August 4th 2018. I'm sitting at my desk writing out a new wave of client programs when I get a message through the business page. Exciting stuff! A simple question is all it was, "can you lose weight through weight training alone?" and I answered....in a bit more detail than was needed...it was a bit overkill looking back. Little did I know this new client would not only become a huge member of the Forge Fam, but also a really dear friend.

David is the backbone of any gym; hard working, determined, inspirational and can talk the ears off you between sets before repping out a 110kg squat like it was nothing.

When David came to me for advice, I was more than happy to sit down with him and talk about his goals. He told me his story, how his mental health has suffered through endless bullying due to his disability, being told he can't do certain things because of his disability, the spark and the desire to lose weight, get stronger and boost his confidence.

With his disability he was limited in what he could do. Any exercises that were high intensity would need to be dialled back otherwise he would feel ill, compound movements would need to be monitored closely until his balance improved with load, and every movement would be broken down bit by bit until I was confident he could perform them on his own.

Little did I know this caution wouldn't last long...

What started as a 25kg trap bar deadlift in session #1, turned into a 110kg deadlift within 4months. I don't mean a 1RM...I mean he picked that up like he was picking a napkin off the floor. Still room for more!

It doesn't stop at deadlifts...

Squats weren't safe from his crusade! We started with just bodyweight squats before moving on to just the bar by the end of our first session. With a lot of training, determination and some help from his friends in the Forge Fam he was squatting 120kg with exceptional form within a year.

I monitored David's progress and I could only sit back and watch him reach and exceed every goal he set with me on that first consultation:

Goal : Reality

- 100kg deadlift by Christmas : 120kg deadlift

- 68kg squat by New Year 2018 : 100kg squat

- XXL t-shirts and 38" waist in January 2018 : Large t-shirts and 32" waist by September 2018

I have met a lot of inspirational people in my life and David is definitely up there with some of the best of them. It's not just the progress he's made in the gym, but the progress he made mentally. After hearing all the abuse he would receive on a daily basis, the problems with his physical and mental health he's endured, to see him in the gym laughing with his friends and defying doctors limitations would always put a smile on my face.

David defied all expectations and pushed himself beyond what he, and everyone else, thought was possible.

If you ever have the pleasure of bumping into David, ask him about his story.

And if there's anything to take from David's story, it's that ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible. The only limit is yourself.

Connor Kelly

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