Last weekend I headed to Amarillo, Texas and rode in the Warrior 100 mountain bike event with 20 members of the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides wounded military veterans with unique resources to live healthy, happy lives after their service. We’ve worked with them in the past to help create adaptive bicycles for their organized rides.
The Warrior 100 was a life-changing experience. I heard the stories of the 20 servicemen and women; people who lost arms, legs, and much more fighting for our freedom. The stories of how they’ve put their lives back together were truly amazing. I enjoyed meeting all the Wounded Warriors, especially Melissa Stockwell. Melissa graduated from University of Colorado and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. In 2004 her unit was deployed to Iraq. On April 13, 2004 a roadside bomb hit her Humvee and Melissa suffered the loss of her leg above the knee.
Melissa told her story last Friday night and it is quite powerful. She has become a certified prosthetist, in which she fits other amputees with artificial limbs. She competed in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing in swimming, and is the current and two-time World Champion in her triathlon class. The next day I was lucky enough to ride a really challenging mountain bike course in Palo Duro Canyon State Park with Melissa, and she is a really impressive cyclist. Visualize Melissa riding a mountain bike 100k over 3 days with her one good leg, without being able to get out of the saddle. She got the deal done and always had a smile on her face. What a rock star. Melissa and her boyfriend will be visiting Trek this summer to go for a ride.
To read more about Melissa, check out her website at www.melissastockwell.com.