Ballroom Dancer Who Lost Her Leg In The Boston Bombing Runs The Race Today

Three years ago, professional ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost her leg below the knee in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Today, she’s marking the recent anniversary of that traumatic, life changing moment in an incredibly inspiring way: The bombing survivor is running the Boston Marathon. According to Glamour, Haslet-Davis will run the 26.2 mile race in honor of those who were injured or killed in the 2013 terrorist attacks. She’s also raising money for the Limbs for Life Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing prosthetics to those who cannot afford them.

This isn’t the first time that Haslet-Davis has refused to let her injury slow her down. After losing her lower leg in the bombing, she worried that she would never be able to dance again, and began a long, intense process of recovery. In 2015, only two years after her injury, Haslet-Davis danced across the finish line of the Boston Marathon, gliding across the street in a graceful foxtrot with the help of an advanced prosthetic. A year later, she’ll be running across that same line.

One thing that makes this feat particularly impressive (besides, you know, every part of it) is that Haslet-Davis wasn’t a runner before she lost her leg. She told Jessica Radloff at Glamour that she originally got a blade prosthesis for “do[ing] the jive,” but that she put it away when she found it wasn’t well suited to dancing. “It sat in my closet before I pulled it out one day and decided to give this running thing a try,” she recalled. “I realized it was very difficult to use and I love a good challenge. I kept running to overcome that challenge, not thinking it would turn into what it did — a love affair of running and the decision to do 26.2.”

She began training for the marathon in October 2015, only six months before the race. April 18, aka Marathon Monday, she’ll hit the road with about 25,000 other runners. Images from Haslet-Davis’s Instagram show her excitedly prepping for the starting line.

When Glamour asked her how she thinks she’ll celebrate finishing the marathon, Haslet-Davis said she expects that it will be an emotional experience, saying, “Hopefully a lot of celebratory [tears] as well as sad tears, a cold Sam Adams, and a giant pizza! Or two!” She remarked,

For those on TV, I hope you see me struggle, cry, and triumph, because that is life, and all of its beautiful, messy parts. I hope they see that it is not easy and that Boston’s finest are on hand to ensure that every one of us 30,000 runners are safe and very well taken care of! Also I hope that one person is inspired by seeing any one of us cross that finish line.

One person? I think it’s safe to say that Haslet-Davis will inspire a lot more than that. In fact, I have a feeling there will be a lot of us sobbing happy tears the moment she crosses the finish line.

Images: Adrianne Haslet/Instagram (4)