To complete an “Ironman,” some say, is one of the most difficult athletic endeavors one can challenge their body to do.
To achieve the title of “Ironman,” one must conquer a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, and then a marathon run of 26.2 miles -- all in less than 17 hours.
Well, one athlete has not only completed several “Ironman” challenges, he competes on one leg.
Jeff Glasbrenner of Little Rock, Arkansas, is a below-the-knee amputee who is doing something that has never been done before -- he is challenging himself to complete eight full “Ironman” competitions in eight months.
“For me, it’s all about the challenge. If I’m going to do something, I am going to do it at the highest level. So when I dream, I dream big,” Glasbrenner told Fox16News.
Jeff Glasbrenner was 8 years old when he lost the bottom half of his right leg in a farming accident. “I remember looking down at my leg and just seeing bone where just a couple seconds earlier I had my whole leg. In a split second you know, my life had changed forever.”
“But that wasn’t even the hard part. My heart had stopped on two different occasions, so they were really worried about me living,” Glasbrenner said.
Some would call it a tragedy; he sees it differently. “I look at it as my greatest opportunity. I look at it as a life-changing event and you can either embrace it or just kind of fall by the wayside.” Glasbrenner decided to embrace life.
The sport of Ironman wasn’t his first passion. Instead, it was wheelchair basketball. “It was really great to see them play wheelchair basketball and I was bitten by that bug right away." Glasbrenner is a three-time paralympian, a two-time world champion, and to this day holds the national records of 63 points and 27 rebounds in a single game.
On Wednesday, December 15, Glasbrenner will set out at the crack of dawn for one final journey. Attempting to accomplish what no physically challenged athlete has ever done, eight Ironmans in eight months.
“I just really want to be a role model for my two children and others. If they believe it in here [their heads] and in here [their hearts], no matter what obstacles are in front of them, they can get to that finish line. That’s the reason why I really want to do it.”
Jeff chose Little Rock to finish his journey because he wanted to cross the finish line in front of his family, supporters and sponsors.