Men’s Health – Ryan Chalmers is a man among boys. The 23-year-old from Churchville, NY is training for a feat that few others would pretend to tackle, let alone actually want to: a 71-day journey next April called “Push Across America.” He’ll navigate his wheelchair from Los Angeles to New York—something that’s never been done before.
Chalmers has Spina Bifida, a developmental condition in which your spinal canal and backbone don’t close before birth. Although he can walk a bit with the help of crutches, it keeps him in a wheelchair for much of the time. But he has made the best of it: He began pushing 3 miles a day when he was 8 years old, and clocked his first marathon at about 2 hours and 10 minutes. He was 14.
Fast forward to today. He’s just competed in the Paralympics in London, he’s training for the push of his life backed by Stay-Focused, a SCUBA diving nonprofit for disabled children, and—oh yeah—he’s competing in the Chicago Marathon this weekend.
We tip our hat to this young man. He suffers from a severe disability and he is accomplishing more than the average man his age. I say this with the most respect ever, I am envious of Ryan Chalmers. Don’t get me wrong I thank the Lord for my great health every night before I go to bed. What I am envious of is his spirit, dedication, and resolve to not give up until the mission is finish. It has been my dream to travel cross country at my own speed and alone with nature. No surprise I find this extremely awesome.
Ryan, if by any chance you read this I would be honored to travel with you to write about the journey. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org, feel free to reach out to us whenever. Best of luck and stay strong. You’re a pillar of strength for every American.
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