Chattanooga man with cerebral palsy defying odds & inspiring others to exercise
Going to the gym can be hard for anyone.
Lyndon Stamper works out twice a day, five days a week.
Many at the Downtown YMCA know him as "Linny." He started working out about a year and a half ago and his results are something else.
"When I first started out on the leg press, I could only do 40 pounds. So now I am up to 275 on the leg press. And as far as like bench press goes, all I could do was 100 pounds. Now, I'm doing 305,” Stamper said.
He's lost more than 100 pounds and hopes his fitness journey will inspire others with a disability to workout.
"I ride the bus here every day. So, I see people around the city in wheelchairs and they are out of shape. I want to help them overcome that,” Stamper said.
But his journey has been a difficult one.
"I have cerebral palsy. I've had it since birth. Like doctors always told me that I wouldn't have a normal life. They told me I would live the life of a vegetable. That's what they told my mom. I would be a vegetable,” Stamper said.
It was those words that inspired him to defy all odds.
He graduated from Tyner Academy in 2004, and got a job at the Downtown YMCA more than a year ago.
He says finding a job with a disability was hard.
"Even if you get turned down a million times, it might take a million and one to get you that job. Just don't give up. Just because someone has a disability, don't ride them off. That person ridden off could be the one to change the world,” Stamper said.
He kept fighting for what he wanted to do; kept pushing toward his goal.
"My goal is to go from being in this wheel chair to maybe one day walking. That's my main ultimate goal. If I could do that, it will be the greatest story ever told,” Stamper said.
Stamper says he hasn’t talked to a doctor about his difficult workouts, but he knows what he would say if asked to slow down.
"Nah, I wouldn't listen to that. If they told me to stop working out...how can I stop doing something that has brought me this far?” Stamper said.
His fitness journey continues.
"Keep putting in the work, keep grinding to get what you want. And eventually, it will happen. Just make sure you don't make any excuses about what you want,” Stamper said.
Stamper also says his four kids are another part of his motivation to continue to exercise daily and he wants to show them his disability will never stop him.