Injured in Afghanistan, Utah man turns to triathlon to deal with pain and physical hardships.
Travis Wood, of Cedar City, Utah, lost a leg in Afghanistan, but that hasn’t stopped him from competing in marathons from Boston to Los Angeles. Saturday’s triathlon at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center was a first, however.
“I’ve found that with my injuries, the more active I am the less pain I have, and I don’t have to take medicine,” Wood said after completing the sprint division race that included a 400-yard swim, a 10-mile bicycle ride and 3-mile run.
The Sand Hollow triathlon’s distances are a fraction of those in one of the world’s premier triathlon races – the Ford Ironman – which will put on its second St. George qualifier next month, but Wood said he’s hoping to build on his experience to eventually participate in the Ironman as well.
The Southern Utah University student lost his leg above the knee after he was “hit by a bomb” during his military service in the Middle East. He suffered injuries to his spinal cord and pelvis, but a computerized artificial leg provides him with mobility that wouldn’t have been possible a generation ago.
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