Ruslan Greenan has been a fixture along Hendersonville Road for nearly a year, powering his wheelchair up and down the undulating road.

For the thousands of motorists who see him every day, he’s a model of perseverance and resolve. I tracked him down a couple of weeks ago to chat with him. Stopping in some shade, Ruslan told me that he rolls up and down Hendersonville Road to exercise. His workouts can last four or five hours, and he says he goes as far north as the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, and as far south as the Fletcher town limit.

Ruslan says he was born in the Ukraine near the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where an accident in 1986 released lethal amounts of radiation. He was born with spina bifida and a deformed left leg, he says.

Adopted by American parents, Ruslan says he grew up in northern Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia. His parents scheduled surgery at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore some 10 years ago, where Ruslan says he met Dr. Ben Carson. Before he entered politics, Carson was a well-known spinal surgeon perhaps best known for his pioneering work on conjoined twins.

Ruslan says he works out to stay as healthy as he can. He likes to be outside, but says temperatures about about 80 degrees make him dizzy and sick, so he works out at the Gold’s Gym on Hendersonville Road when he can’t be outside.

When he’s exercising, RuslanĀ  says he likes to listen to movie soundtracks, such as the “Legend” album by the music production group Two Steps from Hell, Clint Eastwood movie soundtracks like “Fistful of Dollars” (by Italian composer Ennio Morricone), and “Transformers” soundtracks.

 

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