Brian Riley was exposed to CrossFit while serving as a Marine, but an injury overseas forced him to relearn everything. Now he’s putting his experiences as an adaptive athlete to good use at CrossFit Del Mar in San Diego, California.
Riley was stationed in Afghanistan when he took a medium-machine-gun round to the lower left leg. The injury resulted in a below-the-knee amputation.
After returning home, he began attending CrossFit Del Mar’s free Wednesday classes for Wounded Warriors.
“It was kind of an eye-opening experience ... how much the biomechanics change when you don’t have an ankle, and then how much stays the same,” Riley says.
Now he’s using what he’s learned about himself to help other adaptive athletes discover what they’re capable of.
Video by Eric Maciel.
Additional reading: “Warriors on the Waves” by Andréa Maria Cecil, Dave Re and Naveen Hattis, published April 19, 2014.