Core workouts key for man planning to use exoskeleton to compete in 2016 Bridge Run

Adam Gorlitzky (5).jpg

A local man is a few monumental steps closer to his goal of running the Cooper River Bridge Run 10 years after he was paralyzed in a car accident.

Exoskeleton technology is giving people with spinal cord injuries the chance to walk again. For Adam Gorlitzky, the hope is it gives him the chance to do a little more than walk.

Gorlitsky, 29, says he always knew he'd walk again one day. But now he's running toward a new challenge -- the Cooper River Bridge Run.

"It's a physical challenge," Gorlitsky said. "I'm a former cross country athlete, ran track and played basketball in high school and it's a real, it's like I'm back at it again."

On Thursday, he had his third workout using the exoskeleton, technology that gives him the ability to use his legs again.

"It's a freeing feeling. I'm in control of something that's been in control of me, the lower half of my body for ten years," Gorlitsky said.

He said standing is an entirely different experience, strengthening muscles he hasn't felt in ten years.

"Working on my core really allows me to work on getting that torque I need to move this machine more efficiently so it's just constant core stuff, constant core workout," he said.

His friends and family have been with him every step of the way. But he says one person in particular inspires him every single day.

"Christopher Reeve," Gorlitsky said. "He was the real Superman. I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps, carry on his legacy, you know."

Gorlitzky's doctor at Roper Saint Francis says he's the first person in South Carolina to buy his own ReWalk Exoskeleton.

For Gorlitzky, putting his best foot forward means something as simple as getting to eat standing up. He says that's something worth celebrating.

Gorlitzky has to pass a few tests mandated by the Food and Drug Administration before he can take the exoskeleton home. His parents are also training so they can help him with it.

The device costs nearly $100,000, and Gorlitzky is still fundraising through his GoFundMe page as he nears his goal of crossing the Ravenel Bridge as part of the Cooper River Bridge Run.

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