IF YOU HAPPEN to see a man with prosthetic legs running a marathon in your town this month, don't be surprised. It's just another day at the office for Rob Jones.
Jones is running 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days. This may sound insane, but Jones, 32, specializes in making the insane sane. In 2014 he rode a bicycle from Maine to California in winter, and not just any winter. Remember the polar vortex?
Jones doesn't have to do this. But he didn't have to join the Marines, either. A decade ago he was a student at Virginia Tech and chose to be a Marine. He didn't wait until graduation, when he could have tried to be an officer. He wanted to be a grunt.
Jones became a lance corporal. His job was detecting improvised explosive devices. One day, in Afghanistan, he missed an IED. It blew his legs off.
Jones went through a long, grueling rehab. Some people would just hope to perform everyday tasks again. Jones has accomplished a lot more than that. In 2012, at the Paralympics in London, he and fellow rower Oksana Masters won bronze.
Now he is running a month of marathons. His first race is this week in London; 29 of his next 30 are in the U.S., and the other is in Toronto. You can find the itinerary at robjonesjourney.com and sign up to run with him.
Jones wants to become "a better version of himself." He's also raising money for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. He raised $125,000 during his bike ride and wants to hit $1 million within a month.
He also wants to show fellow injured veterans that there is life beyond amputation. And he wants Americans to connect with vets, and show everybody the value of sacrificing time and energy for a larger goal.
VIDEO ON SI.COM
For more on Rob Jones and his journey, go to SI.com