the good and the bad

So it’s been 6 months and 7 days since Riley’s accident and this was supposed to be his “golden time”. The time in which you get the most back because hopefully, by now the swelling has gone down around the contusion. However last week on Tuesday Riley woke up and he had without warning lost everything he had gained. All the sensation from his nipples down was gone and when I scratched his feet he couldn’t feel it. We immediately went to the hospital and saw his spinal cord doc she ordered an emergency MRI in fear that he had post traumatic swelling of his spinal cord. In which case he would have to have another surgery. However the results of the MRI were much more damaging then the idea of another surgery. The MRI shows that Riley has damage to his brain stem indicating a possible stroke. When and if that stroke may have occurred is unknown at this time. I had to track down all the other MRIs and x-rays from the other three hospitals and we still have to meet with a neurologist in order to decipher what this news means.

However the thing is that Riley’s spinal cord doc said there was no explanation for him being able to feel his feet in the first place after reviewing the most recent MRI. She said all the swelling and blood was gone and what remains is a very damaged spinal cord.
With that being said, Riley is obviously still trying to wrap his head around this discouraging confusing news. In the meantime he has decided to take the high road staying positive, refusing to give up hope and taking life one step at a time. As many of you know Riley’s current film project titled “Transitions” has been his passion for the last two years and he continues to work hard at it every day he’s still planning to release it in September.

The next time you talk to Riley, please don’t ask him how his progress is coming along or how the physical therapy is going. You can imagine how frustrating it is to reiterate this news to everyone who checks in on him, he will bring up his progress when it is right for him. The last thing either of us wants to admit is that he is starting at the foot of the mountain again with no view of the peak in sight just blinded by the sun trying to hike up a road that doesn’t exist.

We remain hopeful and convinced that the body and brain remain unexplainable to modern medicine and since they can’t explain how he did it before, and they can’t explain how he lost it. Then they won’t be able to explain when he summits that enormous peak and proves them wrong once again.

Always fighting
(not an english major)

Riley Poor product

So we have received numerous requests and questions about where people can get their hands on Riley Poor product. We are happy to announce that we now have an answer!

Katrina designed some great shirts for Nike 6.0 that are available in limited numbers, as well as Riley support bracelets and the much sought after Riley Poor stickers. All funds raised will go towards Riley’s ongoing rehabilitation and are much appreciated by Riley’s family and all his followers hoping to see him on his feet again soon.

Back Online!

Hey everyone I apologize if you tried to stop by the blog lately as the server has been down. Good news, obviously back up!

Things are still going very good out here in California, I would finally consider us settled in! Katrina surprised me with a elaborate edit suite so my place of work is now my sanctuary, complete with plant life, inspirational posters, a Buddha, a new computer system courtesy of Nike 6.0, a ton of hard drives and close friend Tyler Hamblet working by my side on Poorboyz yearly release titled “Every day is a Saturday”. Make sure to check out both of the films we are working on this fall, More info available at I am also happy to report that Katrina has her knitting operation set up once again, and creativity is flowing all around this apartment!

As far as my body goes, spasticity has gotten worse since leaving the hospital making day-to-day life slightly more painful and complicated when it comes to therapy and being functional. Regardless I am a long way from being done with therapy so it is ongoing and will be for the rest of my life most likely. I am lucky enough to have a standing frame (Thanks again IYCD), that I stand in as often as possible, still waiting on the FES bike to arrive so I can get my legs moving again!

As I’ve previously promised I am writing here to share inspiration. The thing, or words I should say, that I have really been keeping me on track both mentally and physically these past few weeks are three simple words all beginning with P.

Potential. We all enter upon this earth with the same thing, we all have the potential to live our lives to the fullest extent each and every day no matter what our situation. Potential is something that should be explored on a daily basis.

Passion. Throughout our lives we all stumble upon things or ideas that make our lives meaningful. Following these passions brings us to the third word…

Progress. With our individual realization of our human potential being combined with our realizations of our passions in life we end up progressing into a better situation every day.

I want everyone to know that no matter what you go through in your life, you will live a meaningful one as long as you realize your potential, embrace your passions, and recognize your progress. For anyone going through a challenging episode such as I am, my advice to you… take a moment during your day to repeat these three words and realize that tomorrow may not be easier but it will always be a step in the right direction.


