Local Chad Mccrary was a firefighter and paramedic at Red River for several years before an accident in 2005 left him paralyzed from the waist down. Instead of mourning the life he had, a chance encounter with a magazine highlighting wheelchair bound weightlifters helped ignite a fire and passion, giving him the courage and strength to continue to pursue his dreams. “After the accident I lost 60lbs of muscle, and against doctors advice I began weightlifting. Within six months I was on stage in Dallas winning first place in my first post-accident competition,” said Chad.
“While I was sitting in the hospital bed I was incredibly depressed. I thought about my career and knew that that part of my life was over. But a big part of my story is my faith. I remember just being in a really bad place and simply praying, when a calmness washed over me. I knew immediately that everything to come would be okay, and thats when that magazine fell into my lap,” said Chad. In the years following his accident Chad continued to train and compete. He went to several amateur competitions and qualified for nationals several times. “You have to win overall at nationals to go pro. But it is incredibly difficult to earn that ranking. I competed at nationals three times and never won, and eventually I got discouraged. But in 2020 I gave it one more try and won, earning my pro title,” said Chad.
Around the world there are only about 15 professional wheelchair body builders. “I’m currently ranked number 6 in the world which is a huge honor, and I recently received an invitation to compete at the Arnold Classic. I will be able to do a meet and greet with several athletes including Arnold Schwarzenegger, which has been a dream of mine for almost 16 years,” said Chad. Despite his accident Chad hasn’t ever lost his faith. “My message to the community is that no matter what happens, life will continue to go on. When you develop the mindset that you can’t really change what happens to you in life, but that you can change the way you look at things, your life will start to improve. That’s what I did, and look what blessings have come!” said Chad. `
“I’m nothing special. But my story is special and the testimony I get to share is something that others can connect with and be inspired by. Going pro was a long shot, and going pro in body building is about as hard to earn as becoming a professional NFL or Major League Baseball player, but look at me! I did it! Because I was willing to be relentless, I was able to go farther than I ever thought possible, and that is something I try to share with others. In life we tend to set the bar for ourselves too low, but in reality that bar can be so much higher, because we truly are capable of so much more,” says Chad.
Chad will be competing Saturday, March 5th in Columbus, OH, and will have the opportunity to meet, chat and greet other professional body builders from around the world. We at TXKToday would like to wish Chad the best of luck, and thank him for his continued encouragement to our community.