Family

He survived a 10,000-mile journey to places his wheelchair often couldn't go.

They biked for a year to show that exercise can be for all, even when you're disabled.

He survived a 10,000-mile journey to places his wheelchair often couldn't go.

Paralympian Seth McBride was always athletic.

As a kid growing up in Alaska, he enjoyed the intensity of mountain biking and hiking. So he was devastated after a skiing accident at 17 left him paralyzed.

In "The Long Road South," a short film that Seth and his fiancée, Kelly Schwan, produced, he admitted, “I had a hard couple of years after my accident, just trying to come to grips with living in a new body basically. And a body that doesn't behave as I thought it should."


All images via "The Long Road South."

After living with quadriplegia for 14 years, Seth now says that he's figured out how to do a lot of the things that he loves.

After helping the U.S. wheelchair rugby team take home the gold during the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he set another goal: to become the first disabled athlete to finish a trans-continental cycle tour — which is a really big deal.

“We're going to be riding hand cycles and bicycles from Portland, Oregon, to Patagonia, Argentina. A trip of 10,000 miles that's going to take us about a year," Seth explained in the short film, which documents him and Kelly before they started the tour.

Strapping only the essentials to their bikes, the well-traveled couple was hyped about their trip and totally unfazed by what other folks may see as a big 'ole obstacle.

While they planned to cycle through gorgeous places, a lot of them aren't wheelchair-friendly.

Kelly, an occupational therapist who met Seth while volunteering during the 2008 games, talked about why pushing beyond these challenges is so important.

“I'm such a firm believer in equality. Erasing barriers for people with disabilities. We kind of live in a picture-perfect world sometimes in the U.S., especially in Portland, where everyone is pretty well accepted, no matter what you got going on. To go through all of these different countries, through all of these different cultures, to have a better understanding of how people get by, without all of the resources we have in the States, it's all things that will help us grow."

Since the filming of "The Long Road South," Kelly and Seth successfully completed the transcontinental trip.

And when it came to some of those difficult places that were hard for Seth to navigate, Kelly sometimes picked him up and carried him through. Seth says that she's one of the strongest people he knows. She says he's got all the street smarts.

Despite both of their imperfections, together they make an unstoppable team.

And that's what their trip was all about — showing people that no matter what challenges exists, Seth says, “if you want to do something, you should be able to just make a plan and go try and do it."

True dat.

You can watch "The Long Road South" here:

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