From War Hero to Paralympian – a Rowing Recovery

From War Hero to Paralympian – a Rowing Recovery

Row2Recovery’s Jordan Beecher Shares How Rowing Has Been a Major Part of His Rehabilitation

 

As the date for the launch of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Race nears, FDF sponsored Row2Recovery athlete Jordan Beecher shares his inspirational story of losing a limb as a paratrooper to his motivation to row the transatlantic as a Paralympian.

From the gruelling training regimes of the British Army to the stamina required to complete the upcoming 4,800km row across the Atlantic Ocean, Jordan Beecher is no stranger to pain. After losing his left leg to an Improvised Explosive Device while serving in the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan, Jordan pushed through the physical and mental challenges of adjustment.

Known for his military and sporting abilities, Jordan initially shied away from fitness and competitive sports following the injury. However, determined to recover and live a full life, Jordan soon discovered rowing was a great outlet that enabled him to rehabilitate and compete on an even playing field of able-bodied athletes.

With rowing as his saving grace, he loved the fact that he had never once rowed with two legs and therefore had no baseline by which to compare his post injury performance and ability.

“Like many military personnel do when given a new purpose, I threw myself into the sport with everything I had from the earliest stages of my recovery process.”

Realising his potential, rowing quickly become a passion which he still endures to this day. The long and dedicated hours of training resulted in Jordan representing Great Britain at the Invictus Games in both London and Florida, eventually luring him to leave the British Army to train as a full-time athlete for the Great British Rowing Team.

Throughout his training, he raced for Great Britain in many prestigious Para-rowing events, while also securing himself a position as part of an able-bodied eight, racing at the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta.

Despite leaving the professional sporting world in 2016 to concentrate on a new career, it wasn’t long before Jordan was drawn back to the sport that had been so critical to his rehabilitation.

Today, rowing training and indoor rowing continues to provide much pleasure for Jordan who is always looking for his next challenge – it’s no surprise he has embarked on this incredible Transatlantic endeavour with best friend Jon Armstrong.

“I don’t think either of us understood the size of the task we were setting ourselves when we took up the challenge! It has been the source of much discussion and some sleepless nights as we have considered the scale of the task at hand.”

With less than three months until the race, Jordan and Jon are busy fundraising, managing logistics and promoting their cause. It has been an eye opening experience for the dynamic duo and they are yet to take a single stroke towards their final destination.

“Jon and I would not be here if it was not for the generous support of companies like First Degree Fitness. Being able to train on the Viking Pro indoor rowing machines sponsored by FDF means we are training on the closest land based platform to on-water rowing, without the risk of injury.”

The two Viking Pro indoor rowing machines donated by FDF are a critical tool in the pair’s training routine. Recently, the duo rowed continuously for 24 hours at a public event to simulate just one of the expected 40-90 days of the transatlantic challenge.

Jordan and Jon are now moving to the next phase of their training which will involve sea tests of their new ocean rowing boat. Stay tuned for the first branded pictures of the 7-metre boat which will carry Jon and Jordan on their journey.

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