Danny Lehr: All right, if you are here for Caffeine and Kilos, I'm Danny Lehr. I am here with Wesley Hamilton. You go by Wes or Wesley?
Wesley H.: It don't even matter.
Danny Lehr: Doesn't even matter. We'll do it this way. My name's Danny.
Wesley H.: Alright, Wesley.
Danny Lehr: Wesley! Wesley it is. Right? Okay, there you go. Whatever you say, that's what you wanna be called. That's how we do it. Alright, so Wesley, you're from Kansas City. In Kansas City, you run a nonprofit. He came up to me and told me the name of it and started talking about it a little bit. This guy's got personality for days, and I just love what he's doing. So I wanna talk to him a little bit about it. He's also competing. We're here at Wodapalooza, beautiful Miami. So he's competing in the adapted division of the competition here.
First, Kansas City, what's the name of your nonprofit?
Wesley H.: The Disabled But Not Really foundation.
Danny Lehr: The Disabled But Not Really foundation. All right, so what kind of stuff do you do? How do you make an impact with that?
Wesley H.: I believe that instilling a physical, limitless mindset through fitness and nutrition will help people with disabilities push past the limits that they set mentally.
Danny Lehr: Oh nice, so a lot of times, do you work with adults, kids, both?
Wesley H.: To me, everyone. Age doesn't matter. I do training with senior citizens, go to children's hospitals, and just really trying to show people what a healthy lifestyle and being active can actually do for you.
Danny Lehr: Yeah, very interesting. So a lot of people you work with, are they ... Like you yourself, you've not always been disabled but not really? So that happened to you later in life? So how old were you? Do you wanna talk about what happened real quick?
Wesley H.: I am 30 now.
Danny Lehr: 30 years old.
Wesley H.: I was shot multiple times when I was 24, walking back to my car, didn't know the person, never had an altercation. Once I got shot the first time, I was looking at a man I never knew. Over time, I realized that he was heaven sent, and he actually blessed me with a life that I would never give ... I love this.
Danny Lehr: You would never imagine doing what you're doing now?
Wesley H.: No, man. It wouldn't have happened if this didn't happen to me.
Danny Lehr: Basically, the worst thing that ever happened to you is often the best thing that ever happened to you, and sometimes the best thing that ever happened to you ends up being the worst thing. You never know where it's gonna take you.
Wesley H.: Like some people's marriage.
Danny Lehr: Yeah, there. Yeah, don't worry. My wife won't watch this. So that happened? So at first, you were kinda depressed and that shit? So how did that go for you?
Wesley H.: Bro, I was 230 pounds when I first got injured. I was always overweight my whole life, and I never looked at fitness as an outlet. I didn't think I needed to be fit. I didn't think I needed to be healthy. Then I started to go through health complications. I ended up being put on bedrest my first two years, which was a struggle being a single father. I got sole custody of my daughter when she was two. Several months after that, I was shot.
Danny Lehr: Oh man, yeah.
Wesley H.: It was like ... Man, I sunk into depression so bad I didn't even know how to get out of it. Then one day I said I had to do it for my daughter.
Danny Lehr: Right, started working out, never looked back?
Wesley H.: Actually, man. I lost the weight eating healthy.
Danny Lehr: Eating healthy, really?
Wesley H.: I'm still on bedrest. I lost 100 pounds just eating right.
Danny Lehr: 100 pounds while on bedrest.
Wesley H.: It was about a year's time.
Danny Lehr: Man, that's wild. So then a lot of the people you work with, are a lot of them people like yourself that something happened to them, and that's why they're now disabled? Or do you work with people who have different ... they've been like that their whole lives or what? Or is it everybody?
Wesley H.: It's everybody. To me, what is your disability? Right?
Danny Lehr: Right.
Wesley H.: Mental, physical, emotional, everyone battles something, and sometimes you can't see it. My goal is to help you with those mental limitations and teach you and show you how to push past them.
Danny Lehr: Fantastic, so now you're into competing and doing this type of thing. How long did doing crossfit or just competing in events like this?
Wesley H.: It's been about two years. I got my first gym membership September 2017, so two and a half years. I started doing bodybuilding first, found out about CrossFit, fell in love with Crossfit. The community altogether is so dope. It makes you wanna come and compete. You don't even have to have that mentality that I'm going to win. It's like I'm going to be around people that have a like mind just like my own, and they're pushing themselves just like I am every day. We feel good; we encourage each other. Why not be involved?
Danny Lehr: Fantastic, man. That's really cool. So what is one thing you'd say you're most proud of that you've accomplished? Maybe it's in the health space. Maybe it's something totally unrelated. What is your one thing that you're proud of?
Wesley H.: Impacting community that I grew up from. Showing youth that opportunities come to those who create them.
Danny Lehr: Ah, man. That's awesome. Create your own luck. Create your own opportunities. Fantastic. If one person wanted to make a difference, maybe in your arena, so it's somebody with a disability of some sort, what can you say ... Here's something that can help anybody, like a blanket thing. What's one thing that somebody can do that can make a difference for them?
Wesley H.: Love yourself.
Danny Lehr: Love yourself.
Wesley H.: Accept. Once you do that, you become unstoppable because you don't care about what people think about you. You don't care about anything besides who you are because you have accepted everything about yourself, and you will be able to face every challenge that life gives you.
Danny Lehr: Awesome, man. Really cool. Hey, thanks for your time. Appreciate it, Wesley.
Wesley H.: Hey, I appreciate you, man.
Danny Lehr: All right, thank you.
Wesley H.: Caffeine and Kilos, baby!
Danny Lehr: Thank you.