“I came to terms with being a lesbian probably my sophomore year,” said Marcus. “I even made some friends. It was getting better, I thought. That is until I would have to go in the girls locker room and change. Then it came rushing in, the overwhelming anxiety, the depression. I just hated my body, I absolutely hated it. I would have rather failed gym than go in that locker room, which I nearly did. I just didn’t understand. The rest of my time in high school was pretty much the same. I hated it. As time went on, I got angrier and angrier, but why?”Read More
“When Jack was almost two-years-old he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer called Wilms’ Tumor,” his mom, Kelli, said. “We heard words we tried to ignore like ‘diffuse,’ anaplastic’ and ‘poor outcome.’ Our world was rocked. Jack’s definition of OVERCOME didn’t ring true for us in this situation. As parents, childhood cancer was never a fear we had or something we thought we would ever have to face. However, not overcoming this was simply never an option.”Read More
“As long as I can remember, I’ve had anxiety and depression,” he said. “I always took medication from the time I could swallow a pill. I was medicated my whole life until I turned 18 and refused to go to a doctor. After that, I started self-medicating with Xanax and anything I could find.”
Adam got into a serious motocross accident at 19. At the hospital, doctors began giving Adam Vicodin and other norcos like they were nothing.Read More
“I needed to run,” he said. “I needed to escape, and I knew my body was ready for me to make that move. My plan was to make a run for the neighbor’s house who was a police officer. I knew he could have helped. Done something to control the situation. But I just sat there with this feeling of absolute fear in my mind, stomach and arms. It paralyzed me.”Read More
“My left arm bent inwards, hearing a sickening popping noise as I quickly grabbed my elbow, now back in place as my father and other coaches ran over to me.” Jacob said. “We didn’t know what it was, but I wanted to keep wrestling. The trainer stopped me, telling me to wait and see how it felt. Thank God he did, because in a few hours my arm swelled to twice its size, a large bruise forming at the inside of my elbow as it became stiff.”Read More
“I’m an ex-alcoholic and drug addict who also lost his own stomach to stomach cancer at age 22,” Mike said. “I’ve gone from being homeless and living under a bridge in California at 25-years-old to becoming a married homeowner at 30.
“I’ll never give up. Ever.”Read More
Vincent’s significant other, best friend, lover and girlfriend of two years had taken her own life.
“I came home that night, after an argument that morning to be greeted by silence,” he said. “Not only did she die, but a part of me did, too. She was the most beautiful, loyal, caring, compassionate, selfless, and empathetic person I had ever known. We’d stay up until the early mornings just talking. Sharing. Laughing.”Read More
“For the rest of my high school education, I was in and out of treatment facilities for Anorexia Nervosa and Exercise Bulimia,” she said. “I became addicted to feeling empty, fragile and weak. I severely restricted my intake and would run until I burnt off double whatever minuscule amount I consumed. Although I was tired, I was constantly chasing the high that my eating disorder gave me. I was no longer living for myself; I was either eating to please other people or succumbing to the voice in my head. I was completely disconnected from my body and in denial that what I was doing could have serious repercussions.”Read More
“My father died when he was just 35, I was only seven-years-old,” Branden said. “I grew up in a broken home and we were very poor. I was hurt. Angry. Developed trust issues. I don’t think I ever really recognized how angry I was.”Read More
For all of his adult life, Cory Brown struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism. He’d been in and out of rehab centers and jails since he was 15. For years, he never knew anything other than just staying high.
“I’ve overdosed three times,” he said. “Drank myself to an oblivion on a daily basis. Destroyed my connection with my parents and two brothers, but ultimately they never gave up on me.”Read More
The relentless bullying and harassment Paul subsequently endured intensified after he started wearing his brace. Being beat up in the halls of junior high school was a normal thing, and he became very depressed and introverted.Read More
Wes has battled depression after all of these tragic events. Lifting, however, gives him a safe place to release his anger, and rejuvenate his spirit.
“Lifting gives me an out, a place where everything is quiet, and all the pain goes into training,” he said.Read More
“Failure has defined my life,” James Teeple said.
Something inside of him is broken and it hasn’t been easy to fix. He grew up surrounded by anger and violence, both inside and outside of his home.Read More
Taylor was molested for seven years.
First by his own mother, then by her friends.
Sometimes in life, you encounter a situation that is so evil, so incomprehensible that simply living and moving forward seems impossible.Read More