Zach’s Story 

As my business partner and I are just starting out in this industry I want to share with you all my personal background and why I am so IN LOVE with fitness. Growing up I was always playing sports in school and travel ball for summer teams in baseball and basketball. I quickly had established a love for the game of baseball and would play it all year round just itching to get back on that field each spring. Then August 23, 2010 happened. It was my first day of school Junior year and as most schools do, we had a half day so I headed over to the gym to lift and start training for the upcoming season. Near the end I decided to do some sprints on the newly waxed gym floor and upon reaching the end of the floor I broke down my feet to stop..but I couldn’t. My feet had gotten tripped up and I failed to get my hands up in time resulting in me still running close to full speed into the wall head first. CRACK CRACK, I hit the floor lying on my stomach and facing the doors of the weight room. After realizing what I heard I gathered myself and attempted to wave over a teammate to get help. Not knowing what was actually happening to me at the time, I was in complete shock. I ended up eventually going to the local hospital by ambulance and found out the news, I had severely fractured my C3 vertebrae in my neck. I’ve never cried so scared before I balled my eyes out upon hearing those words. Being only 16 I had no idea what that meant to the rest of my life or even to the rest of that day. To be completely honest my still thought when I heard that was I WILL step onto the baseball field again no matter what, and after some time that’s what I did. I was immediately transferred to the ICU at the University Of Chicago and upon being released I had to be shown how to walk again and had to wear a neck brace for upwards of 7 months. Fast forward to today and I’m recovered as I’ll ever be, I just have limitations on certain activities or movements and have to be mindful. But through this horrific injury it has shaped me into the person I am today. I should’ve been paralyzed, every doctor tells me that, it’s a miracle that I am not and I will be damned if I don’t cherish my ability to move. I became involved with fitness because I love that feeling of hard work. That feeling I almost was unable to literally feel. Why should I not work my hardest or try to better myself when thousands of others would literally die to do so but cannot because they are unable to move. To me that’s a waste of God’s abilities he’s provided for you. I want to help and inspire others to their fullest potential through my personal story and through the wonderful world of fitness. Fitness is something I am greatly passionate about and I hope you all take something from this story and apply it to your daily lives. Whether it’s job related, sports related or you’re just having a crappy day remember to OVERCOME ADVERSITY.
Here is a quote from Eric Legrand’s book “Believe”. Eric was a football player for Rutgers University who suffered the same type of injury I did but was less fortunate in the outcome. Eric is truly an inspiration.
“Whenever I tire during rehab or the mountain looks too high, I remind myself of this singular goal that drives me. Someday, when I can walk again, I want to visit the spot on the Giants Stadium field where I went down. I want to lie on the artificial turf one more time and take a deep breath. Then I’m going to pull myself up to my own feet under my own power and walk away. Believe it will happen, because I do.”

–Zach Kotecki

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