“Knowledge Is Power”
by Florida Night Train ©
Her Instagram reads “bionic_bihhh”. She commands respect. She fought hard all her life to get to where she is. By the looks of it, stars maybe lining up for Amaya to rise to the top. This resilient 22-year-old Scandinavian-blooded warrior has been fighting in the trenches for years, and quite admirably. Better than many of us would have. She isn’t going to be a stat. “Knowledge is power” is the first thing she said as we sat down for dinner in her favorite restaurant–Olive Garden.
Big sister to 4 siblings she pretty much raises; Alex who is almost finished with college, Aden is 16 and still too involved with video games, precious Issac who is 6, and 5-year-old Eli. Daughter to a substance abuse mother who is fighting hard to have victory over her addiction. Absent father whom, by Amaya’s demeanor and language, considers him a stranger.
Amaya put herself through school ensuring she would at least get a high school degree. “I watched people get hurt all my life and I refuse to live that kind of life,” she confidently declared. Her story deeply resonates within me. Amaya successfully graduated from Withlacoochie Technological College in Florida, and one of her instructors noticed her insatiable thirsts to learn and for knowledge. A strong indication of potential and success if harnessed right.
Turns out Amaya’s search for experience and learning led her to be a car tech, auto body painter, aviation-grade fiberglass tech, welder, and fabricator capable to work with and read engineering documents. This interview turned photoshoot turned wildly successful mind-blowing welding test at my friend’s shop “Pheonix Custom Engineering” in Clearwater, served me with inspiration I have longed to experience.
This chick can “quality tig”! Don’t believe me? Bring her in for a test! Amaya’s story hasn’t even come out; yet my loyal, faithful photographer, Suzanne of “323 Photography Studio”, and I are getting requests to see and review materials we produced about her.
Did I mention this tattooed-up, badass, improved-upon version of Lara Croft is also a tattoo artist at “The New York Tattoo Gallery” in Clearwater, Florida? She lost a leg but doesn’t care for people to pay much attention to that about her. I will respect that and keep it short. Turns out, of all people a biker crashed into her, was uninsured and pretty much left her high and dry to deal with the aftermath. This is a classic case of the value of getting “Uninsured Underinsured Motorist Coverage” with your insurance carrier. Amaya; however, is not a “victim”, she is a “victor”. A lot of people I know who are stuck in, and with, sob stories should learn from her.
My friend, Andre Kress, of Corsa Moto Works in Clearwater, as he recalls, tells me of the morning after Amaya’s accident when she FaceTimed him asking about her bike. Andrew Mora of Moramoto personally rallied behind her to help her get another bike. To everyone’s surprise, Amaya did not fold—she is now also a motorcycle stunt rider! Quite good at it as I witnessed.
Crowning this story without mention of Steve Chamberland would simply not be right. When Amaya was in desperate need of a new start, Steve Chamberland and his incredible organization “50 Legs” made sure it would happen by providing her a customized prosthetic leg.
This “pringle”, as she calls herself, is happy. She believes in God and that His hand is at work through all this. Chuckling she states, “I like and I enjoy figuring life as it has become”. Like a true Floridian, Amaya not only fishes and hunts, but she can also clean her kills.
I am excited for Amaya and her future; how inspiring her story is and how she chooses to live her life. This owner of a Kawasaki ZX10 is about to take flight and I am privileged to have met her, standing by to watch it happen. Knowledge is certainly power. I would add, attitude and choice of perspective in a good dose of reality, combined with a resilient fighting spirit also is.
Photos: Florida Night Train and 323 Photography Studio
Thanks to: Phoenix Custom Engineering
By Florida Night Train www.facebook.com/floridanighttrain