My journey took shape in the British army, where I served as an infantryman during the bustling period of 2007 to 2011. Unfortunately, my path in the forces was curtailed by a medical discharge due to an injury. An ironic twist emerged, as I left the army on my feet, unaware of the extent of my injury. It wasn’t until later that the true impact of the injury revealed itself—walking became a painful ordeal, accompanied by swelling. I progressed from crutches to a harsh reality: I could no longer walk at all. What once allowed me to stand and move a bit eventually confined me to a wheelchair, where I’ve spent the last 3.5 years.
My connection to army life ran deep; it was a unique calling unlike any other profession. In my youth, I was a lanky kid, lacking muscle mass. My foray into training was sparked by a desire to build the strength needed for military service.
During a training exercise involving a cliff descent, I exceeded expectations, including my own. A loss of grip and balance led to a fall that impacted my back, setting the stage for my current condition.
My journey into training was a gateway to a newfound love for bodybuilding. While it briefly made me contemplate an alternative to the army, my perspective on life transformed in ways I could never have imagined. Although life presented fresh challenges, it also became more fulfilling in many aspects.
My motivation for competing emerged from a genuine love for the sport. Confronted with the prospect of life in a wheelchair, I saw two choices: succumb to it or harness my inner strength to demonstrate that despite the circumstances, there's much left to achieve and experience.
A remarkable chapter unfolded in the UK where there was no established wheelchair category. Over time, I connected with Nick Scott and the UK promoters, 2 Bros, and together we ushered in a new era. The IFBB played a pivotal role in making this endeavor a reality on British soil.
The driving forces behind my journey are my wife and children, alongside the camaraderie with others facing similar circumstances. We're a collective force, all thriving in our own ways.
Embrace the leap into the unknown. Only you can initiate the journey; while others can offer guidance, it's ultimately your actions that shape your path. There will be moments when pain is overwhelming or new setbacks arise, yet we persevere. The incredible synergy between the mind and body holds remarkable power.
• Amateur Contest History
2022 Arnold Classic UK Amateur : 1st Place