inMotion Magazine

Living Free 29 By Mary Beth Skylis INCLUSION USING SPORTS TO FACILITATE Denver attorney Emily Harvey slipped on her first prosthetic leg at the age of two. Born without a fibula, her entire life has been a mapwork of adaptation. But she never knew any different, and refused to slow down. Today, she keeps herself busy by training for Ironman competitions and organizing events for people who face limb loss or limb difference. One of her mediums is LIM359 (Living in Motion 359) , a nonprofit organization that she cofounded in 2013. LIM359 offers monthly events that range from potlucks to extreme sports, encouraging adaptive athletes and their loved ones to widen their horizons. Harvey’s Athletic Odyssey Harvey’s own journey with adaptive sports started in 2013 when she moved to Colorado. She walked a 7K race with a friend. But it didn’t take long to catch the running itch. The desire to race planted itself, waiting for the opportune moment to blossom. The following year, the Challenged Athletes Foundation partnered with LIM359 to offer a swim clinic. While always eager to cheer her peers on, Harvey was hesitant to jump into the pool. Swimming seemed like the last activity she wanted to try. But after taking a stroke of faith, she was astonished to find that she actually loved swimming. Whether it was the exploration of discomfort or swimming itself, she soon found herself signing up for her first half- triathlon. And then in 2018, she completed her first full Ironman event. The Iron Woman Ironman competitions test human potential by combining a 2.4- mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon (26.22 miles). An impressive feat of endurance for anyone, amputees face additional challenges like extra caloric output and difficulties with cooling off. But the Boulder Ironman had even more in store for Harvey. At mile 24, the gears on her bicycle stopped shifting. She was in motion but stuck in low, making the downhills seem too slow. The heat was unforgiving. And she began to taste the first feelings of resignation. But Harvey didn’t get this far just to throw in the towel. She refused to stop, pushing harder while listening to the cheers of her team as she passed. When she finally crossed the finish line, she was no longer a spectator of her own capacity. She was an Iron Woman. Building Confidence and Promoting Inclusion Harvey’s relationship with athletics continues to facilitate empowerment. And it’s the type of empowerment that she believes is best shared. When asked how her