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As a teenager, Nick Scott had aspirations to play professional football, with his sights set on the NFL. Then a car accident at the age of 16 sent his entire life in a different direction. “The doctor bluntly told me I was paralyzed from the waist down, and that I would never walk again, or play football,” he says. “So my dream of being a football star was gone.”
In a recent episode of the Brand New Me webseries, Nick recalls how, following the accident, he fell into a deep depression and began to put on weight. “When you have no hope, you go to an escape route, and my escape route was food,” he says. “I went from 165 pounds to over 300 pounds.”
Things started to change for the better when Nick got into lifting weights while going to the gym with his brother Raymond, and he ended up finding a new sense of purpose by competing in strength events like the bench press. At one point, he was benching 450 pounds.
“If I couldn’t play football, sports or anything, the one thing I could be was stronger than everybody. And that’s what I did,” he says. “I started doing powerlifting competitions, and I ended up being a two-time world powerlifting champion.”
From there, Nick started taking part in wheelchair bodybuilding competitions, which were few and far between to begin with. Now, he’s competed in over 200 shows in the States and abroad, including being ranked as the #1 wheelchair bodybuilder in the world in 2014. “One of the highlights of my career was getting wheelchair bodybuilding acknowledged as a professional sport,” he says.
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“What I hope to accomplish is showing people it’s about turning disabilities into possibilities,” he says. “Do not compare yourself to others; just live your life, baby steps, keep moving forward. Anything is possible, it’s just figuring out what you’re good at and becoming amazing at it.”
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