Adventure, Insight, and Humor.
… a monthly blog featuring RUSH® Rebel Mark Ferrell (aka Marky5Toes) and his dog, Nacho
Getting to know Mark Ferrell…
When first meeting Mark, you may find him a bit of a timid or even a shy fellow; don’t be fooled. His quiet, calm demeanor is not all it seems. Beneath the surface lays a man of deep thought, uproarious humor, self-sacrificing kindness, and an unrelenting passion for all things active. A transtibial amputee for 25 years and champion of his prosthetic leg, nothing holds him back (expect maybe the old carbon fiber feet prosthetic feet he’d broken before discovering fiberglass).
As we aim to bring you a monthly blog on a variety of topics relating to amputee life, we’ll be sharing Mark’s stories and insights as he and his sidekick, Nacho tackle the world head-on. Whether he’s training for a 5k, or simply taking his four-legged sidekick for a walk, follow Mark and Nacho while the dynamic duo paints a vivid picture of the life of a true superhero.
Mark Ferrell is a Team RUSH® Customer Service Representative by trade however it doesn’t stop at the day job. Not your average below-knee amputee, Mark has a true passion for adaptive sports. Hiking, mountain biking, BMX biking, skateboarding, longboarding, running, mud-runs, obstacle courses, there is nothing Mark won’t push himself to do; he’d even stand in front of a train for you (pun intended).
“I drifted in that gray predawn haze that often visits after a long cool night. Such comfort, such amazing tranquility except for that annoying voice calling my name. ‘Mark’ … I just wanted to float there, wrapped up in sheer joy. ‘Mark’ … sigh … who was that? Why wouldn’t she just shush? ‘Mark!’… ok, apparently there was no ignoring her. I began to stir, searching for the source of my tormenter. ‘Mark!’ … … ‘WHAT!?!’ I blurted out in frustration.
Then, silence hung thickly in the air. After what seemed like an eternity or was it only an instant, her disembodied voice returned. ‘Mark, do you know where you are?’ I thought for a moment. Then a sudden realization swept through me. I really didn’t know where I was! My voice sounded again, this time softly. ‘No’. Before the significance of that could sink in, her voice again; it had changed. All at once, I no longer found it frustrating and annoying, pulling me from the amazing place I had been. It now seemed to be guiding me back to where I belonged, to where I was supposed to be. I decided to follow.
‘Mark, do you remember what happened?” I began to sense that something wasn’t right as I searched my mind for the memories that would allow me to answer her. They weren’t there. ‘No’, my voice was but a whisper this time. A sense of dread stirred somewhere deep inside me as I realized I couldn’t see the source of the voice, even though she seemed mere feet away. ‘You’ve been involved in an accident with a train.’ My mind reeled. Thoughts, maybe memories, began to churn. It started coming back to me. ‘I’ll be right back, I’m going to get your doctor.’ Those were the last words I heard before doing the single coolest thing I have ever been blessed with the opportunity to do.
In a rush, it all came back to me. Well, the Cliff’s Notes version, at least. I knew what had happened and if years of watching television medical dramas had not failed me, I knew what my doctor’s first words to me would almost certainly be. I knew, also, that I would never have this opportunity again. I simply could not let it pass. I didn’t have to wait long as a rush of people, I could hear and sense more than see, swarmed into my surgical intensive care room. The flurry of movement settled and I felt the bed shift as someone approached and leaned over me. A new voice, this one male, sounded. ‘Mark?’ … this was it, my heart raced as I waited for what would surely come next. ‘Mark, how do you feel?’ Without missing a beat, I took a long deep, deliberate breath. Then, as I dramatically lifted my left hand (the only part of my body I could move) and let it trace over my now mostly bald scalp, scuffing across the pin cushion of surgical staples that was my head, I let out a long exasperated sigh. ‘Ahhh, doc, I feel like I’ve been hit by a train.’ Total silence fell across the room. Seconds passed. Then, some distance away, someone stifled a chuckle. A snort and a giggle followed next and I swear, even though I couldn’t see him, I somehow ‘felt’ my doc smile as I dropped my hand back to my side and asked: ‘So, how bad is it?’
Thus began my new life and all the adventures it would entail. I had no idea just how amazing of a journey it would be. Fast forward years later and here I am with my best friend beside me and my RUSH foot under me. Together we are a team. Together we will take on the world. Come follow along. Share my story and be a part of The Adventures of Marky5toes and his Sidekick, Nacho, a new monthly RUSH® Foot blog. “
Be sure to watch Mark’s INTRODUCTION VIDEO video for an amazing story you don’t want to miss. Visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/RUSHFoot. Be sure to LIKE our page and visit regularly for upcoming blog posts, informative videos, and to meet and chat with all your favorite RUSH® Rebels, ReBELLES and Rascals.