It hasn’t even been a year since the creation of SXSBlog.com. What was started simply to spread some inside information on new product releases has quickly turned into more than we expected, and one of the best things to come of it has been the people we’ve been put in touch with. A number of you have contacted us to chat about various side-by-side related topics, and a couple have even shared some very cool personal stories.
This gave us the idea to do a featured fan piece to share some of these stories with the rest of the SXSBlog.com community. So as the subject of our inaugural SXSBlog.com Featured Fan article, we’d like to introduce you to Chris Fischer.
Chris is 34 years old and lives in Weatherford, Oklahoma. His current ride is a 2016 Yamaha YXZ SE, which is his first sport SxS. Like many of us, Chris is coming from the sport ATV world, but got hooked on side-by-sides when his brother bought a 2014 XP1K. He does still keep a Yamaha Raptor in the stable as well though. He shares his off-road passion with his friends and family, and they all enjoy trail riding as well as duning together. One of Chris’ favorite riding spots is Little Sahara.
Sounds like a pretty normal guy right? Change a few details around and that description would fit many of us. There is one interesting thing I didn’t mention though. Chris is blind. Yep…blind. He had 20/20 vision until he was 14 years old, when a skating accident caused him to wake up on the morning of his birthday unable to see. Surgery proved to be unsuccessful, leaving Chris with no sight in his right eye and 20/400 vision in his left. For those unfamiliar with the vision rating system, this means that what a person with normal vision could see from 400 feet away, Chris would need to be only 20 feet away to make out. That’s if he could see 20 feet, but since his eyes won’t focus either he’s limited to a range of about 15.
Chris has lived without his vision for 20 years now, and has learned how to keep that impairment from slowing him down. He rides at least once a week, and has no plans of stopping any time soon. Besides basic safety equipment like a helmet and harnesses, the only adjustment he makes to be able to drive is cautiously learning his terrain and machine prior to ramping up the speed; something we all should be doing anyways. He does all of his own maintenance and upgrades as well. So far the YXZ has only gotten 4-point harnesses, but a windshield, light bar, Rekluse clutch, and exhaust system are all in the plan.
What is even more impressive than his ability to participate in off-roading without the vision that most of us enjoy, is his attitude toward life. This guy is pure positivity, and with every conversation we are more and more impressed. One of his goals is to organize an event for people with interest in the sport that also have physical obstacles like he does. If you fit that bill and have interest in participating in such an event, shoot us a message at SXSBlog.com and we’ll be happy to put you in touch.
Chris refuses to let his disability bring him down or stop him from enjoying anything in life that he loves. He knows that even though he’s been thrown some curve balls, that leading a life that enables us to enjoy hobbies like this is truly a privilege. We could all take a lesson at times. So the next time you blow a belt on your Maverick or break an axle in your RZR, just friggin relax. Let’s step back and realize how lucky we all are. Thanks for the reminder Chris.
Leave us feedback on this article, and let us know if you’d like to see more in the comments section below, or on our Facebook Page.