The Things They Carried

"Don't make us look bad, now!’ I razzed Michael Mills, 39, as he literally crawled up Stone Mountain today for the third year in a row. His supporters, unofficially known as Team GORMR (Georgia Obstacle Race and Mud Runners), climbed on their hands and knees alongside him. The married father of three is a T12 paraplegic who suffered permanent paralysis in his legs at age 16 after a tragic car accident with a drunk driver in 1993. But Mills, who lives in Covington, GA, never let that stop him from participating in the sports he loved and absolutely believes anything is possible. In fact, he became the first paraplegic to ever compete in a Spartan race in 2013, among other impressive achievements. You can follow him on Facebook at Chasing Michael Mills


Mills and Team GORMR were out training for the Spartan, of course, but they were also out raising money and awareness for a handful of causes such as Bert's Big Adventure, the military suicide rate, and three year-old Haiven, Mills' niece who suffers from Tay-Sachs. The group began from the base of the mountain at around 9:30am and finished just after sunset (Mills rode his special off-road wheelchair down, while others crawled or walked down after reaching the top), and those who weren't on their hands and knees alongside Mills carried some sort of heavy burden in their arms, in their rucks, or on their backs and shoulders. One guy had about 150lbs strapped to his body. In between bursts of filming Mills, I managed to get some inspiring images of "the things they carried."

Below are some images of others training for the Spartan from the week before on February 1st. Pictured: Craig Brown, 32, Duane Forest, 46, Tariq, 13, Kamryn, 17, and holding the Bulagarin bags, Boniface, 25, Brandon, 25, and John, 27.