Edward Lychik has spent much of the past year running around North America.
Los Angeles. Mexico. Boston.
The 24-year-old Puyallup man has traveled to many places, sometimes to race, sometimes to share his story.
On Monday (April 20), he’ll run his second Boston Marathon.
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Lychik’s left leg was amputated at the hip socket in 2011 after he was shot in Afghanistan where he was working as an Army combat engineer.
The prognosis was that he’d walk again only with crutches.
Instead he ran — without them.
“I just kind of share who I am,” Lychik said while in Boston a couple days before the race. In 2014, he gave about 20 motivational speeches. His aim: “Share my message that life is so much more magnificent than people think.”
He put quite the mileage on his prosthetic leg last year, running five marathons total (including last year’s Boston Marathon) and “a bunch of halves,” he said.
His fastest marathon time is 4 hours, 7 minutes, which he hopes to beat Monday. His goal is under four hours.
A company called Endurance Leaders sponsored his trip. He’d like to connect with other organizations to help fund his ventures, he said.
Some of the time he’s been living out of his car, by choice. He always wants to be moving, he said. Running. Meeting people.
He’s stayed at some hotels. Found some temporary rentals. Showered at fitness clubs on occasion.
His Facebook updates get hundreds of likes and lots of comments.
In between adventures, he’s called Los Angeles a home base. He loves his gym, he said.
“There’s also a girl that I like there,” he said cheerfully. “This might be a motivating factor.”
A big part of 2014 was a six-month stint when he lived in Mexico. He met another aspiring motivational speaker at a seminar, and in free-spirit fashion they headed south and found a place to live on the beach, an hour from the border.
There, they worked on their plans for how to reach their goals as speakers.
“Our walls were filled with papers of goals, plans, visions,” Lychik said. “We wanted to go and inspire the world, to make our own impact. How do you do it? There’s got to be a strategy.”
Sometimes that meant challenging each other in distinctive ways.
“One time for a week straight we slept for two hours a night,” he said. “It was exhausting. It was hard. But it’s like, the world isn’t so easy.”
The dream, Lychik’s decided, is: “to travel on a weekly basis. Go to a different country and speak to a hospital, and speak to schools. Immerse myself in a culture. Become like a family.”
Running on the beaches was a plus of living oceanside.
“I think I’m only just getting started,” he said.