Man fighting back after facing life in wheelchair

Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM.

Thomas, Burkett said, is the reason he is now riding a bike five miles a day, had whittled his medications from nine to two and is working with weights three days a week at One Way Fitness Center.

Burkett spent eight months under the care of Thomas, who pushed, cajoled and celebrated each milestone.

Burkett said he also took inspiration from friends and neighbors, folks in the community who reached out and put him on so many prayer lists at churches.

And two months ago, Burkett walked stiffly into One Way and began a workout routine.

“I couldn’t put any weight on any of the machines,” Burkett said. “I used to be 275 pounds and I was down to 180. My legs, you could see the bones they were so skinny.”

Now, they have the appearance of fire plugs. From no weight on the leg press Burkett now pushes 300 pounds. He does a full circuit three days a week, working his arms, his legs, his core muscles.

“I never would have thought I’d be doing this,” Burkett said. “But after the first month I knew the sky was the limit. I don’t like anybody telling me what I can’t do. But I will tell you, this has been hard work.

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