A young Albuquerque man refuses to let a tragedy, which forced him into a wheelchair, get in the way of his fitness goals.
“On January 3rd, 2011 I got shot,” said Javier Vasquez.
He was just fifteen when he was shot two times at Pat Hurley Park in Albuquerque. The bullets shattered his spine.
“I lost mobility in my legs and lower body,” said Vasquez.
His doctors told him over and over he’d never walk, or workout again. However, Javier was determined to prove them wrong.
“All those negative comments, I used as motivation,” said Vasquez.
Javier is training for his second PCA Body Building competition.
“It’s hard, it’s a lot of dedication, but then again in life, nothing is handed to you,” said Vasquez.
In August, he competed for his first time, taking first place in his division. He faces challenges daily, racking weights and getting on the machines isn’t a simple task like it is for most people at the gym.
“Working out in a wheelchair ain’t easy,” said Vasquez.
But Javier has a long list of fitness friends, ready to lend a hand. We caught up with him at an Albuquerque Defined Fitness on Saturday as other gym-goers helped him complete a lifting session.
He says being sad about his situation would be the easy option, but he chooses to stay positive and sweat it out, hoping to set an example for anyone he meets.
“I try to let people know that if I can do it in a wheelchair, anyone can do it,” said Vasquez.
Javier will be competing again in August. He competes in a disabled division within the PCA.