Leigh Rides a Hand Bike and is a Proud Member of Paralyzed Veterans Racing
Leigh enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1983 and was trained as a Russian Linguist. As a Corporal she was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and served as an Intelligence Officer and Foreign Area Officer until her retirement in 2006 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1996 while cleaning up Hurricane damage in NC, she sustained a Spinal Cord Injury leaving her partially paralyzed from the waist down. With aggressive therapy and fitness rehabilitation she was able to pass fitness standards and remained on active duty. Highlights of her 23 year career include: four command assignments (in Guam, Parris Island SC, Camp Lejeune NC, and Fort Meade MD), her duty as Director of the Special Support Activity, NSA at the onset of the War on Terrorism, her final assignment as Defense Representative and US Defense Attaché to Latvia, and four brief support deployments to the Middle East (Kuwait and Iraq).
Upon retirement, Leigh’s injury was rated as 100% service-connected, permanent, with loss of use of one foot. She began pedaling a hand bike in 2015 and is a proud member of Paralyzed Veterans Racing. She has placed in a number of races with best successes so far finishing 1st place in 2015 Army Ten Miler, 3rd place in 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, and medaling at both 2016 Paracycling Nationals and 2016 National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Due to injury, surgeries, Leigh has not raced since mid-2016 and continues to rehab her shoulder with a SciFit in a physical therapy clinic and uses Excy at home as an upper body ergometer as she trains for a hopeful return to competition by mid-2018. She discovered Excy after reading about how two-time Paralympic gold medalist Travis Gaertner uses Excy as a portable hand bike.
Photo of Excy on Leigh’s Front Porch
Not only are we thankful for Leigh’s service, we also are now privileged to be a cheerleader in doing everything we can to support her journey to return to the sport she loves. Thank you to all those who serve.
Leigh is a new customer as part of the Excy Family. In today’s live stream, we showcased one of her favorite Excy positions so far, plus another move on the floor. She will be exploring other positions with her physical therapist.
We look forward to sharing more of her journey!
Always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program.