Like any trainer, Troy Hawkins loves testing his limits in the gym.
Personal Trainer and Gym Instructor at YMCA managed facility Casey ARC, Troy is often seen helping members become healthier and happier.
Troy is a great athlete himself, and can pump out an impressive amount of pull ups during Adrenaline sessions. The thing is, he’s also pulling up his wheelchair.
Troy was born with a condition called Spina Bifida. A degenerative spinal condition, Troy’s case left him with a hole in his lower back. This caused severing of nerves resulting in a weak lower back and legs.
At age 23, he has had 18 different surgeries to try and help correct his condition.
Despite relying on a wheelchair and crutches, this hasn’t stopped Troy pursuing his dream of working in the fitness industry.
From a young age he developed a love for fitness and sport, but found there were limited opportunities for people with disabilities.
“After I graduated from high school I spoke to a guy in regards to a Certificate III in Fitness and he told me that he thought that I was physically incapable of doing it,” Troy said.
“Completely devastated I went home and balled my eyes out but I knew then and there that I wasn’t going to stop until I got qualified. Two years later during my Sport and Recreation course I was able to do a Cert III as an elective. From there I went on to do a Cert IV in Fitness and never looked back.”
Troy’s never say never attitude has made him so valuable to the team at Casey ARC. No matter what his client’s goals are he always delivers in every session.
He now has his sights on making the Paralympic squad for power lifting. From there he wants to help people with physical and intellectual disabilities to reach their Paralympic goals.
“Yes people in my situation will always have an exercise they won’t be able to do in the ‘traditional’ ways an able bodied person can, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it,” said Troy.
“Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. You will never get anywhere by thinking negatively.”
Everyone can have an inspiring career with the YMCA. Visit the Careers section to find out more.