adaptive athlete

145 : Embracing Your New Normal w/ Dr. Theresa Larson, DPT

Theresa Larson Cover.jpg

Dr. Theresa Larson is the president of Movement RX, host of the “My New Normal” podcast, author of the book “Warrior: True Strength isn’t always what it looks like,” former Marine Corps Engineer Officer and combat veteran, physical therapist, Mobility WOD Speaker and a former All- American division-one softball player. By chance, I came across Dr. Larson’s LinkedIn post (below) and I felt an immediate connection to her mission because it seemed like we were both speaking the same language. After having the opportunity to speak with her on the podcast, it turns out we really are speaking the same language!

Below you will find a list of talking points we touch on throughout our conversation:

“My identity was so wrapped up in my performance in those two areas [Softball & The Marines] I felt lost.”

  • What it was like for Theresa to participate in ROTC and Division 1 Softball while attending Villanova.

  • How the Marines became her new sport with higher stakes after softball.

  • Why the transition from the Marines to civilian life was really tough.

  • The process of losing the love for softball while playing professionally in Italy and shifting her passion to physical therapy.

  • Theresa’s unique approach to physical therapy.

  • How Theresa was able to overcome disordered eating that stemmed from stress.

  • Why a warrior is someone who takes ownership of their health.

“We can be self-bullies and rationalize our life away.”

Cold pic.JPG
  • Are you a bully to yourself?

  • Ways to take inventory on how you are talking to yourself.

  • How to use fear as fuel.

“Mental Fitness is more important to me than the physical.”

  • Discussion on the Book “Warrior.”

  • Work with adaptive athletes including Kionte Storey from episode 13.

  • Focusing on what works and not the problems.

  • Movement RX – Mobility WOD

  • How to gauge if you are overtaxing your nervous system.

Dr. Larson and her busband.

Dr. Larson and her busband.

“We need to train our minds through physical actions.”

  • My New Normal podcast and why everyone can relate to it.

    • Focus on mental health in the podcast and how guest overcome these.

  • Who are you when you strip away your work our your craft?

  • Why your goals have to match up with reality and why your life and mindset need to support those goals.

Warrior: A Memoir
By Theresa Larson, Alan Eisenstock


WEBSITE | TWITTER | Instagram | Linkedin

Download Episode 145 : iTunes | Stitcher 

110 : Getting Back On The Horse w/ Pro Barrel Racer, Amberley Snyder

amberley cover.jpg

Amberley Snyder is a motivational speaker and the first and only barrel racer in the US that is paralyzed.  On January 10th, 2010 Amberley was on her way to the Denver Stock Show and Rodeo. As she was passing through Sinclair, WY she took a look down at her map. After only seconds she looked up and realized she had faded into the other lane, headed towards a metal beam. In an effort to get back in her lane, Amberley overcorrected. Her truck slid off the road and rolled and she was ejected from the vehicle. She was slammed into a fence post that broke her back and immediately she lost feeling in her legs. In episode 110 we dive deep into Amberley's journey back in the saddle and how she made it back to professional barrel racing.

Below are other topics of discussion we touch on in this interview:

  • The ultimatum Amberley gave her dad when they moved to Utah that lead to her barrel racing career.

  • Background on the sport of rodeo.

    • Events

    • Rules

    • Animal rights

    • etc.


  • Gender disparities in the sport of rodeo and why women only compete in barrel racing.

  • Events leading up to Amberley's car accident and her road to recovery.

  • How Amberley was able to get back on a horse in only 4 months after her accident.

  • The trial and error process Amberley went through that evolved her riding equipment (pictured below).

  • The role legs play in riding a horse.

"All of a sudden my happy place was not even comfortable anymore."

  • Why Amberley went 9 months without riding after initially getting back on the horse.

  • How Amberley addresses thoughts of what her rodeo career could have been like with use of her legs.

  • What it took to get her to a collegiate career and professional career.

  • Why rodeo is actually a team sport.

  • The culture of toughness in rodeo and the prize structure that encourages cowboys and cowgirls to sacrifice their health.

  • Amberley's most recent injury of a broken femur (x-ray below).


  • Health & safety precautions in the sport of rodeo for both cowboys and the animals

  • Amberley's story of riding through a fractured neck injury when she was 17

  • Sports medicine and recovery for the horses and it's transferability to human performance.

  • Lessons learned from her father who played major league baseball.

"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard"

  • Advice to athletes who suffer life altering injuries.

Where can you buy Amberley's newly released children's book?



Download Episode 110 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

103 : Changing The Landscape of Adaptive Sports w/ Pro Basketball Player, Ryan Martin

103 cover .jpg

Ryan Martin is a professional basketball player, President of the Ryan Martin Foundation, motivational speaker and a coach.  Ryan was born with Spina Bifida and, at the age of two, had both of his legs amputated to prevent complications with infection. 

Basketball transformed Ryan's world from "wheelchair bound" to bound for college, bound for professional basketball, and bound for traveling overseas. In 2007, Ryan joined the professional basketball league in Europe, completing 10 seasons in both Spain and France. This season Ryan is playing for the New York Rolling Knicks of the NWBA.

Before Ryan went pro, he attended college at Southwest Minnesota State University and led SMSU to the NWBA National Title Game in 2001. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Sociology. After graduation, Ryan joined the Phoenix Wheelchair Suns and played in the 2005 NWBA All-Star games.

Along with establishing his foundation, Ryan is a consultant for the NCAA on their Inclusive Sports Model. A large portion of our conversation in episode 103 was dedicated to learning about the tremendous work Ryan is doing with the NCAA to improve adaptive sports opportunities in college athletics. 

Below are some additional topics covered in episode 103:

  • Explanation of spina bifada

  • Ryan's upbringing and what is was like for him to be adopted into a family with other children with special needs.

  • Ryan's work with veterans, teaching them to play basketball and their transition process.

    • "Its not about how you got there, its about how you deal with your situation"

  • Why Ryan feels his disability has opened more doors than have been closed for him.

  • The importance of reaching your maximum potential and seizing the opportunities that come your way.

  • The role of effort in overcoming obstacles.

  • Rules and regulations of wheelchair basketball.

  • Why height is still unbeatable in wheelchair basketball.

  • The unique challenges presented to the athletes who play wheelchair basketball.

  • How sports helped Ryan build confidence and fit in and how he is trying to pay it forward today.

  • Ryan's message about bullying.

  • Why how you carry yourself is how you are perceived.

  • Current projects Ryan is working on through the Ryan Martin Foundation.

    • Creating adaptive sports programs throughout the NCAA as a means of creating diverse environments.

  • Adaptive sports program starting up at the University of Connecticut.

  • The potential societal impact of adaptive sports.

  • Staying healthy in the sport of wheelchair basketball and maximising longevity.





Download Episode 103 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud