My name is Alex Barnett & I live in Hemet, CA. I was born & raised in the small town of Anacortes, WA where I was a very fit & active child & young adult. Shortly after high school I enlisted in the Marine Corp to serve my country & better myself. An unfortunate accident in 1995; just 20 days after my 24th birthday, while on field maneuvers turned my life upside down. I was crushed by a 5-ton wrecker which shattered my ankle, broke my tibia & fibula, shattered my pelvic bones, crushed my bladder, severed my urethra, forced all my organs up into my chest cavity, burst the blood vessels in my eyes and I bled out of my ears. I wasn't expected to have survived my injuries and my prognosis was grim. If I were to survive, I probably wouldn't be able to walk & the life that I was just coming into would cease to exist. Whether it was pure bullheadedness or drive & determination, I was not going to succumb. I didn't want to become the person the medical professional thought was my best hope. It has been a very long road with many dark tunnels. I was wheelchair bound for a while & had to learn how to walk & due to many of the tumultuous hurdles, I gained weight & I gained alot of it. I now weigh in around 270 lbs & have tried all kinds of weight loss programs & training videos. You name it, I've tried it. I long to be the man I was; fit & trim, active & strong. While I'm here 18 years later able to walk, bike & swim; I beat my odds but I need to find something else that can help push me up & over my weight struggle. I'm always researching & reading motivational stories just as the ones I've seen here in the CNN Fit Nation: 2013 Triathlon Challenge & without any reservations, this is something that was meant for me. I know, without a doubt, that this challenge is all that I could have ever hoped to better myself & send me back on a journey of the man I left behind. It will prove not only to myself but everybody of all types of disabilities & challenges that the underdog can prevail!
What do you think of this story?
Select one of the options below. Your feedback will help tell CNN producers what to do with this iReport. If you'd like, you can explain your choice in the comments below.
Be and editor! Choose an option below: