jamessqOn Sunday, August 1, 1999, while completing the final obstacle in a mountain biking-running-obstacle-course race, James broke his neck and sustained a severe spinal cord injury. James was rendered quadriplegic by the accident.

Before James‘ accident, athletic performance—particularly in the outdoors—occupied his professional and personal life. He was an avid mountain biker, triathlete, hiker and skier; he was pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences; he taught courses in exercise science and anatomy & physiology; he had coached and trained athletes.

It is an understatement to say that the accident changed everything. However, with the support of his family, friends, and then-girlfriend (and now wife) Ashley, James slowly regained strength and function through physical rehabilitation. It was during rehab that James began to use a computer again. True, he had to do things a bit unconventionally, but he learned to navigate the screen by rubbing the side of his wheelchair glove on a programmed trackball. To type, he initially tried using voice software, but the program was inaccurate and continually crashed. So he began to hit one key at a time with his paralyzed thumb—’til he got it right.

A year after the accident, James and Ashley founded Rapid Motion, an organization dedicated to two goals: helping athletes with disabilities and increasing awareness of spinal cord injuries. To help Rapid Motion to reach out into the world, James and Ashley realized they needed a website. The problem was that Rapid Motion had no funding. So James bought a book about web design and created a website for Rapid Motion. It took about six months to finish the site (these days James has a much quicker turnaround!).

Though he had intended to create the single website for Rapid Motion, James discovered that he really enjoyed the process of web design. He began to think it might make a good career. Seven years and many, many clients later, James created One James. He answers your calls and designs your websites from his studio, in the home where he lives with Ashley and their dog Dewey.

James is passionate about issues relating food, nutrition, and food systems to health. He is currently completing a PhD in Nutrition at Colorado State University and plans to pursue an academic position in health sciences with teaching, research, and outreach responsibilities that employ his skills in communication and marketing to improve public health.