By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionMarch 6, 2018
FORT BLISS, Texas - Watching Sgt. Jonathan Weasner navigate on a track is like trying to catch lighting in a bottle.
"The funny thing is that this was really my first time in that wheelchair; so it felt really good. It was incredible," Weasner said.
The former track coach is used to challenging himself and others. He says he always encouraged his athletes to push themselves to the limit and keep looking forward.
"The only time you should look back is to see how far you've come. You should always look forward," he said.
Now, Weasner is taking his own advice. This week he's joining 74 other wounded, ill and injured active duty Soldiers and Army veteran athletes who are trying to earn a spot on Team Army during the 2018 Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas. If selected, athletes will participate in the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 2- 9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado where they will compete in 10 adaptive sports including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, field, and wheelchair basketball, rowing and powerlifting.
After suffering hip and back injuries due to years of training exercises, Weasner recovered at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. During his time there, he developed a love for adaptive sports and soon after stumbled across information about the DoD Warrior Games.
"I started researching and began asking about Army Trials. I almost didn't make the deadline to get my packet in, but the powers that be pushed my packet through and the rest, as they say, is history," Weasner said.
The infantryman hopes to earn a spot on Team Army for the first time and head to Colorado Springs to compete in cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track, field, and wheelchair basketball, rowing and powerlifting.
"I'm not a book of quotes, but I can tell you that I refuse to give up. It's about pushing through. I have incredible motivators, like Sgt. Chris Montes and Spc. Brent Garlic, who are also participating at Army Trials. We all motivate each other. I wasn't about to sit on a couch and eat chips, that's a no go. You've got to get up and run the race on a track or in life."