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|Adult male is riding a GlidePro (GlideCycle)|
The GlideCycle, similar to a bicycle, gives people with physical disabilities a new alternative to exercise and play. It is unique in that the device is specifically designed to eliminate any kind of bone or joint pressure for riders. Its specially designed seating supports the individual so that the individual can use his or her feet to glide along the surface. And yes, there are no foot pedals on the GlideCycle.
After an amputation 10 years ago, Michael had alternated between using his wheelchair, forearm crutches, and his prosthetic. As the years progressed, his physical health started to decline and he could only use his prosthetic for a few hours at a time. Due to inactivity and immobility for long periods, Michael spent most of his time using his wheelchair and forearm crutches. Also during this time, he was experiencing depression.
Once a week, Michael met with David to learn to ride the GlideCycle. His body immediately took to it. 'It was the first time I had run or been able to run in 10 years. It was euphoric to be upright again, out of my wheelchair and RUNNING!' After that he started training with the GlideCycle team for a weekly ride.
For Michael, it seemed like his life had changed for the better overnight. Since exercising with the GlideCycle, he feels like a new man. He no longer uses his wheelchair; it has taken a permanent resting spot in his garage. Not only that, he has lost 50 lbs. 'No matter how I feel, just getting on my GlideCycle and going around a few blocks makes me feel completely better inside . . . I'm eating, and living life better.' Exercise, diet and his family have given him something more to look forward to every day, and he wants to keep it that way. He is now able to walk with his prosthetic leg all day without the fatigue caused by excess weight. Before, he was barely able to walk due to his poor health condition. In addition, he had constant pain and terrible side effects from his medication. Now, thanks to his GlideCycle, he feels he is in great physical condition and rarely experiences the need for pain medication.
Michael's relationship with his family has also improved. He is now able to do more recreational activities with his 4 children, a very important part of his life. 'I'm now having fun being outdoors with my children. I love going camping and being in the woods. The thing I love the most is taking my children for a bike ride — I run with the GlideCycle, and they bike. They all want to race me on their bicycles.' He further explains how truly wonderful this experience has been, since he hasn't felt he has been able to fully enjoy things for the last 10 years. 'You can't imagine how I feel, just doing a family thing like walking or running – it's so awesome!'
Due to his GlideCycle training, any physical activity that he encounters is now easier! As a hip amputee, Michael walked in a very 'robotic' manner which was extremely painful. Now, he's able to walk smoothly and for much longer periods of time.
Michael wants the whole world to know about the GlideCycle and how it has given him back his life and done the same for many of the other amputees training with him. Michael is amazed at his remarkable transition, and so is his family. In less than 6 months, he went from completely relying on his wheelchair to now walking all day in his prosthetic. 'My outlook has changed. I have gained confidence that I never knew I had. I have become a better father to my children as they see their Dad standing tall and able to hold their hands when I walk them to school or in the mall.'
Now with his life back on track, Michael is more physically active and living a healthy lifestyle. He is no longer experiencing depression and now runs 5 to 6 miles, 3 times a week; sometimes even more if he feels inspired. Michael is part of the GlideCycle AmpuTEAM family training, demonstrating the GlidePro — his contribution. He is definitely living a full life!
For more information on the Glidecycle, go to http://www.ncpad.org/newsletter/newsletter.php?letter=87§ion=1310.