I had a wonderful post compiled about Sid, pants and cabooses, but needed to shelve it for awhile because of the below.
Former F-1 and CART World Champion Alex Zanardi competed in the NYC Marathon today. Nothing spectacular about that, right? Just one world class athlete competing in another athletic event, albeit one with a slightly different training regimen involved. Not so much in this case. Six years ago this past September, Zanardi lost both of his legs in a wreck during a race in Germany.
(While still a horrible image, this one is one of the less-graphic ones out there. The Youtube video is even worse) .
Anyways, after a long rehabilitation process (excellently chronicled in his book “My Sweetest Victory”) Zanardi was able to live a normal life with his wife and son. He even was able to get back into sports car racing, using a car specially formulated with hand – instead of foot – pedals.
Zanardi only started training for the NYC Marathon three weeks ago. He entered the handcycle division on a dare, to prove to one of his personal sponsors that he could do it. Three weeks to train the body to pedal with the arms for 26.2 miles. (I’m sorry, I don’t think I would be able to walk 26.2 miles after training for three weeks, let alone pedal with my arms). And, he ended up finishing fourth in the division, completing the race in 1:33 and change.
I had always admired Zanardi’s strength and determination in rebounding from his accident, but now, this man has cemented his place as one of my heroes.