Can your entire life change in a day?

Can your entire life change in a day?

In February 2008, James Osborne, 37, and his good friend Lawrence “Fred” Frederickson, 55, set out to hike a specific section of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. As they pressed on toward Mount Lincoln, the weather started to change, and they were caught on an exposed ridge, woefully unprepared, with no sleeping bags, cellphones, matches, or materials to start a fire. Two men walked in, and only one came out. Osborne was rescued, and Frederickson died on that mountain. Ty Gagne wrote about their powerful story and rescue in his book “The Last Traverse: Tragedy and Resilience in the Winter Whites.”


I met James six years later, in 2016 on our ride from San Francisco to San Diego with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. He had lost his leg and several fingers and could ride a bike again thanks to a grant from CAF. He was NOT fast. Nevertheless, he was out there, and we formed a friendship. I agreed to join him the next Spring in NYC for the Gran Fondo New York.
The GFNY is a serious race. James and I lined up with thousands of other cyclists worldwide on the George Washington Bridge to tackle an 85-mile route that included over 6,000 feet of climbing. I learned that day that James couldn’t stand. Being able to stand is a BIG DEAL in cycling. Not only does your butt get a break, but there’s an opportunity to generate a different kind of short-term power when you stand. He couldn’t take advantage of that. Thousands of people passed us. We may have been one of the last finishers that day. Nevertheless, he persevered in his cycling and skiing athletic endeavors.
Last October, James and I had the opportunity to ride down the CA coast again. He had since hired a coach, received another grant, spent tens of thousands of hours training, and made some mechanical tweaks to his bike. He could now STAND. He was faster and stronger. He was mentoring other challenged athletes and “pedaling it forward.” But that wasn’t my favorite part. On Day 5, halfway from Santa Barbara to Malibu, we pulled off at a beach for our lunch stop. I ran out into the sand, stripping off my cycling jersey to jump into the waves. And James followed. Several of us held on to him as the waves crashed in, and he was able to keep his balance.Click here to watch 20 seconds of community, according to James…James is not a professional athlete. He doesn’t have the most expensive bike or the nicest ski equipment on the market. He’s an “everyman” who continues to demonstrate the power of RESILIENCE in his life after losing his leg and his friend that day in the White Mountains. I admire him and am proud to call him a friend.James is one of our incredible speakers at our upcoming “You Can Conquer It” Resilience Workshop.Please register and donate to join this incredible workshop!
“You Can Conquer It” Virtual Workshop

Saturday June 3, 2023

We all face challenges. What if you could learn to conquer them rather than just survive them? Join me on Saturday, June 3, for a VIRTUAL workshop featuring 14 Challenged Athletes as they share their stories and strategies of resilience.

Tickets start at $100, and 100% of your registration fee goes to Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Can’t make it? Sign up and receive the complete recording.
This one day could change YOUR life!


 I’m a two-time equipment grant, travel grant, and running clinic CAF athlete. My sports are alpine skiing and cycling. A common theme that runs through the “disabled” community— so many of us find physical and emotional recovery through sports and recreation. EVERY human deserves the chance to participate in a sport or activity. CAF makes sure participation (and competition) happen.
– James Osborne

Click here to start a conversation.