To Keep Balance, You Must Keep Moving
“Life is like a bicycle: to keep your balance, you must keep moving”, is a quote of Albert Einstein that is held in high regard for most cyclists. It is also very appropriate for Uriah Steffen, who could have abandoned his passion for cycling after his amputation, but ultimately decided to get back on the bike.
Early in the morning on October 15, 2012, only 3 months after marrying his wife, Angela, Uriah was riding his bike in Plainfield, Indiana on his way to work, having just left home.
“I remember stopping on the bridge just outside of our driveway, contemplating whether I should turn around or not because it was cold”, Uriah recalled. “But, I pressed on. The accident occurred on Moon Road, just north of the intersection of Moon Road and 600-South. I was north bound when a small pickup truck, south bound, went to pass another vehicle and hit me head on. The accident de-gloved and broke both bones in my lower left leg”.
Uriah was taken by ambulance to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where, at the age of 26, had his left leg amputated below the knee. “I remember going in and out of consciousness the first few days after the accident”, said Uriah. “They kept me pretty well medicated. When I finally came back around, my physician and I had a conversation where he informed me about the morning I was brought in. We talked about me losing my leg and he made sure that I understood that there was no way to save it. I’ve never had any issues, anger, or fears with the amputation. I trust that God has a plan for me and will take care of me. This is just a minor set back. It will not slow me down. I can still do anything and everything I was doing before the amputation”.
Uriah joined the SRT family shortly afterwards when his cousin’s wife, a physical therapist, recommended that he attend the Amputee Walking School. “At that time I was looking at another prosthetic company”, said Uriah. “But after my initial meeting with John Arnold, SRT Prosthetist, I decided to discontinue my search. The rest is history. The entire team at SRT has gone above and beyond all of my expectations. Any time I have a question or possible issue, they are quick to respond to whatever I may need. They have taken the time to get to know me personally and what my interests, dreams and desires are. They know what I hope to accomplish both as an amputee and in life”.
When asked what Uriah thought about attending the Amputee Walking School, he cheerfully responded, “Dennis and Todd are crazy! But I love them. They know what they are talking about and have plenty of experience to back it up. They may joke around a lot, but when they start to talk about exercises and therapy, you better pay attention! I have learned so much from them and I am honored to have met and know the both of them!”
Needless to say, Uriah continues to cycle whenever he can, and is another shining example of an SRT Hero who refuses to let life’s hurdles stand in his way.
“I started cycling four years ago more as a mode of transportation”, said Uriah. “But a love for cycling quickly grew and now is so much more than transportation. For me, cycling is freedom. I love being out on the road, with only my strength to push me and keep me moving; pushing myself to go faster and get stronger. It is a great way to get some cardio exercise that is easy on my knees, hips, and lower back. It is also a good stress reliever. Not that I have much stress, but exercise is good for the body and mind. I really enjoy riding wherever and whenever I can. Typically, I stick to paved roads, bike paths, or some local trails. My favorite organized ride so far has been the Apple Cider Century, a ride located in the southwestern part of Michigan, near Three Oaks. I would love to ride competitively on a team with other amputees. My goal is to one day ride on the U.S. Paralympic team”.
The SRT family has been inspired by the resiliency of Uriah, and hopes that his determination and fortitude can be an inspiration to you. “I want to inspire others and show them that even though we may be physically altered, we are not dead”, said Uriah. “I have a love and passion for Christ; we have a purpose and a life to live! I will continue to push myself and to motivate others along the way!”