Ian Parkinson puts a silicon liner over what’s left of one of his amputated legs. While serving in Afghanistan, Parkinson lost both of his legs after he walked over an improvised explosive device, or an IED, during a patrol on Jun. 6, 2011.
After putting on his “stubbies,” Parkinson makes sure everything is tight and secure. Parkinson normally uses a longer pair of prosthetic legs with articulated knees for everyday use, but he uses the shorter ones for skateboarding.
Parkinson walks down steps on the way to The Wedge Skatepark in Scottsdale. He skates there once or twice a week.
Parkinson said his family and doctors were supportive of him throughout his entire recovery. “It was the moment I realized this is absolutely going to happen, and there’s nothing that’s going to stop me from doing it. It was just a matter of figuring out how to manipulate my new body to an old environment.”
Parkinson does a 50-50 grind, one of several tricks he has re-learned to do with his prosthetic legs. He said the most frustrating thing is repeatedly falling while trying to do a trick he already knows how to do.
“Skateboarding is something I could hold onto that I knew was always me and always will be me,” he said. “I don’t want to say it’s everything, because it’s not. But it’s a big part of me.”