Mentors III

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Job 1:21-22

In 2002 Craig DeMartino’s life changed dramatically. In a rock climbing accident he fell 100 feet and landed on the rocky talus feet first. 100 feet is the same height as a 10 story office building. He shattered both ankles, broke both legs, and had numerous compression fractures up and down his spine. He and his climbing partner were in the back country of Rocky Mountain National Park and he had to be air lifted out to the hospital. By the time he reached the hospital, doctors told his wife that he had just hours to live.

He survived the initial surgeries, however, and spent three months in a hospital and later a rehab facility where, with the help of the doctors and medical teams, as well as his wife and children – and most importantly his Lord Jesus Christ – he began to rebuild his life and body.

In 2004 Craig and his wife decided to have his right leg amputated below the knee in order to be able to return to climbing, and the quality of life he once enjoyed.

Planet-of-the-Apes-Wall-1.jpgNow, with 30 years of climbing experience under his belt – the last ten as an amputee – Craig has a new and exciting view of the world.

I count Craig as one of my mentors because he continues to teach me what it is to endure pain and hardship through faith in Jesus Christ. He also has taught me to never, ever give up!

I met Craig via an email exchange we had in 2003. Once Facebook came along, we have been able to talk quite a bit.

Unlike my mentor and friend Richard Souther, I was able to meet Craig and his wife Cyndy face-to-face in 2007. They came to speak at the church that I served in California.

I also climbed with both Craig and Cyndy on two occasions in California – in Joshua Tree National Park and at Malibu Creek State Park.

Craig endures pain every single day of his life. Yet he never gives up. He continues to push his body to get stronger and better at climbing.

Craig also shares his story with others. He speaks across the country throughout the year and is never shy about sharing how his faith in Jesus Christ got him through this horrific accident and the healing process that followed.

Craig is an inspiration to so many people. And he’s not done yet. As he says, his journey continues on!

By the way, Craig’s accomplishments inspire me as well:

-First Amputee to climb Yosemite Nation Park’s  El Capitan in under 24 hours.

-First amputee to climb the Nose of El Cap in under a day.

-Leader of the First All Disabled Ascent of El Cap.

-Two Time National Paraclimbing – Champion.

-Two Time Bronze Medal winner at the Paraclimbing World Championships.

If you would like to know more about Craig and his amazing journey, go to his website at

As Craig inspires me, so I will pass on this inspiration as best I can to others. I share Craig’s story with my family and friends. I use Craig’s example of never giving up in my devotions, preaching and other public speaking.

When my sons feel like giving up because they hurt after a grueling practice or they are frustrated after a tough class or something that happens in their lives, I encourage them and pray with them to never give up.

Craig is an inspiration to me and others, but the most amazing inspiration to all of us is Jesus Christ! He never gave up, even though he endured the pain of the cross.

Jesus never gave up because he loves us so much that he takes all our sin away and is preparing an eternal paradise for us. A paradise that will be pain-free, hassle-free, and eternal joy for all those who believe in Christ as Savior.

That’s also part of Craig’s story and he inspires me to tell the same story in my own way!

©2017 True Men Ministries


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