“One day can change your life. One day can ruin your life.
All life is is three or four big days that change everything.” ― Beverly Donofrio
It’s been said that “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
That is to say, tragedy, no matter how difficult, has the ability to bring out the best in us.
If we let it, that is.
But goodness, it is incredibly hard to navigate through, right? Especially when nothing seems to make sense, and the path ahead yields little hope.
Yet we keep moving… slowly… surely.
For APEMAN Robin Holtry, tragedy had become all too familiar.
“Back in 2015, I went on a family vacation to Colorado with my mother, sister and grandfather,” he reflected. “On a family rafting trip, my grandfather fell into the cold Poudre river which triggered a heart attack. The day was a blur. I was on a separate raft when we got the signal to make our way to shore, and all I remember hearing is my mother screaming as she frantically held onto my grandfather, so he wouldn’t continue floating down the river. I didn’t have the slightest clue what exactly was happening.”
Robin tried making his way to their raft where CPR was being performed on his grandfather. Robin still remembers watching his grandfather’s hands turn grey.
“He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead,” Robin said. “My grandfather was my biggest supporter. Sadly, I had just lost my grandmother the month prior. All of this was like a knife to the heart.”
When Robin returned home, the silence was deafening.
He did nothing. Went nowhere. Spoke to no one. Just shut the world off.
He had never felt more alone.
“I knew I shouldn’t live like that, but the pain hurt too much,” he said. “I didn’t know what else to do, so I did the only thing I knew how to: lift.”
Robin would spend up to four hours in the gym each day to numb the pain. When he was lifting, he didn’t think about the hurt. If he could’ve, he would’ve slept in the gym. That continued for a few months, but he knew ignoring the pain wasn’t the answer.
“At that moment, I saw a guy wearing an OVERCOME shirt,” he remembered. “I saw APEMAN’s logo on the back and looked it up. After reading the meaning behind the shirt, I broke down. For so long, I felt lost and didn’t know what I was doing. But when I saw that OVERCOME shirt and saying, I dug deeper and found POWERED BY RAGE. Part of me felt it was my grandfather leading me to this.”
Robin says APEMAN STRONG is a brand that seemingly speaks directly to him. It fills him with hope – something he didn’t have before.
“APEMAN’s products pulled me out of the depths of hell and helped me forge forward onto better things,” Robin said. “Learning that there were those like me who felt absolutely lost but still overcame it all.
“I’ll never forget that.”