IN 2004, COSTCO member Gail
Storey of Boulder, Colorado, set
out on a 2,663-mile journey with
her husband, Porter, that transformed her life. They hiked the
Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico,
through California, Oregon and
Washington, to Canada.
Storey, 56 at the time, says she
had never much cared for fitness
or the outdoors. “I did it for love—
love for my husband and a longing
to be with him on such an epic
adventure,” she says. “I had never
hiked or camped before, but
trusted myself to learn what I
needed to hike and live for months
in the wilderness. I nearly drowned
fording icy rapids in the High
Sierra, but surviving taught me
how precious life is and the importance of taking care of one’s body.
“In the high desert, I rounded
a switchback and came face to face
with a mountain lion. In her gaze,
I experienced our oneness with
nature and all creatures, before
she turned and walked back the
way she’d come.”
The experience inspired
Storey to write I Promise Not to
Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the
Pacific Crest Trail (Mountaineers
Books, 2013; not available at
Costco), and it’s had a lasting
impact on her. She now hikes
several times a week in the foot-
hills of the Rocky Mountains, as
well as bikes, swims and practices
yoga and hoop dancing.
Storey says, “I discovered that
fitness was as much emotional,
psychological and spiritual as physical.”—Will Fifield
CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
ANDRÉ KAJLICH (pronounced ky-lick) is
an elite endurance athlete, with impressive
shoulders and upper-body musculature,
but that’s not what most first notice about
him. Instead, most people can’t help
staring at his shiny prosthetic legs.
Kajlich lost his left leg at the hip
and his right leg above the knee
when he fell off a subway platform
and was struck by an oncoming train in
2003. Initially, doctors didn’t think he’d
walk again, even with prosthetic legs.
“About 10 months after the accident, I
came to terms with the situation,” Kajlich,
who lives in Edmonds, Washington, recalls.
“I decided then and there that I wasn’t
going to worry about what I couldn’t con-
trol, or waste time wishing things were dif-
ferent. I decided to push forward and just
do whatever I could to have a fulfilling life.”
In 2008, he discovered a passion for fit-
ness when he bought a racing wheelchair.
He liked the exercise so much that in 2010
he participated in a triathlon through
Challenged Athletes Foundation (chal
lengedathletes.org) in San Diego.
“Afterward, I was hooked,” he says.
Since then, he’s been pushing himself
hard. Among his many accolades, he’s the
first wheelchair athlete to complete an
Ultraman Triathlon (a 6.2-mile swim, a
262-mile bike leg and a 52.4-mile run over
three days) and the first wheelchair athlete
to finish the Brazil 135, a 135-mile foot
race, or, in Kajlich’s case, wheelchair race.
He’s currently training to become the first
solo hand cyclist to complete the Race
Across America ( raceacrossamerica.org), in
which he’ll cover more than 3,000 miles.
Kajlich trains hard, but he’s not driven
by anger or regret. “I’m still me—just get-
ting around a bit differently these days,”