coincided with the entrance of the sport of Triathlon in the Paralympics. I immediately fell in love with the challenge of having to master 3 sports.
Upon being introduced to the sport in the fall I committed myself to training with a goal of racing national championships the following summer. In my 2nd race I went to NYC to race the NYC triathlon. I immediately found myself in the lead out of the water and biked as hard as I could just waiting for someone to pass me. As I came off the bike and still hadn't been passed I started my run across NYC into central park. As the miles ticked off still no one had passed me.. At mile 6 of the 10k there was one turn where I could see behind me. It was the only time I looked back and figured I would see 2-3 guys on my shoulder waiting to out run me and to my surprise still no one was there. At that point I knew I was going to win and literally couldn’t contain myself. I was once again an ATHLETE.
The following year I started racing competitively and have been competing internationally for Team USA ever since. I have 11 Podium finishes in ITU world series races and 6 wins and ultimately have a goal of representing the USA and winning a medal in the next summer Olympics.