The 25-year-old former Rutgers defensive tackle, who was paralyzed during a game against Army in 2010, talks about his recovery and his life today.
MAGGIE GRAY:It's been five years since your spinal cord injury. Tell us about some of the progress you have made in that time.
ERIC LEGRAND: Things have been great for me. I am very fortunate and very blessed. I'm still in therapy three times a week, working my butt off. I've been working with the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which is partnered with my foundation, Team LeGrand. I've been able to work on a NeuroRecovery Network treadmill. I've done over 500 sessions on it, and it has helped me to regain so much movement: From my trunk extensions to my back to lifting up my arms, to moving around, dancing and doing the Shimmy Shake. It's helped me so much to be able to go through all those therapy sessions and improve. It's been five years. It's been a grind. It's not always easy and it's not always fun, but I would say the discipline of football prepared me for this. Back then I was always in the weight room or in practice or in class; always focused. Now I just put that focus toward my therapy.
MG:What have you learned about yourself in the last five years?
EL: I've learned that I actually have some patience. I never had much patience before this happened. But now I'm in a situation where I have to have patience. But with everything that has been going on with spinal cord injury research, it gets me amped up. It's like, "Get out there! Get your life going!"
For more of LeGrand's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow
"It's not always easy, but the discipline of football prepared me for this."
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