SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

Body-building while Paralyzed

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Anand Arnold

My life changed after becoming paralyzed

At the age of 13, I won my first title  – Mr. Golden Ludhiana. I was doing well until I suddenly started experiencing extreme pain in my lower back. One night it was unbearable and I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors discovered that I was suffering from last stage of lower spinal cord cancer. I was immediately operated on, but unfortunately that left me paralysed.

I was bed-ridden for three years. My family and loved ones were very worried, but I did not give up.  I remained positive and knew that all was not over yet. One day, the students who used to train under me, brought me to the gym where I did a few shoulder exercises. That short session was enough for me to get inspired and return to training.

Current day

At that time, my coach, Mr. Ravi Parashar helped me restart an intensive fitness regime. He allowed me to work out at his health club for free and also supported me mentally. Thanks to him and all those who stood by me, it was no looking back from there on. I started winning titles the moment I got back to my training. I’ve been crowned Mr. India 3 times, Mr Punjab 12 times, and also have 27 other titles to my name. Apart from being India’s first wheelchair bodybuilder, I am also the face of Muscle Mania and the brand ambassador of Halelifenutrition.com.

I have also taken part in the reality show India’s Got Talent, where the judges christened me ‘India’s Superman’ after I showcased stunts on a wheelchair. That was a moment of great pride for me because I was being recognized by famous personalities. Training on a wheelchair is not easy at all. For the average person it takes several weeks, at times even several months, to get ready for a competition. It takes me at least a year.

But I am a warrior and I will fight till the end. I do all this without taking any extra supplements or steroids. I think that in itself is a huge achievement. Another challenge I face is raising funds for my training. As of today, I’ve not received any kind of sponsorship. Though there are health ministers and other influential people living in my locality, no one has come forward to help me and my family. My father, who is has retired from the Air Force, has been the one who’s always ensured that I get whatever I need, be it for my diet, my training or my competitions. I am really grateful to him and to my family for supporting me through and through

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