Generation Iron Disability Inspiration BodybuildingThe only limits are the ones we put on ourselves.

Often in life, we are told what we cannot do. We are told there are rules to the world – and while those rules can be broken, it’s very unlikely that you will succeed by breaking them.

This is especially true when tragedy strikes. A crippling accident; a disability; or a medical condition since birth – words like “you’ll never walk again.” Odds that we are told are impossible to overcome.

We’re here to tell you to throw those rules out the window. Because in truth, there is more to the world than rules. There is a very intangible factor that makes us human. Sometimes it’s called motivation, drive, or perseverance. When impossible odds are overcome by digging deep down, rising to the challenge, and obtaining success on your own terms.

We often say bodybuilding is a lifestyle – but what happens when your lifestyle is suddenly or drastically changed? Below are some incredible and inspirational stories of bodybuilders who have broken perceived “rules” and continued to pump iron, flex muscle, and compete in bodybuilding events.

Tyler Carron: Bodybuilder Without Legs

In January 2007, Tyler and his friend were replacing a flat tire on the side of the road when tragedy struck. A car suddenly crashed and pinned the two of them. Tyler lost both of his legs.

But instead of falling into despair, Tyler discovered a new found happiness and positivity – because he realized that he was lucky to be alive. He was soon introduced to bodybuilder Michael Alexander, who got Tyler on a weightlifting regimen that put him on the path towards bodybuilding. He has competed in the Warrior Classic and took home the “Heart of a Warrior” award for his determination and inspiration.

While balance might be harder for him on the machines – he simply accepts the challenge and pushes forward. He claims it makes him feel good about himself. It gives him purpose. He stared life right in the eyes and decided that he wouldn’t be a victim – that he wouldn’t be told what he couldn’t do.

Daniel Moses Inspires the Masses

Generation Iron Daniel Moses motivation bodybuildingPhoto courtesy of  The Hinckley Times.

Sixty year old Bob Dawson from Hinckley, UK recently grabbed his third Mr. Universe title – and he claims to have gotten his motivation from a man named Daniel Moses. Daniel was born 30 weeks premature and soon diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. By age 11, Daniel had extensive surgery on his femur, tendons, and foot causing him to lose most of the strength in his legs.

Then he met Bob Dawson. With Bob’s support and coaching, Daniel was able to train towards a guest spot at the IBFA British Championships. Not only did he make it to the British Championships – he totally kicked butt and as a result is now in demand to appear in a slew of bodybuilding championships around the country – including the British Finals. He has also competed in the disabled class at the Hercules Olympia in which he took home a victory.

Bob was so inspired by Daniel’s success that he decided to head back into the Mr. Universe competition and ended up winning his third title.

This story proves that regardless of age or disability, nothing can compare to the strength of willpower and the human spirit. Not only was Daniel able to continue his love of bodybuilding – he also inspired others, like Bob, to look beyond their perceived limitations, rise up, and find personal success.

If you want to read the entire story, you can check it out here and get inspired.

Barbie Thomas: Fitness Unarmed

Barbie Thomas has been inspiring thousands of people across America. She is a female bodybuilder and mother-of-two. Oh, and did we forget to mention that she also has no arms? Barbie lost her arms to a horrific accident when she was two years old. She climbed up onto an electrical transformer, grabbed the wires, and was shocked until her arms were burnt to the bone.

Now 37, Barbie says that she can do anything. Except she uses her feet. She brushes her teeth with her feet, texts with her feet, and even drives with her feet. Not only is Barbie able to do what the average person can – she also challenges herself and pushes her body to the limit through bodybuilding.

While she got some funny looks when she first started competing in 2003, she has become an athlete just like the rest of the competitors – and still competes to this day. Her greatest victory came in 2012 when, for the first time, she placed ahead of someone else despite the fact that she had a few less muscles than her fellow competitor.

She also has confidence and a sense of humor. She runs her own website called Fitness Unarmed and occasionally writes in her blog aptly titled Footnotes.

When Barbie first had her accident the doctors told her she may not live – and if she did, that should would most likely be a vegetable for the rest of her life. Now she stands on a stage flexing her muscles like anyone else. She grew, she adapted, she ignored the “rules” that were given to her and made a successful life for herself.

Bodybuilding is a lifestyle – and no matter what happens, that lifestyle is yours to live. No one and nothing can take that away from you.

Barbie said it best:

“The only limitations are the ones you put on yourself. Everyone has limitations and handicaps in some way or another – mine are just more visible than yours maybe.”

– Barbie speaking to Mirror UK


Leave a comment below if you don’t let limitations stop you from achieving greatness. Life your life and lift no matter what anyone else tells you. You can spread your inspiration by following us on Facebook and Twitter. Stay pumped.


GI Team
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