Bruce Van Hoorn says he was something of an athlete before he was paralyzed from the ribs down in an accident three years ago. Today, he's training to compete in marathons.
Van Hoorn, then 22, was in Hawaii when a four-wheel-drive vehicle in which he was riding rolled over, pinning him underneath. Shortly after the accident, Van Hoorn was moved to the Northridge Hospital Medical Center for treatment and rehabilitation.
While in rehabilitation, he joined the hospital's track team, part of a recreational therapy program for wheelchair athletes.
Van Hoorn, a Woodland Hills resident, and four of his teammates are training for the L.A. Marathon on March 9.
"We train at least every other day," Van Hoorn said. "Some days we go 40 miles, other days we go 10.
"It's not as hard as running. Your body doesn't take the abuse that runners take. We do get muscle pulls. Sometimes you rip out your elbows or shoulders, but if you build yourself up, you can avoid that.