Small group of athletes training to compete in sports, life

Small group of athletes training to compete in sports and life
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With less than 90 days from the kick-off to football season, players are in weight rooms and running outside to get ready for it. However, there's a smaller group of athletes training their muscles and pushing their bodies to compete in not just sports but also in life.

"Your mind is telling you that you can do it, and it's up to your body to make it work." said John Knazs.

Knazs lived 67 years without lifting anything heavier than his children. Now, he's a competitive powerlifter.

He has a broken back to thank as John is paralyzed from the waist down.

"There is life after injury," said Knazs.

You don't have to tell that to Wayne Weams. He's in the gym for the first time since high school thanks to a car accident that cost him his right leg.

"It's fun lifting weights again. It feels like I'm back in my high school days again," commented Weams.

They're preparing for the Endeavor Games, an adaptive athletic competition at the University of Central Oklahoma.

"I own 5 sets of feet," said Robert Bailey.

Bailey and his ten feet are training for a triathlon.

They are a part of a growing community of athletes learning to heal through athletics.

"I tell new amputees to heal from an amputation is three parts," said Bailey. "One is body, two is mind. Three is spirit. Sports works on all three."

"I just want the satisfaction that I can beat the young guys' butt," said Knazs.

"I would love to run the Boston Marathon," said Bailey.

While they all have different goals, their biggest hope is to inspire.

"Don't give up. If you give up, it's all over with," said Weams. "Just keep on every day. Take a step. One step at a time."

"I want to get that person who hadn't done much exercise lately. If he can do this, I can do it. No excuses," said Bailey.

They say the battle is within yourself and so is the ability.

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