WE RECENTLY SAT down with Andy Lloyd, the founder of Skigh Athletics, to discuss how Lasso performance socks help him #StayMoving. Andy is a personal trainer that specializes in vertical jump training, and strength and conditioning.
Lasso proudly partnered with Skigh Athletics after learning about Andy's inspirational story of being a 5'8" dunker and dunk trainer, and overcoming brain cancer to return to his athletic career and goal of helping people improve their vertical jump and dunk. We sat down with him to ask him a few questions and learn more about this epic, inspiring human!
Andy is a personal trainer that specializes in increasing an athlete's vertical jump along with their overall functional strength and athleticism. He grew up playing sports but has always had a special place in his heart for basketball. He started dribbling as soon as he could walk and was shooting on a Fisher Price hoop every day, as well. He started seeing basketball games on TV and was just mesmerized by the way collegiate and professional athletes moved and ultimately, that's what made him want to play sports.
"I always loved the idea of being able to dunk and I knew I would be able to one day. I would hold my own dunk contests (against myself) in my basement on my Fisher Price hoop," Andy said.
As the years went on, his dunks got better as he tried to move onto the adjustable rim on his driveway. "I tried going after the net, the backboard and then the rim. I would put myself through shooting and dribbling drills but I always liked to finish with some low rim dunking. I didn't really know anything about how to lift or jump and I couldn't find much help online (without having to pay for it)," mentioned Andy. This is what led him to become a trainer that promised he would offer as much free help as possible to anyone looking to better their game and vertical jump. Now, with over 30,000 downloads of his free online vertical training program and countless testimonials, he's keeping that promise. #StayMoving.
There are countless reasons why Andy utilizes Lasso performance socks every day, whether he's training, recovering or moving throughout his week. "Lasso socks have really helped me in ways that I never thought a pair of socks could," Andy explained. "As a vertical jump coach and a dunker, I love to train barefoot or just in socks. Now that I have a home gym setup, I always train in my Lasso performance socks whenever I'm doing my jumping plyometrics." Adding to this, he mentions, "The best part about Lasso is clearly the compression that they offer me—especially considering the fact that I'm always training barefoot. I do my plyometrics on the floor of my garage and I have the entire floor covered with these mats that I bought for it. Unlike regular socks, Lasso performance socks never get waterlogged with my sweat so I never slip regardless of how long I'm doing my plyometrics and regardless of how hot or humid this Tampa weather gets. Whenever I go to dunk with shoes on, my Lasso's help just as much. I never have to worry about sweating out my shoes or socks anymore and I know that later in the sessions, even if my legs and ankles are giving out, Lasso will always be there to support them for every jump I do."
Our goal at Lasso is to create modern apparel for the modern athlete. We make compression socks with built-in ankle support that improve the way you move. These socks help with performance, recovery, and injuries and are helping modern athletes like Andy #StayMoving.
Andy has been playing basketball since second grade and grew up playing competitively with his older brother and his friends. He was all about strength conditioning and putting hours into practice as a young athlete. He would play basketball against guys 7-8 years older than him and would practice before and after gameplay to increase his chances of winning. Andy realized that the only way he was going to get better was if he played against people who were better than him. For Andy, there was no such thing as an "easy bucket." He learned to earn every point he made.
"My brother's friends didn't think it was cute to watch me score a touchdown or get an easy layup so there was never any easy bucket for me just to make me feel good about myself (and I love the idea of that to this day). This just made me train that much harder." Andy explained.
Lloyd has had his fair share of injuries (broken ankle, pulled hamstrings, AC shoulder sprain, chipped bones, torn meniscus, etc.) but his most recent challenge happened in January of 2019. "I had a life-threatening seizure that led to the discovery of two brain tumors (one 3.5" in size and the other was 1.5" large and spiderwebbed across both halves of my brain). I had to undergo a six-hour brain surgery to remove the 3.5" tumor on February 7th," he told us.
On February 15th, Andy was told that he had Stage 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma - Brain Cancer. He was then told that he needed to have another emergency brain surgery just a week later on February 22nd. The side effects for the first surgery included waking up with a completely different personality, severe memory loss along with the inability to speak in full sentences, which would require him to go through speech therapy for several months after surgery. The major side effect for the second surgery is what scared Andy the most. It appeared that the 1.5" tumor had wrapped itself around the medial artery so he could have woken up paralyzed from the waist down. "I was also told that in general, it wasn't likely I would ever fully gain the strength of my legs back," Andy mentioned.
Mentally, it was tough for Andy to wrap his head around this because he felt like he was in such good shape, had never had a headache, never smoked or did any drugs. He truly felt like there was no reason for him to believe that this was truly happening. "I really just had to place my life and trust into God's hands and take the recovery process day by day. Even during radiation, I kept training and always did whatever my body allowed me to do. I never lost hope and I always believed in myself and kept that same work ethic to get me back above the rim and pushing the weight that I used to before my diagnosis," Andy explained.
When we're faced with adversity, we believe that you must #StayMoving to get through it. Self awareness is key in this process, so we asked Andy what his biggest strengths were that carried him through his journey. He told us, "My strengths as an athlete and as a person are that I am just resilient. When I truly believe in something, I go after it 100% and my work ethic will never change regardless of the circumstance that you put me in." To this notion, he adds, "There are times where I have been very high and there are times where I have been very low, but my mindset has never faltered." Andy shared with us how fortunate and blessed he really is to be alive and to have the opportunity to continue to do what he loves. This mindset is powerful and a big reason for his success today. "At the end of the day, it makes the obstacles on the journey appear to be a lot more insignificant than they actually were at the time," says Andy.
The first time Andy tried the Lasso performance socks, he knew right away the difference between Lasso socks and regular athletic socks. Since COVID had put restrictions on gyms, Andy started investing in a home gym and investing in equipment to continue to work on his dream and his fitness. He currently trains without shoes and only trains in Lasso performance socks.
"Even during radiation, I kept training and always did whatever my body allowed me to do. I never lost hope and I always believed in myself and kept that same work ethic to get me back above the rim and pushing the weight that I used to before my diagnosis."
"Lasso socks do more for my feet and ankles than regular socks ever could without the discomfort of extra tape or braces. They are the most simple and effective way to protect your feet & ankles while enhancing your overall gameplay without the added discomfort of additional materials (tape, braces, wraps, etc.). Lasso does everything from assisting injuries to allowing me to move more comfortably and that's more than I could ever ask for in a sock," Andy explained when asked what the impact Lasso performance socks have made on his athletic career.
We're excited to be partnered with Andy and Skigh Athletics on our mission to help people #StayMoving because we believe you can achieve great things through movement. Whether you're up or down, if you keep moving forward, you can get through your circumstances. If you can only move an inch, then just move an inch, because yard by yard, anything is hard. Inch by inch? Anything is a cinch.
For more on Andy Lloyd and Skigh Athletics, click here.