A note between friends

Throughout this injury the one thing that has really kept me moving in the right direction is my friends. I must say I am blessed to have so many amazing ones! The notes, cards, calls and energy I have recieved from all of you has been a huge inspiration for me and makes it really easy to get up and work my ass off everyday. I am touched that my situation has inspired my friends as well, best case scenario we all grow stronger together right?  I wanted to share an e-mail I recieved this morning and my reply just because it really made me realize once again that we are all here together for a reason. Draw strength from your friends, that’s what they are here for…


I wrote this a moment ago in my new blog/diary i’m doing and i thought that you should see it.  This is more of my inner thoughts but yeah man i thought you would appreciate what it says….. and a bit of background…. shit on my end hasn’t been all great, but its all more of a situational problem.  I don’t know, I guess the fact that you are back to work has helped me to really start to get my head in check.

I gained a great insperation from a friend today.

His name is Riley Poor. here is a guy who hasn’t asked for sorrow, but instead has headed full force in to a tough situation to beat the shit out of it with a bat and told that to go away.

This guy broke his spine a few months ago and is paralized below the shoulders, and here he is, already back to work. I’m sure that this helps in his rehab and all that shit, but here I am feeling sorry for myself because I’m in chciago, and in tons of debt and don’t know what I want to do with my life. And here is Riley; going about his business, still working on the simon dumont video, and the fucker can’t walk anymore. This really puts things in to perspective for me and honestly RI, you don’t konw the inspiration that you have been to so many people, including myslef.

Thank you for having such a strong head and following your dreams…. no matter what the hell gets thrown in front of your path. You will find a way to be happy and that is what is important.

Peace and love.


Hey Justin,

Thanks for your note man, I am touched you draw inspiration from my situation. Truth is we are in the same situation, the debt, the unknown and the next chapter all scary as shit. When I broke my neck I realized 2 things, there is no way to prepare for what life will throw at you and secondly how lucky I am to be alive. No matter how overwhelming it all gets the universe always has a way of cosmically working things out and the hard times always become the past. One thing that helps me right now is every morning when I wake up I think of something I am grateful for, during the day if my thoughts wonder to the stresses of life I go right back to that thing I am grateful for and I tell myself that today I am alive for that thing only and every other stress will soon be a thing of the past. Try it for a few days and eventually you will be going to bed thinking of that thing and not your stress, or that’s the goal at least.


California Puzzle Piece

Well we made it! Tomorrow will mark two weeks since our arrival in CA and time is flying, as it seems to do these days. I meant to check in on the blog sooner but getting settled has taken a little while. We are still not fully settled in by any means but everyday we get a little closer and that seems to be the story with my injury as well. Adjusting to life outside the hospital is just as we thought it would be, a huge challenge, one that Katrina and I are ready and willing to take on full steam ahead! I have had my weak moments only to be reminded by Tinka that I am a long way from being done healing and if I believe I WILL WALK AGAIN then I will do just that. What can I say, she’s my rock, and without her I would have a much longer road to travel.

Some of you know my family has been through a lot this year and I can’t say thank you enough for being there for not only me but also for them. Life has a way of throwing a lot of crazy shit your way all at once sometimes and how we deal with it all is the true test of human spirit. I want to share with you all an analogy passed on to me by a wise old cowboy (my uncle Ralph) that helped me put some things in perspective…

“Life is like an open box jigsaw puzzle you buy at a garage sale. There’s no picture on the front to show you what it’s supposed to look like and you have no idea if you have all the pieces to make it come together. You just start finding pieces that fit together and just about the time you finally think you know what your looking at, you fit in a new piece that makes you realize you have no idea what exactly your working on. This process continues until you lift the last piece from the box and realize what exactly it was you have been putting together all this time and just how many pieces you truly are missing, then your done.”

Now that I am out of the hospital I plan on writing here as much as my new schedule will allow but I plan on changing the direction a bit. Instead of updates on my physical and mental hardships and advances I want to share with all of you the inspirations that keep me rolling down this road to recovery (I will always use my progress and accomplishments as inspiration). My hope is that one day my words will inspire you to find a missing piece to your puzzle and it will make the finished product that much more beautiful.

Thank you again for all your support


The Golden State

I have spoken to Riley a few times since he and Katrina landed in California, and it’s clear they’re gradually becoming comfortable in their new home.  They are renting a great apartment in the ‘nice part’ of San Pedro, and Riley is loving the spacious floor plan (lots of rehabilitative laps in his chair) and the view (they overlook the bustling harbor, where tugboats hurry around 24/7 to orchestrate the coming and going of huge container ships — a novelty to a mountain man like Riley to say the least).

