“Always remember, every day is a gift from God”

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James D. Phillips

Brief, Biographical Sketch -

On July 8, 1985, in Huntsville Arkansas, a baby was born, weighing just four-pounds. Hwas struggling from birth complications and was not expected to survive the first night. Even if he were to survive, this tiny baby would face, what remained of his lifeas a victim of Cerebral Palsy. The doctors and nurses just watched and waited for the baby to die. 

But, what no one knew is that the mother of this child had just given birth to a Cowboy! Even at four pounds, there was no quit in James Phillips. He was born with a determination, not only to live, but to thrive, and to become a champion! Even the challenge of cerebral palsy would not stop this young cowboy from making his mark on the world.

While Cerebral Palsy (pronounced seh-ree-brel pawl-zee) is a blanket term commonly referred to as “CP” and described by loss or impairment of motor function, Cerebral Palsy is actually the result of brain damage. This usually is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brainwhich occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth. For more information, go to: http://cerebralpalsypro.com.

For James Phillips, Cowboy Athlete, CP was just another challenge to overcome. Today, at the age of 31, he has earned his Black Belt in Taekwondo Karate, ridden bucking horses and bulls in rodeos, and today is a top-rated competitor in Cross-Fit athletic competition. His story is incredibly inspirational.

Today, James speaks not of his affliction, or his curse… but he tells people that he was born with the “gift” of cerebral palsy! He reaches out to others and delivers the message that the only limits any person needs to overcome are the ones they place on themselves. If they will have the courage to face any of life’s challenges, and they never give up on themselves, they will achieve their goals… the way James has.

One of his most memorable achievements, however, was at his high school graduation. He left his forearm crutches behind and walked across the stage to get his diploma… to a standing ovation, of fellow graduates and their families. It was an amazing night for this young cowboy!

James’ love of rodeo began at an early age while he was still just a boy. He loved watching the bull riding and bronc riding, especially, and he vowed that, one day, he would ride, too. He dedicated years to studying the sport and training muscles he knew he would need, when he finally “got on one.”

Not only did James study the sport and the muscle groups and coordination needed to master a bull or bronc, but he became friends with many, many rodeo cowboys – world champions, soon-to-be-champions, stock contractors, rodeo secretaries. Because of these friendships, and his desire to share his love of rodeo with the rest of the world, James began to record interviews with the cowboys. He spent a decade as a “rodeo-radio” journalist. But, he never lost the desire to ride, himself, and he kept training his body to perform, despite the cerebral palsy.

On May 18, 2010 James Phillips sat on the back of a bull, pulled his rope tight, and nodded his head. He was no longer just an observer, talking to bull riders – he was one! The cheer, raised by the small group of family and friends who came to watch James ride his first bull was more deafening than the crowds at Cheyenne or Calgary!

In early 2015, James underwent complex surgery, courtesy of North American Spine (https://northamericanspine.com), to relieve pressure from his nearly-constant back pain. Prior to the surgery, he had been unable to do any kind of workouts, or conditioning, so, he had added a lot of weight. 

After the surgery, he was strong enough to get himself back into shape and start losing the extra weight, so he began to look at a variety of diet & exercise plans. What he found would change his life forever! It’s called “CrossFit.

CrossFit is a branded fitness regimen created by Greg Glassman and is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. which was founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenaiin 2000. 

Promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and, also, as a competitive fitness sport. CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. It is practiced by the members of more than13,000 affiliated gyms, and by individuals who complete daily workouts. For more information, go to www.CrossFit.com.

James was introduced to the CrossFit training regimen, at Kings River CrossFit (www.kingsrivercrossfit.com), in Berryville, Arkansas. CrossFit coaches David and Stacy Campbell, the former-owners of Kings River CrossFit, as well as the other coaches, have made James a part of their CrossFit family

Thanks to CrossFit,” James says, “I am in the best physical condition of my entire life.The surgery, from North American Spine was the key, but CrossFit training put my body in the shape it is in today.”

Since James has attacked the CrossFit program, like a Gladiator in Rome, and is soaring up into the competitive rankings, he decided to help others achieve their training goals, too. He began a weekly YouTube video-series, called “Adapt and Overcome Fridays,” to inspire and motivate others.

To get on the list, to see this broadcast, send a Facebook friend-request to James D. Phillips, from Huntsville, Arkansas - https://www.facebook.com/james.d.phillips.5, and click on “Follow.” Or, go directly to the You Tube channel, and click the “subscribe” button. And, don’t forget to “Like” them!!

In addition to his weekly web series, James has also begun adaptive CrossFit competition, and is currently seeking sponsors to offset the costs of travel and equipment.

“Always remember, every day is a gift from God,” James says often. “And, what we do with it, quite simply and honestly, that's our gift back to Him.”


Manwith cerebral palsy defying the odds through CrossFit

from thecrossfitcowboy on GodTube.


For more information, Contact James Phillips: (479) 310-5117

Instagram: @thecrossfitcowboy


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