Meet Melissa Stockwell. She’s an American hero and champion triathlete; a dog lover and expecting mother. Prepare to be both inspired and motivated as you learn about her incredible story!
Tell us your story in 140 characters or less:
On April 13, 2004 while serving in the US Army in Iraq, I lost my left leg above the knee from a roadside bomb. After a year of therapy at Walter Reed Hospital trying to find my new normal, I fell back in love with athletics. In 2008 I competed in swimming at the Beijing Paralympics. In 2009 I turned to the sport of triathlon and have since competed around the country and the world. Thanks to my custom USA themed Trek Madone, I am a 3x Paratriathlon World Champion and hope to compete in Rio in 2016. Away from athletics, I work with prosthetics to fit other amputees with artificial limbs, am a motivational speaker, and co-founded the Chicago based Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. I am a proud American, a proud above the knee amputee and proud to live a life of sport.
(OK, that’s a pretty tough story to tell in 140 characters. We’ll give you a free pass, Melissa.)
What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
Working in the field of prosthetics, I literally get to give people their lives back. They come into my office defeated just after loosing a limb and we can provide them with a prosthetic. We get them up and enable them to do the things they love. As a speaker, I get to motivate others to follow their dreams and live life to the fullest. My jobs rock!
Favorite place you’ve ever traveled and why?
New Zealand in 2012 for Paratriathlon World Championships. It’s beauty is un-matched!
If you could only bring one unnecessary item on a trip, what would it be?
Does my dog count?
My neck pillow, plenty of Chapstick and some snacks for the ride.
Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.
Riding my new Trek Madone at World Championships in 2012. I got the bike a short week before the race and had limited time to practice on it. To ride it with its speed and effortless gear changes was amazing. Not to mention I was inspired every time I got to see the stars and stripes when I looked down. It led me to my 3rd World Championship win and I fell even more in love with Trek that day!
Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
Anyplace with great staff, a lounge pool and a lap pool, clean rooms and a coffee shop in the lobby gets an A+ in my book!
What is the best advice you have for our readers?
Outside of your family, who inspires you the most?
Anyone who has ever overcome a disability and gone on to succeed with whatever it is they want to do.
What is your personal motto or mantra?
To be my own rockstar. To be proud of what I do and to encourage others to dream big and go for their goals.
If you want to follow Melissa and learn more about her story, follow her on Twitter @MStockwell01.