Swimming Uphill Ends With Silver Lining
Courtesy of WOWSA, Lima, Peru.
Jamal Hill of Inglewood, California struggles with the degenerative disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth – but not much else.
Filmmaker John Duarte discussed Hill, “Jamal, a Paralympic swimmer from Inglewood, California has blazed through boundaries. Once fully paralyzed from the neck down, and now top ranked in the United States, he teaches us that nothing – and no one – can put a limit on his ambition if he doesn’t impose one on himself. As soon as I met Jamal, I knew I had to document his journey.”
Hill won a silver medal at the Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru with a lifetime best. “He just keeps getting better and better under the tutelage of coach Wilma Wong. “Jamal has a passion – for swimming, for sharing his passion, for mentoring others – has is so uncommon. It is great to see him succeed both in his commercial ventures and in the water,” said Steven Munatones who taught Hill how to use KAATSU in his training.
Hill is happy with his progress using KAATSU Aqua, “The [KAATSU] technology has been so integral in my growth since we first met almost two years ago. I am glad to have something to commemorate this journey to Lima other than a llama souvenir.”
Hill, a personable aquapreneur and member of the USA Paralympic swim team, is looking forward to competing in the 2020 Tokyo, 2024 Paris and 2028 Los Angeles Paralympic Games despite living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which is an inherited disorder that causes nerve damage in his arms and legs.
The disease results in smaller, weaker muscles, a loss of sensation and muscle contractions, and difficulty walking.
In Hill’s case, it significantly reduces the mobility in his legs where his motor function stops at his knee caps and his motor function in my arms is also impacted.
“[The disease] runs in my family,” Hill explained. “It affects my mom a little bit. It affects my uncles pretty heavily. Essentially my motor neurons in my outer extremities, from my elbow to my fingertips and from my kneecaps all the way to my toes gives me a lot of problems.”
But his overwhelming positive nature has enabled him to succeed in a sport he could have easily quit many times.
Currently coach by Wilma Wong, Hill is ranked #1 among American Paralympic swimmers in the 50m freestyle going into the Olympic year. But he has also created Swimming Up Hill, a digital marketing company that markets health and fitness brands, insurance and medical practices – and inspiring many young people who would not otherwise be swimming.
At its core, Hill’s mission is to teach 1 million people – including many with little access to the shorelines of California or pools in their neighborhoods. He want to teach these individuals how to swim. He works with swim schools in Southern California to help the schools facilitate more lessons for lower cost to the customer.
Hill will be giving a presentation at the 2019 WOWSA Ocean Fest in Redondo Beach, California on October 5th. “Jamal is so impressive and so inspirational,” said Munatones. “I am excited to hear him speak and learn from his successes and challenges.”
“In Tokyo, I think there will be gold at the end of his Olympic rainbow,” predicted Munatones.
Hill is shown above with fellow American Paralympic medalist swimmer and KAATSU Aqua user Robert Griswold of Indiana.
Video courtesy of John Duarte, California.
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