They’ve remained very busy since their arrival running daily errands; some of their favorite destinations: Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Riley’s new primary care doctor’s office in Redondo Beach for 3x/week administration of his blood-thinners (as he still remains at risk for blood clots).  Katrina has continued to be ‘the busiest woman on Earth,’ doing, well, everything, and Riley has been logging a ton of active wheelchair time–his arms have been sore (in a good way) every morning from pushing pushing pushing.  He’s finding that some of his best rehab to-date is just living his daily life outside of the hospital walls–no waiting, no class schedule, just the freedom to push himself (both literally and figuratively).

When I spoke to Ri yesterday, he said he had spent a good chunk of the day on the phone interviewing for a stationary bike that he can power with a little help from some strategically placed E-Stim patches on his legs and back.  There’s also a lift at the pool in their new complex, so he’ll be hitting the water soon for some low gravity therapy.

The biggest positive that Ri has experienced since the move has gotta be the mental benefits of going back to work.  He has been putting solid days of work together, as he and the rest of the Poor Boyz production/editing  team continue to work on Transitions (the 2-year documentary featuring Simon Dumont I’m sure you’ve all heard about).

Other than that, Riley just wanted me to relay his best sentiments to you all … he is still without internet access at the new apartment, but it should be up and running within the next couple of days, at which point he’ll be able to re-insert himself into the web world (working on his Macbook Pro is becoming easier and easier, by the way).  He remains eternally grateful to all of you for the support, good vibes, and friendship.

-Jamie Starr

Rally 4 Riley Video!

This video was shot at last Saturday’s Rally 4 Riley event at the Freeskier Magazine offices, and provides a great look into Riley’s personal experience with his recovery.  Thanks to Mike Thomas for shooting, and Luke Van Valin for interviewing / auctioneering!  Stay tuned here, on for information about the eBay auction we’re going to hold to unload some of the awesome (and valuable) gear previewed in this video… The eBay auction has been set up! You can access it by clicking this link.

Rally 4 Riley Events a Success

rally4rileyI think I speak for everyone when I say that Saturday’s events were a huge success. Two events. One purpose. Old friends. New friends… And more fun than you could shake a ski pole at. Thank you to everyone involved.

Riley’s presence at the Freeskier Magazine gathering on Saturday afternoon was a true testament to how far he has come in just a few short months since his accident. It was Riley’s furthest trip away from the Craig Hospital to date, and he thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the electric vibe his friends supplied to the venue (he also managed to ‘out’ the birthday girl (Katrina) in front of all of us, and we all had a great time singing “Happy Birthday” to the gal who has done so much to help Riley through his recovery). The highlight of the event – besides watching all of the little munchkins in attendance crawl all over Riley – had to have been Luke Van Valin’s performance as live auctioneer. He masterfully unloaded Riley’s sno-mo in an all out bidding war between Simon Dumont and Freeskier’s fearless editor / in-house DJ Matt Harvey. Simon may have one X-Games Gold this year, but Harvey got the best of him and is the proud (emphasis on ‘proud’) owner of an Arctic Cat M7. A big thanks to Nike 6.0, Freeskier, Red Bull, Coors and the athletes who donated auction items (stay tuned for Ebay auction details, as well as info about how to buy Riley Poor gear).

The party grew in size and enthusiasm as it migrated to the West End Tavern on Pearl Street, where the Red Bull and Coors (from both the tap and Peter Olenick’s beer bottle) were flowing like crazy. Andrew Hathaway’s DJ set was one of the best in my recent memory, and given the vibe on the dance floor, I bet others would agree. The crowd was an awesome mix of industry friends and childhood friends – I’m proud to say that the Crested Buttians showed up in droves and represented to the fullest.

My bro and I paid Riley a visit this morning, and despite having a sore neck from ‘looking up’ during conversations with friends yesterday, his spirits were the highest I’ve seen yet – suffice to say his sense of humor has remained intact throughout this ordeal. He’s incredibly appreciative for everyone in his life, and rightfully so… he has some pretty great friends and family. He and Katrina will be leaving Denver for Los Angeles on Thursday (with the help of Jake Largess who will be driving their new van, packed with just a fraction of their belongings). Riley wants everyone to know that even if he hasn’t returned your email, text, Facebook wall post, etc., he has read it and has drawn a huge amount of strength from the collective well-wishes; he intends to get back to everyone in due time.

As Riley moves on to the next chapter in his life, he will continue to make strides with his recovery. This blog will continue to be the go-to place for all Riley-related info.

It was great to see everyone yesterday.

-Jamie Starr