Triple amputee training for Katy triathlon one year after amputation

KATY – Amputees have what they call an “ampu-versary,” a date when they celebrate how far they’ve come since losing a limb.

At this week’s Katy triathlon, Samantha Gower will celebrate her one-year “ampu-versary” by racing her first triathlon.

One year ago Samantha got sick with a virus.

“My organs, including my arms and legs, didn’t have enough blood flow,” she explained.

She lost both her legs and left hand due to sepsis and the medications used to save her life.

Nobody would blame her for having self-pity but as a wife, mother of two young children, and former nationally ranked rock climber, she thought finding a sport would serve her better.

“Learning to walk on prosthetics it’s just a weird sport that I have to learn to play when I get out of bed and I know how to learn to do difficult physical things. So, it was a stretch but it wasn’t something that I haven’t done before,” she explained. “I wanted something that I could really dig all the fingers I have left into, and triathlon … triathlon fit the bill.”

This weekend she’ll swim 500 meters, bike 12 miles, and run for 3 miles during her first triathlon which is coincidentally just one year after amputation.

She’ll race with her husband close behind. Her husband, Tanner, is not a triathlete but any observer can see as he helps with every gear and prosthesis change, that crossing the finish line will be a victory for both of them.

“I told myself, ‘Sam you’re not racing the same race other people are. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re slow, just finish and be really happy and grateful that you’re walking and jogging and doing all this stuff,’” Gower said.

The Katy triathlon is Sunday at Cane Island.