Paraplegic SLC woman training for Miami marathon

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jan 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-27 12:36:26-04

A Salt Lake City woman will try to complete the Miami marathon this Sunday, which is pretty impressive in and of itself, but Rebecca Geckeritz will be trying to complete the 26.2 miles using her arms.

Life isn't easy for Goeckeritz, but she's certainly used to it. One day when she was just 15 months old she wandered away from her mother.

“She heard a car start up in the distance. And she looked to see if my sister and I were with her and I was not,” Goeckeritz explains. “She ran to the front of the house and I had already been hit.”

Goeckeritz would never walk again, she was paralyzed from the waist down. However, as a child she discovered her brother's Big Wheel.

“I hopped on his [big wheel], folded my legs Indian-style and started pedaling with my hands,” says Goeckeritz. “And my parents saw this and were so excited that I wanted to be active like that, so they went out that night and bought my very own Big Wheel bicycle.

In 2010, her husband Isaac bought her a hand cycle and their recreational rides soon became long treks in all kinds of conditions.

Now with the help of trainers from Fit Studio and a donated competition cycle from Sears, 31-year-old office manager will attempt her first marathon this Sunday in Miami.

Goeckeritz will also be propelled by her amazingly upbeat attitude, despite being dealt what many would consider a bad hand.

“The outpouring of support has just been amazing,” said Goeckeritz. She says all the emails, messages and words of support have helped push her in her training and calls those her “motivational moments.”

In addition to hand cycling, Goeckeritz likes to swim and play the violin.