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Muscle Building Inspiration

A car accident paralyzed Nick Scott’s legs. After an intense recovery, he’s transformed a disability into an opportunity.

Nick Scott wheelchair bodybuilder

At age 16, Nick Scott was like a lot of high school kids: He loved hanging out with his friends, working out, and playing football. But in August of 1998, his life changed forever when his car spun off the road. He was thrown out of the driver’s side window, and his own car hit him in the back. “It broke my back,” he says. “And the doctors diagnosed me as a paraplegic.”

Confined to a wheelchair, Scott ballooned up to 300 pounds. “I was really depressed—more like suicidal,” he says. But he still wanted to finish high school, so he went to a tutor in order to graduate with his class. Then, in the summer, Scott decided to turn it all around.

While attending Ottawa University in 2003, he managed to become an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the school’s football team. “I realized, going into the gym, that I couldn’t do a lot of things. Wheelchair bodybuilding wasn’t included in the magazines,” Scott says, “so I had to figure things out by myself.” A fringe sport, wheelchair bodybuilding has been growing since 2006, and Scott has become one of the sport’s biggest stars.

“After I graduated, I wanted to compete again. I was inspired by the other [wheelchair] athletes,” he says. Scott now promotes his sport full time and runs the site wheelchairbodybuilding.com. It seems the only thing he’s incapable of doing is stopping.

“For people with disabilities in chairs, they can pretty much do whatever they want,” says Nick Scott. “They just have to think outside the box.”

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