Reservist competes in swimming and cycling following lightning strike

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WEST POINT, N.Y. – “It felt like a million fire ant bites on every inch” of his body, said Maj. Charles Hansrote, a competitor in the 2014 U.S. Army Warrior Trials at the United States Military Academy, June 15-19. Hansrote, a reservist assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Stewart, Georgia, was describing the way his body felt after being struck by lightning during an Airborne training event in Georgia.


After slowly gaining mobility, Hansrote stood up, looked at his fellow soldiers who were trying to help, and told them he was good. He continued on with the exercise as if nothing had happened. He explained that when he was a young officer his mentality was to always drive on.


“When you think you can never take another step, you can always take another step,” said Hansrote. At age 56, he wants to leave a legacy for his family of never quitting and doing your best no matter your age or condition.


“I have always been competitive,” says Hansrote, adding that he came to the games not only to compete against other service members but to break his previous best times in his individual events of swimming and cycling: I’m here to compete against myself.”


“Hansrote is grateful to the Warrior Transition Command for staging these trials to celebrate what the wounded, ill or injured soldiers can do. More than 100 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from across the United States joined together at West Point to train and compete in the Army Warrior Trials. The event is hosted by Warrior Transition Command, and the Army Warrior Trials include athletes from the Army, Marines and Air Force who will face off in archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Participants in the trials include athletes with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, serious illnesses and amputations.


As a certified jump master in the Army, Hanstore has parachuted more than 50 times, explaining that these jumps and the lightning strike are responsible for most of his medical injuries.


“The ground is not going to give way no matter how fast you’re falling,” says Hansrote, noting that he also has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from the reoccurrence of his head hitting the ground after jumping.


When asked about the performance triad, sleep, activity, and sleep. When combined in the proper way, optimal training performance can be achieved. Hansrote affirms that the Performance Triad of sleep, activity and nutrition “is tremendously important in training. Without sleep your body does not get a chance to recover,” said Hansrote.


He explained that a healthy diet gives him the energy to complete a day of physical activity and help keep his body in shape.


Through an adaptive reconditioning program that caters to the needs of wounded, Ill, and injured Soldiers, Hansrote says he was given back the ability to exercise without the fear of injuring himself even further. He is ecstatic to be a part of the Army Warrior Trials and hopes to continue his journey to the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado from Sept. 28 – Oct. 4.



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