Today it is an honor to have Sam Jolley as the feature of our Local Inspirations blog. I would say the word “resilience” does a pretty good job at describing him and his attitude. As you’ll read, Sam has gone through some intense trials only to come out stronger and more determined to succeed. You can always find him at the AF VASA gym, lifting not only heavy weights, but also the spirits of all those around him. His trademark positive attitude, dedication to the gym and will to carry on and succeed make him more than fit to be a Local Inspiration.

On New Year’s Day 2003 my life was changed forever.  As I raced  motocross inside the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah I suffered a crash and was severely injured. Due to the extent of my injuries, doctors weren’t even sure if I was going to make it, and to be honest, I don’t blame them. My body had just endured the following:

Broken neck
Broken ribs
Partially collapsed lungs
Broken femur (where it attached to my hips)
Severe head injury

I was rushed to the LDS hospital where I spent the first couple of months in the ICU until I was stable enough to be transferred to the General Hospital. There, I resided for the remainder of the year and went through long grueling days of physical therapy which I thought would never end. Needless to say, I’ve had a pretty long road since then.

As you can imagine, you go through a grieving process, from feeling invincible like you are on top of the world to being in a wheelchair and just trying to adjust to every day life. I came to a point in my life in which I just got tired of feeling bad for myself and from there on I decided I wasn’t going to let this wheelchair have the best of me. It wasn’t until I started going to the gym that I found my happiness. Sure I felt out of place at first, but I didn’t let that stop me. As I started seeing improvements and going more often, I become hooked. I built a sort of comradery and friendship with like-minded people there who all wanted to see me succeed. They got me to start dreaming dreams I never thought were possible and challenging myself (as if things were already challenging enough haha). I can say that because I have fallen in love with the struggle.

Since then, I’ve competed in two wheelchair bodybuilding shows and was the first person in Utah to ever compete, which is something I am pretty proud of. I plan on doing a lot more and seeing how far I can go. It’s important to have goals because I think as you go to work on your goals your goals go to work on you.

If you would like follow me on my journey to the top, you can find me on
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