Kunj sits atop a rocky outcrop, looking out and to the left at the mountain views.
Kunj Shah is on the board of Accessible Festivals and the founder of Live For Live Music – a music media, marketing, and production company. Originally based in Brooklyn, and now based out of Denver he has 9 years of experience producing concerts and festivals across the country. Recently, he shared why he has been working through his bucket list and why others may also want to do what they can with what they have right now.
“For the last five months I’ve spent every Monday through Friday from 8-11am at the hospital getting hyperbaric oxygen therapy for my multifocal avascular necrosis on my degenerating shoulders, knees, and remaining hip. To celebrate the end of 80 treatments, me and my incredible wife decided to do something that both scared and excited us.
Last year when we visited the Maroon Bells I made a joke to an older lady trying to pass me about only being slow because I only had one hip (referencing my hip replacement), to which she responded, “Well, I have two knee replacements, a hip replacement, and a shoulder replacement and I’m coming from Crested Butte!” I was immediately inspired not only by this women who’s fate I may soon share, but also blown away at the concept that you could hike from Crested Butte to Aspen, a trip that is usually a three and a half hour car ride.
A month before my treatment ended and unsure if it was working I mentioned to my wife Sara I wanted to do some bucket list activities after my treatment was over. If I’ve learned anything the past few years, nothing in life is guaranteed, especially your health, and no one’s body lasts forever so do what you can with what you have right now in the present moment. So we bought our first camelbacks, Sara purchased her first pair of hiking shoes, and we booked a trip to Crested Butte and decided to do the famous hike to Aspen. The wildflowers in Crested Butte were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, climbing the mountain was more strenuous than anything I’ve ever done before, and after seeing my wife cry tears of joy when we reached the summit, I realized the gravity of what we had just accomplished. After we climbed mountains, crossed streams, and enjoyed some alpine lakes we finally made it to Aspen.
I’ve accomplished a lot the last few years but this might be one of the things I’m most proud of. In the face of personal adversity, I set out to accomplish a goal, and I was able to prove to myself I’m capable of much more than what me or any doctor may have wrote off for myself.
Nothing is going to stop this NYer with one hip from accomplishing whatever he sets out to do from now on.”