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Dominik’s story

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Freeletics is tough and you have to work hard to achieve your overall goal. But everything that you want to achieve, you have to fight for. If it was easy it wouldn’t be Freeletics. Other people may tell you that you can’t succeed. But you can. You will. You will raise the bar. You will push yourself to your limit, and further. Others will be inspired by you. But only if you want it bad enough.

After a life changing accident, Doctors told Dominik from Ulm, Germany that he would never again be able to walk or use his hands like before. They told him he would be too weak to ever do sports again. Today he is a Free Athlete and he is motivating others. This is the story of his extraordinary and inspiring athletic journey. Let it motivate you.

On June 19th 2007, I was driving to art school on my motorcycle when a car cut the curve and slammed into me head on. I was thrown into the air causing major damage to my body. My arm broke in twelve places, injuring important sensory nerves, ligaments and my metacarpal bone. My forearm was bent into a 90° angle. My thigh was snapped too, and a piece of bone debris shot up under my skin. It tore my quadriceps above my knee. On my right hand, my fingers were ripped to the bone. My joint capsules were destroyed and my tendons were severed. It left me with many deep cuts and abrasions all over my body, bruises, and a concussion… everything you would expect if you were to get hit by a car. I remained conscious, bleeding and screaming until the medical helicopter arrived. Those 15 minutes seemed like an eternity. I was taken to hospital and was in emergency surgery for 10 hours…

In the aftermath I spent two months lying in bed trying to recover. Both hands were in plaster casts. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t hold a book. I couldn’t even wash myself or go to the bathroom without someone there to help me. That was the worst. The helplessness. Learning to do everything all over again.

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After three months I could finally “walk” without a wheelchair. But it was not really walking. Just three little hobbles in a row. I moved from the wheelchair to the bed supported by both my hands. The doctors didn’t know. They kept telling me what I couldn’t do, what I shouldn’t do. But I just had to. With every one of those three steps I was almost on the ground. But it was three steps. Alone. Without walking aids. I almost started to cheer as I lay in my bed afterwards. My roommate in rehab clapped.

I had several more surgeries over the months and years and there is still one or two more that I will need in the future. I still have a bone splinter in my thigh. That is why I hate squats so much. They hurt like hell, but I know they are good for me, so I push through the pain.

It took me almost a year until I could walk without limping. I could barely write and I had to leave art school. My girlfriend left me, I lost my job and my life was in shambles.

Then last year, my father died of cancer. I drowned myself in work. I ate late and unhealthy. At work, I sat at a desk for 12 hours a day. I was chronically tired, sluggish and I was experienced regular migraines. Everything came to a peak around the New Year. I was done. I had no strength. I felt infinitely lost.

So I decided to change EVERYTHING. I decided to go back to the gym. I began to eat healthy and started running. I wanted to make my father, who was a sportsman himself proud of me. In February I saw Levent’s video. I watched it over and over again. And then I started Freeletics. My first workout was Aphrodite. I felt like I was dying. The pain was like hell. But it was incredible. Just awesome. It took me 24 minutes and I did it without a star, but I felt happy and alive.

Freeletics training was more difficult than anything I had ever done before. It was even harder than the therapy I did in hospital. I had to be careful with many of the exercises because of my injuries. My wrists had been damaged in the accident. In the beginning, I had to tape my wrists carefully and use special grips to do pushups. After half a year of hard work I could finally perform pushups without any grips. I still need to tape my left wrist and I think I will have to do this forever. But that’s alright. My knees are damaged as well. Squats hurt like hell and I am not able to do deep squats at all because of the pain in my knees and the splinter in my thigh muscle.

I don’t really know if this kind of training was the best thing to do or the safest way to do it. Nevertheless, I was tired of being told what my limits were. So I decided to set new ones.

The first 15 Weeks… Several workouts… Hell week… Hell days. It was time to step up to the challenge. Again and again I beat my Personal Best. The feeling is mind blowing and I remember every new record like it was yesterday.

Today I continue to achieve my goals. I’m fit like hell. I have no more headaches and I feel good. I do Freeletics but I also run half marathons and Spartan Races. In my last Spartan Race I finished in the top 15%. Most recently, some friends and I redefined Hell Day by doing 7 workouts in 24 hours. Watch the video here.

I also decided to study Medical Engineering in order to give something back. For my master’s degree I am helping to develop a better artificial hand.

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Guys, I fcking love what we do here. I think it is deeply remarkable to see what humans can do when their mind and will is strong enough! Freeletics has shown me how to tear through physical and mental limits. I want to show the world what I can do, and for myself, I want to live a life that my dad would be proud of. These are my motivations.*

Thank you all and #clapclap

PS: I hope to see some of you working out at Massmannpark in Munich sometime.

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You may go through a difficult time in your life. You may face the worst conditions. But don’t ever feel like you should give up. There is no such thing as can’t. Everything is achievable if you work hard. Think about Dominik. He achieved the impossible by conquering his mind. That is what makes him a great Free Athlete. Dominik used Freeletics to get his life back on track. He gained strength. Not only physically but also mentally. And this gave him the motivation to keep going. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and the road to success is never easy. But Dominik’s story shows how worth it it is when you get there.

How bad do YOU want it? We want to hear your PB and what you had to go through to get it? Send your story to athletes@freeletics.com and motivate others.

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