Lift With Purpose and bench press for a cause

A man who has overcome a disability himself is helping people facing the same challenges

HARDIN VALLEY - People with disabilities may not only face physical hurdles but also financial challenges. For example, on-going physical therapy can be expensive.

A man who grew up in Powell knows about those difficulties first hand so he merged his desire to help with his love of a particular sport.

Alex Nicely was never athletic until he picked up weightlifting a few years ago.

"When I started weight lifting I noticed I was pretty good at it," he said.

It's something that may not have seemed possible when Alex Nicely was born with Cerebral Palsy which limited movement in his legs.

Starting when he was about 18 months old, his parents insisted on physical therapy.

"That alone has been the reason why I'm independent today is just consistent treatment no matter what," he said.

That treatment is expensive. At one point in his teens, his church raised money to help pay for his physical therapy. As an adult, Alex wants to pay it forward.

"I thought we could use weight lifting and the competitions that I have been to, we could use that platform and help people with disabilities which I felt was something I was called to do just because of what I had been through when I was a kid," he said.

He founded Lift With Purpose. Entrance fees for power-lifting events raise money for specific people in need. An event this Saturday morning, October 22, is called "Back to the Grind" at Johnny Long's Training Academy in Hardin Valley.  Alex says it will benefit Charis and Kailyn Whaley, whose mother called him from California.

"My children are there and they have Mitochondrial disease," he recalled her saying. "They can't speak. They can't walk. And it's $105 an hour per child and it's just not something we'll be able to do and we've got to pull them out of therapy. Can you help us?"

After the power lifting competition he's going to head over to the parking lot at Grace Baptist Church to try to break a world record

"I went to Guinness and I started to look and I said is there something that is applicable to what we do that would go along with raising awareness for kids with disabilities. And I found this world record of heaviest vehicle pulled by a wheelchair 100 meters. So I started there and I went on Instagram and I found the guy who broke it before me and I followed his Instagram and how he trained and I started training," he said.

The weight of the SUV he plans to pull Saturday afternoon? More than 5,000 pounds.

To get ready, he strength trains in a gym a few times a week then twice a week he does pull practices.

"We'll literally hook the wheelchair to a car and break the rope out and start to pull it," he said.

The guy on Instagram who holds the current record is letting Alex borrow the special rope needed to pull a car. It's a team effort to break a world record, power lift, and lift the spirits of two little girls in California.

You're invited to watch the world record attempt in the parking lot of Grace Baptist on Oak Ridge Highway about 12:30 or 1:00, depending on when the power lifting competition wraps up.

 


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