- Category : 1957-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (27,30,37,52)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Confrontation 2
Australian-American sportswoman who excels in skiing, scuba diving, rock climbing and cycling. A sterling example of courage and grace under fire, she teaches disabled people all over the world to ski. Pretty, bright and cheery, Amanda has been paralyzed from the hips down since she was 34 yrs old.
At six weeks old, she moved with her family to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Her parents, both grade teachers, separated when she was ten; she moved with her mother and sister back to Brisbane. Her father committed suicide on 2/25/1980. Amanda was an excellent student (Elected Prefect), dancer (ballet from the age of five – on to aerobic and jazz dancing) and athlete (Athletics Captain). She graduated college in 1987 and, following in her parents’ footsteps, went on to become an educator.
In 1988 she met a handsome American schoolteacher fourteen years her senior. He returned to the States;
their relationship grew with correspondence. Amanda flew to Aspen, Colorado in early December of 1988 to visit him, and skied for the first time in her life. She decided to stay in the Rockies. The two lived together for three years; Amanda wanted a committed relationship, the man didn’t. She finally decided to call it quits and head for home. On 8/16/1991, in the Aspen airport, he proposed to her. They rushed into town and were married by a justice of the peace. By the next day, the man had developed "cold feet"; he didn’t want to be married. Amanda went home to Australia, but soon returned. "The seasons were now in (her) blood."
On 2/27/1992, Amanda headed up Snowmass Mountain to ski. She knew she was moving towards something cataclysmic, but couldn’t stop herself. Coming down, she hesitated at the Spyder Sabitch cabin at 12:30 PM, took what she felt was a last look at the slope, and continued down. In a distance of about ten feet, the tips of her skis crossed, she did a somersault and felt electric currents shoot through her legs. Her back was broken.
She spent about four months in hospitals. Living with the hope that she would walk again, and willing accept nothing less, Amanda tried a myriad of curative techniques, including leg braces, acupuncture, massage, diet, naturopathic supplements, and prayer. 5/12/1994 was a spiritually pivotal day for her; she underwent a healing Indian ceremony in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a Shaman.
She met Houston Cowan (DOB 9/16/1951) in the winter of 1993/1994. The two shared a dream of creating a year round program for people with disabilities. They obtained their official non-profit status on 12/16/1995, and Challenge Aspen was born. Since that time, Amanda has traveled the globe (most recently to Chile 8/25-9/04/02) with her wheelchair, introducing skiing for the disabled. She works with celebrities like Jimmy Carter, Michael York, Amy Grant and Vince Gill.
Some important dates in Amanda’s life are: 2/16/1995, when she skied down the slope she had her accident on… in a monoski. She says, "This was a powerful moment conquering the run and boasting that I "loved" skiing and the freedom it gave me." On her thirtieth birthday, 12/15/1997, she made a list of things she wanted in her life and realized that walking didn’t make the list. She knew she had accepted her reality. On 9/12/1996, in Christchurch, New Zealand, she met, by total coincidence, two people: the Dali Lama at 5:45 PM and the first ski patroller who had assisted her at her accident site. On 2/02/2002, she skied the Olympic Torch down Buttermilk Mountain, making graceful grand slalom turns to the cheers of 400 onlookers.
Amanda affirms, "Live your life to your full potential; walk your talk (or roll it); have vision; embrace change – conflicts can become opportunities; allow for forgiveness, empathy and compassion; honor your emotions – emotions are intelligent; be fully present – in the moment; make choices; find happiness in being still; discover your inner beauty; love and respect your family - including those not tied by blood; give of yourself to others without expecting anything in return – in giving we receive; love is at the core of everything."