Learning to walk again, experiencing the sensation of running his first sprints as an amputee, and competing in triathlons are moments Chris Madison cherishes.
Chris Madison regularly competes in long-distance triathlons, serves as a volunteer police officer, and spends free time motivating others to achieve their goals. Chris is one of those rare individuals that does not believe in limitations. Having his leg amputated when he was 10-years old has never slowed down his pursuit of physical and personal goals, in fact it seems to have spurred him to continually set his expectations higher.
After being a patient of Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics for more than 20 years, Chris considers himself part of the Horton’s family and the feeling is mutual.
“I feel welcomed and valued as part of their family,” Madison says. “It is a comfort level that is genuine.”
Chris had been to other prosthetic providers before he came to Horton’s, but did not feel the same bond and connection he has developed with our family-owned orthotics and prosthetics lab.
Want to learn more about Chris? Read his answers to our questions below.
What prosthetic devices do you use?
I use a Fillauer All Sport Foot with carbon socket. I also have a running blade, biking leg, social biking leg with foot, and a mountain bike/rough terrain leg with articulating ankle. I am needy when it comes to leg options, as I have many active interests.
What was the most difficult and most rewarding part of learning to use your prosthetic device(s)?
Sometimes, when hairs get ingrown, it hurts like crazy and reminds you that you are not as whole as you once were and that is frustrating. However, the most rewarding part of being an amputee was learning to walk again. I have the distinct pleasure of remembering my Second First Step because of my amputation. Many people do not remember their first step because they are so young, but because of my amputation, I have the distinct pleasure and memory of walking again, however shaky and painful those first steps were.
What activities, interests, or hobbies do you enjoy?
My activities include being a volunteer police officer with my local sheriff’s office, and I run, bike, and swim as part of long-distance triathlons. In fact, on August 7, 2016, I just completed the Ironman Boulder, with its 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile biking, and 26.2-mile run with a completion time of 16 hours and 30 minutes. Not my fastest performance, but a successful day nonetheless. I also regularly mountain bike with my wife and run my dog through agility courses.
Do you have a favorite memory from any of these activities?
Actually my favorite memory is more nostalgic than anything: I was training to run my first marathon in August of 2013, and I was in Denver, Colorado. I had completed a three mile easy run and decided to do street block sprints. That is where you run as fast as you can for one block, walk the next block, and repeat until you reach your destination. I was sprinting, running as fast as my body would go, head up, arms swinging, smiling from ear to ear, because this was the FIRST time since my amputation at 10 years old, some 28 years previously, that I was able to run as fast as my body would go. Thus, I remember my Second First ALL Out Run. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life and the meaning it has to me is beyond words or measure.
What is one piece of advice you would give new amputees?
Persistence is my one piece of advice. Shop prosthetic firms, find one that supports your goals and ambitions and will answer all your questions. There is more than one foot and more than one type of fit. Get the products and fit that meet your needs, not just the financial needs of insurance and the firm.
What are your life goals? How is Horton’s helping you achieve those goals?
Life goals are to live life to its fullest, each step taking me closer to newer and more exciting goals. This year was Ironman Boulder, next year is Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon, and the following year, hopefully, Enduroman, a London to Paris triathlon. Those are my physical achievement goals. My personal goals are to become a better speaker and to motivate those that only think they can’t, and to achieve for those who truly can’t.
Horton’s helps me achieve each of these through their relentless efforts at providing me access to best technology, answering my questions or finding answers to my questions, and trying different approaches to give me the tools necessary to have a full and complete life without limits.
For more information about prosthetic options for amputees, contact Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics at 501-683-8889.