NORWOOD (CBS) – The feeling of the wind in his face, thrill of the speed, and the competitive feeling of being on a team: that’s what Matt Brown loves about his marathon training with Lucas Carr. “The coolest thing is just feeling the wind in my face,” he says, describing the first time they trained together. “I don’t think a smile left my face. It was a lot of fun.”
Matt was injured in a hockey accident two and a half years ago. He was paralyzed from the chest down. Matt says, “When I got hurt, I couldn’t in a million years imagine this. It’s something that it’s making me become normal again, like a normal teen. It’s great to be back.”
In February, Lucas asked Matt’s father Mike if Matt would be interested in teaming up with him for the Boston Marathon. Lucas, who’s a former Army Ranger, had served five years in Iraq and overseas. Lucas says he wanted to help Matt be a part of the competition. “To give Matt the exposure of a marathon and the opportunity to get back in athlete mode, this is a perfect chance,” says Lucas. “And it’s such an honor.”
Mike says at first he was hesitant, because it is demanding on his body.
But Matt wanted to give it a shot.
Lucas ordered the chair and in February they ran their first marathon in Hyannis. They finished in 4 hours and 40 minutes.
What’s Matt’s role? “I am the one telling Lucas to pace it, to go slow, that it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon.” Matt says with a smile, “He’s an animal. He’s an absolutely animal. He won’t stop until it’s done.”
Matt and Lucas are running with the Bruins Team to benefit the Bruins Foundation. They gave Matt his wheelchair, and he says it’s, “Awesome, how much they’ve done for me. It’s great to give back to them.”
Lucas says he draws on his military training for strength, and he is inspired by Matt every step of the way. “He’s truly genuine about everything he does.”
Matt and Lucas’ message: “Don’t let anything hold you back. Nothing. Nothing at all. If you want to do something, put your mind to it and do it.” On the back of their shirts the words Never Quit. “Just never quiet. That’s what we have to express to everyone. Never quit,” Matt says.
Matt has been accepted to several colleges, and says he is almost positive he’ll be going to Stonehill. He’s also been making tremendous progress at Journey Forward. “Today they got me up in a harness and it was the first time I was on a treadmill.” Earlier this week, “Monday my arm became really strong and it as able to do full bicep curls which was great.” What are his goals? To be healthy, he explains with determination, both physically and mentally.
Matt can’t wait for marathon Monday, to see the crowds, to compete with Lucas, and to feel the wind, “That last stretch Lucas puts everything into it. And that’s when the biggest smile on my face happens.”