You may have seen the T-shirts around town. Printed across brightly colored American Apparel tanks and tees are the words, I Got Legs, words that have spawned a movement — in more ways than one.
I Got Legs is a nonprofit started by Adam Gorlitsky, a 29-year-old Charleston resident who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident 10 years ago. He's raising money to help pay for his robotic exoskeleton, a tool that helps him walk for the first time in a decade. He covers about 1.6 miles per hour walking with his exoskeleton, and on Sat. April 2, he plans on walking the Cooper River Bridge run, a distance of 6.2 miles (most participants finish within three hours, but Gorlitsky will need more time than that).
Runner's World featured Gorlitsky
in their magazine yesterday, where he described his experience with his newfound sense of mobility, "It's all about how you wear it. Initially, when people see me, they're thrown off. But within 30 seconds to a minute, it's like a normal thing, and I think that's because I stand proud and tall."
There have been fundraisers all over town for Gorlitsky — I recently attended a spin class to raise money for I Got Legs. Surrounded by his family and friends, Gorlitsky is a normal guy who just happens to need a wheelchair or exoskeleton to move. He sat in the front of the class, lifting weights as we spun.
A high school athlete who used to clock a 4:50 mile (which, FYI, is impressive as hell), Gorlitsky also talked about his return to fitness in Runner's World
. He says, "And then I really started regaining this appreciation of what fitness truly is, and that’s taking control of your body, not your body taking control of you.”
With headlines like "Why Are Morning Runners So Happy?" and "Why Do My Legs Fatigue Before I'm Out of Breath?", Gorlitsky's story brings a refreshing dose of perspective to a running magazine. And to Charleston. Be on the lookout for upcoming fundraisers (there's one at Mynt
this Friday) and check out how you can help I Got Legs here.