Bryan Noonan is a relatively new fixture in the High Five Athlete scene but in the short time he has been around he has made huge impressions. The High Fives staff sees Bryan regularly, as he comes into the office to workout. He shows up with a big smile and an incredibly friendly demeanor. He always makes sure to say Hi and have a conversation with everyone. Once he is done saying hello his demeanor changes. We see his head go down and he goes to work. He works out hard and with purpose. It certainly inspires all of us.
The same work ethic that Bryan brings to his workouts at the office is the same ethic that made him so successful in his recovery.
Bryan was a great snowboarder and spent his winters looking for powder stashes. On February 28th, 2019 – It was looking like a dream day. He had a great crew of buddies and a ton of fresh snow to shred at Northstar California. It was on. On one of the first runs of the day he went to do a fun ollie off of a wind lip expecting to land on some soft untouched snow on the other side. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. He ended up falling about 15 feet and landing on his tailbone on a hard-packed cat track. Immediately he knew something was wrong as the shock ran up his body. He had broken his L1 Vertebrae causing spinal cord damage.
He was rushed to Renown hospital where he learned the extent of his injuries. It was bad. He was going to be okay, but he had done substantial damage to his spinal cord and would need to use a wheelchair.
The following months would prove to be the toughest in Bryans’s life. It seemed as though he had the perfect life happening, He had married the girl of his dreams just 2 weeks earlier. Life was supposed to be perfect, but a spinal cord injury showed up and changed his life forever.
With his wife by this side he spent a few days at Renown hospital before he was flown to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado to begin his rehabilitation. He poured tireless hours into his Physical therapy workouts. Regaining a lot of independence. The staff at Craig gave him the tools and support to find his independence again, he just had to put in the work.
After 2 months at Craig hospital he was ready to come back home to Tahoe.
Roy Tuscany, founder of High Fives, had gone and met Bryan while he was at Craig and told him that when he was ready – High Fives would be there to support him. Roy kept his word to Bryan and when he returned to Tahoe, High Fives asked Bryan how we could help him.
Bryan wanted to return to the mountains. He wanted to feel the wind on his face and freedom that came with skiing. He wanted to leave the confines of his wheelchair behind. With the approval of Bryans doctor and some help from High Fives, Bryan made this happen. He skied. It had been less than a year since he had a life-changing injury but he was on the hill, making turns.
Everyone on the hill that day was incredibly impressed with Bryan. Sit skiing is extremely hard and Bryan immediately picked it up. Like it was nothing for him. He was able to make turns and ski in control on challenging terrain within the first few runs.
his skiing was impressive but what really left everyone blown away was his attitude. He is very polite and kind to everyone, but just like his workout at High Fives office, when it came time to ski he put his head down and pushed hard.
With the goal of skiing again conquered, we asked Bryan “what do you want to do next”? He mentioned that he had always been a big car guy.
In July of this year, High Fives had just the camp for him. Our Return To Dirt Rzr Camp was the perfect place for Bryan to get behind the wheel of some High powered fast vehicles. The camp offers Athletes the chance to spend a few days in the woods of Tahoe, surrounded by lakes and mountains and hundreds of miles of offroad trails to drive Side by Side vehicles on.
We have always known Bryan as a guy with a big smile but when we told him about the Return to Dirt camp, he released the biggest smile we’d ever seen.
Bryan spent as much time as he could behind the wheel at the camp. Drifting across any corner he could, it was very evident to everyone that he was a great driver.
While taking a short break for lunch Bryan noticed a Suzuki Sidekick overoad vehicle on the property. Immediately is interest was piqued. He wheeled over and saw that it was his favorite type of vehicle and a type he hadn’t been able to drive since his accident, a manual.
With the approval and encouragement of the owner of the vehicle and some Duct tape Bryan hopped in the vehicle and off he went. He had completed another goal and done something he was unsure if he would ever do again.
High Fives is so happy and proud to be able to support Bryan through his recovery, we are constantly impressed by his athleticism, humor, and just humble positive attitude. Keep being you Bryan and High Fives will always be there for you.