Andrew Kinard likes to stretch far back in his wheelchair and wrap his hands behind his head, revealing long twin scars that run the length of his muscled forearms like mottled ravines. Its a casual pose, but one that took months of effort and dozens of surgeries to perfect.
"The fact that I can do this is pretty remarkable," he said, smiling and wiggling his fingers.
Today, the arms that J.D./M.B.A. candidate Kinard could barely lift from his hospital bed less than five years ago will power his handcycle wheelchair-- a low-sitting, hand-pedaled bicycle--across the finish line at the Boston Marathon. His journey up Heartbreak Hill will be the culmination of months of training, mostly done on stationary bike rollers in the basement of his Harvard Business School (HBS) apartment building, sometimes on the 17-mile loop of the Esplanade when the weather was nice enough.
But it will also mark the fulfillment of a promise Kinard made to himself not long after losing his legs: that the wounds he suffered in battle wouldnt control his life.
"Its a decision I have to make every day, he said. "It never goes away, but its a commitment that I made."