At just 4 years old, Jeremiah Curtis was shot close to the heart by another child playing with a gun.
Deep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado during one of the worst blizzards in history, the ambulance could not reach him.
His mom and a friend managed to transport Jeremiah to the ambulance in a truck that could get through the snow. From there, medical personnel tried to get him on a life flight to the hospital – but it was grounded due to the weather.
Remarkably, he survived.
His childhood was not without other challenges. His parents separated when he was 6, and then his father became addicted to drugs and eventually lost his life.
For a time, Jeremiah let these difficulties shape his decisions and outlook on life. But a family member put a weight set in his garage one day – changing the outcome of his life forever.
“That weight set saved my life and fitness changed everything for me,” remembers Jeremiah. “I found something that I could pour all this into. My current goals are to live a healthy life while giving back to the world by sharing my story in hopes that it inspires people to be better.”
Health and fitness is now part of what defines Jeremiah. He incorporates a variety of methods into his training, including lifting weights, using resistance bands, doing calisthenics, high intensity training, and a lot of cardio. He mixes his training up constantly to keep his body from getting used to the same routine.
Jeremiah participated in Savage Race Florida in 2014, and will be back for more in the Fall of 2015. His favorite part about Savage Race is the determination required to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and how it forces you to challenge yourself.
“Savage Race taught me patience, teamwork, leadership skills, and the ability to take my training to a higher level. It opened the door for me to truly look at myself in the mirror and say ‘let’s see what you’re made of.’”
A competitor at heart, he says, “The most challenging part for me [at Savage Race] was patience. I wanted to run by everyone, but I realized that sometimes it’s more rewarding to stop and help a fellow Savage… [Stopping to help others] taught me so much about leadership and the ability to have compassion even during a competition.”
His love for fitness has definitely given him the opportunity to help others. His roommate was discharged from military service due to an injury, and gained a substantial amount of weight over the next four years. He asked Jeremiah to help him out, so they trained together and Jeremiah’s friend ended up losing around 60 pounds. He’s now in the best shape of his life. That’s the type of encouragement and support that Jeremiah hopes to provide to many more people in the coming years.
What advice would Jeremiah have for someone working towards his or her health and fitness goals?
“Don’t set unrealistic expectations or base your goals off of somebody else’s. Make your journey all about ‘you vs. you’ – that way you can only feel let down if you cheat yourself. Set small goals and when you reach them, set a new goal and raise the bar each time. Do your research on diets that fit your goals and seek help from those more experienced. Create a circle of positive influencers who will keep you motivated and support your overall goal. Try to remind yourself that there are others out there who want to work out but cannot due to unfortunate circumstances. Remain humble and work your tail off!”
Men’s Health Magazine has taken notice of Jeremiah’s remarkable story and heart for others, and he’s currently in the running for an “Ultimate Guy” feature on the cover of their magazine. They are looking for someone “fit and fearless, a doer who gives back and leads by example.” If you think that Jeremiah fits that description (we sure do!), you can vote for him as much as one time per day between now and June 21, 2015 at http://ultimateguy.menshealth.com/entry/109.
Thanks, Jeremiah, for being such an awesome Savage and for sharing your passion for fitness with us and everyone around you!
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