Overcoming Adversity-One rep at a time

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By Kenny Mitchell

When you see Chad McCrary’s bodybuilding pictures the first word that comes to mind is “wow” and when you meet him in person the response is much the same. What you see in person is a man that has overcome a lot of adversity and those words are permanently displayed  on his chiseled arms.
“Overcome adversity” is much more than a tattoo for McCrary though as it has been his life since a 2005 motocross accident put him in a wheelchair with an incomplete transaction of his spinal cord. The injury was caused by a burst fracture of his T-12 vertebrae when McCrary and his bike came down on the apex of a hill during a motocross run that changed his life forever.
The bodybuilder is a 1992 graduate of DeKalb High and has a storied history in the town that he once again calls home. His grandfather, Butler McCrary, was a well-known, well-liked car dealer in DeKalb for decades and owned McCrary Motors on the site that Buddy’s Tires sits now.
McCrary says that his grandfather was a guiding force in his life that taught him what it means to be generous and of a high moral fiber and he gives his grandfather credit for him being the man he is today.
That is a man that has not let his accident keep him down.
Working as a firefighter and paramedic at the Red River Army Depot before his accident, McCrary transitioned that career into being a paralegal at the Depot. On a personal level, the achievements since the accident have been even greater.
McCrary was already a bodybuilder with impressive features before the injury, but after, he vowed to come back even better and that is exactly what he has done. His upper body got even stronger, more defined and in championship form and he will soon turn his efforts into a professional level.
After gaining many accolades, including a 2nd place finish at the 2008 Wheelchair Nationals in West Palm Beach, FL., McCrary is once again prepping himself for a run at pro status with two meets scheduled for next year. He is currently getting in shape and preparing for either another trip to West Palm Beach and the 2014 Wheelchair Nationals or the 2014 Wheelchair competition in New Orleans.
“You can’t let things that happen to you change who you are,” said McCrary over lunch at the Junction, “The doctors told me I would never walk independently again and look at me. I mean, it isn’t the most graceful walk, but I am walking and they said I never would. You have to believe in yourself and what you know you can do and not listen to all of those negative people out there and surround yourself with people who will help you do what you have in your sights.”
McCrary has done that and gives a lot of credit and praise to his new girlfriend ReLynn Fields. He says Fields has been a big reason he has had the resolve recently to push forward to another shot at pro status and states, “I feel super lucky to have met her and she is the kindest hearted person I have ever met. She gives me inspiration and fortitude of inner strength that’s unimaginable.”
McCrary has taken his story online in hopes of inspiring others to never give up and to “Overcome Adversity” like he has.
He states, “The main reason I did is because I want to inspire and give hope to others that might think sometimes all hope is lost. I am here to tell you it isn’t.”
The fact that after lunch McCrary got up and walked out of the Junction to get in his very appropriate for him American made muscle car is a testament to that spirit that drives him to conquer his challenges, inspire others and compete on the national stage.
He also wants to tell his story to as many people as possible and has made himself available for speaking engagements and hopes to use this medium as a way to continue to spread his message that there is never a reason to give up and adversity is just something to conquer.
If you have more questions for him or would like to talk to him about speaking to your group of any kind or size, give him a call at 903-219-7272.

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