Erica Davis has been an athlete for as long as she can remember. From the time she sprinted down the street climbing up onto a car to get away from a dog or the time Erica ran across the finish line with her mother hand in hand - she was just three years old! Since then Erica has played competitive fast-pitch softball, high school varsity football, volleyball, basketball, and softball. Being in the middle of two athletic brothers also helped with her competitiveness. Erica also got into triathlons while teaching high school P.E., Health, and coaching basketball in Hawaii where she got the "bug" of wanting to do the Hawaii Ironman someday.
On December 27, 2005 Erica had a microscopic bleed in her spinal cord called a Cavernous Hemangioma which left her paralyzed from the chest down. 24 days in the hospital made Erica wonder if she would ever play sports again. If you asked anyone who knew her, sports were her life. A few months after returning home, Erica tried a friend's handcycle and her parents saw the first REAL smile on her face since being home from the hospital. Getting back into physical activities was becoming a reality for Erica.
It has been almost four years since Erica's injury and she has participated in more sports than many able-bodied people will do in their lives. She has competed in seven triathlons, over 10 cycling races, and a few half and full marathons - in which she has won most of them. She has trained at two of the USA Olympic Training Centers and hopes to officially be on the USA Paralympic team in 2012. And remember her goal of doing the Hawaii Ironman? Well, she STILL has that goal! Just because she uses a wheelchair for transportation does not mean she can't do it. In fact, Erica does not like the word "can't".
Erica's life is not just sports and training. She currently gives motivational speeches to schools, businesses, clubs, and churches. She enjoys mentoring newly injured people, sharing with them that this is just a new chapter in their life. With these new challenges, they actually will be given more opportunities, meet great people, and learn more about themselves than they ever knew before. Erica says she would actually choose being in the chair, for the time being, than living as if her injury had not happened.
Erica is SOOOO excited about the climb, the adventure, and the journey that lies ahead for the team. She is also excited to be giving back to the Challenged Athletes Foundation, who has given so much to her.