Inspiration Through Tragedy: Dan Cox's Inspiring Interview!

Dan Cox explains how tragedy changed his life ... forever. Find out what happened and how hard work has paid off in this inspiring interview.

Article Summary:
  • After being hit by a car, Dan spent 3 1/2 months in the hospital, 6 weeks were in a coma.
  • The next 22 years following the accident were a roller coaster of emotions for Dan.
  • After turning his efforts toward bodybuilding, Dan plans to compete sometime soon.

Everyone wants to live the perfect life, but we all also realize that some things are simply out of our control. Someone or something has a plan for us on this earth.

What if one day you wake up, a young boy, and do all the normal things that a young boy does? You run around outside, play sports, ride big-wheels, simply enjoying being a kid.

Then what if tragedy strikes? You find yourself in a coma for six weeks, your family at your bedside praying that everything will be alright. When you come out of the coma, you find you aren't the same little boy you once were.

People asking questions about why you look a certain way now, or why you act the way you do. Growing up as a kid is hard enough, and now this?

Through All The Ups And Downs, This Young Boy Turned Into A Man And Went From Tragedy To Triumph.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Through all the ups and downs, this young boy yurned
into a man and went from tragedy to triumph.

[ Q ] When I was first told about how you are showing people up in a boot-camp exercise class out in Ohio, I knew I had to get in touch with you. You have such an inspirational story. Can you please share that story with our readers?

It all began almost 27 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was an unseasonably warm winter day. It was February 19, 1983. The temperature was 65 or 70 degrees.

I was playing outside with my brother when I got a phone call. It was a friend of mine who wanted me to come over and play. So with my big-wheel in hand I asked my parents if I could and they said yes. Then tragedy struck.

I don't know if it was the impact of the car or landing on the road that split my head open. I spent three and half months in the hospital, six weeks of it in a coma and a year of recovery.

The next 22 years were a roller coaster of emotions. Everything from kids asking questions, to making fun of my physical situation. I had questions of my own and never heard what I wanted to hear.

So I closed myself off to the world and started analyzing everything. The more I analyzed things the more I got insecure and depressed. I tried not to think of my insecurities, so I started drinking.

I thought drinking would help, but it did not. I take seizure medicine, so I knew I shouldn't drink at all. The last time I drank I thought for sure I wouldn't wake up, but I did.

So I quit drinking and the following day all my questions were answered. Now I don't have an insecure bone in my body and I hold my head high.

It wasn't until I went to school in 2005 that I got into weightlifting. I started out with personal trainers. Then after I learned to do workout routines, I started training on my own and have been for about four years. I have faced and overcome several challenges to this day.

That is why I want to face my greatest challenge, professional bodybuilding. I live by one of my favorite sayings, "If there is a will there is a way."

I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't go through this. I don't believe I'm better than anyone. But for what I've gone through second place isn't good enough. For me, it's all or nothing.

I Have Faced And Overcome Several Challenges To This Day.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I have faced and overcome several
challenges to this day.

[ Q ] Can you tell us a little bit about the severity of your injuries and how you are doing now?

The accident caused severe head trauma that affected the nervous system in my body. It split my head open on the left side of my brain and my brain was actually exposed.

It has a reverse affect which caused my right side not to function properly. I can move my arm and leg but I cannot move my wrist, fingers, ankle or toes.

I am doing quite well. I've done a lot of things for someone in my position. I have done things from riding ATVs, to construction work, to training and riding horses and currently weight training along with boot camp.

It wasn't hard to do those things, but it's all about finding the loophole. There is a loop hole in almost everything in life in any given situation but the desire to find it has to be there. Mind over matter.

I've Done A Lot Of Things For Someone In My Position.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I've done a lot of things for someone in my position.

[ Q ] Do you have any lingering side effects still from the accident?

If I don't take my seizure medication for a day or two I notice it. The doctors don't know what they are, I call them minor seizures.

I literally start to see stars and it feels like my head is going round and round and my head tilts to the right and my right side starts to shake uncontrollably. I can't stop it, I've tried. After it stops I have a major migraine for the rest of the day.

A Few Months After The Devastating Accident.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
A few months after the
devastating accident.

[ Q ] If you took one thing away from the accident, what would it be?

It's ironic that you ask that question. I frequently think about that answer and it's not what one would think. I have learned to adapt to almost everything I do in life.

Having one hand is part of who I am. The one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is every now and then I will stutter. It is so frustrating to me when I'm trying to talk to someone and hits me. Depending on the atmosphere if I slow down I can stop it.

I have seen a couple speech therapists and they told me I was fine. It kept happening though. So I started analyzing on ways to control it. I noticed the less sleep I got the more it happened. The more sleep I got the less it happened.

So I try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. It still bothers me, but not like it did back then.

I Have Learned To Adapt To Almost Everything I Do In Life.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I Have Learned To Adapt To Almost
Everything I Do In Life.

[ Q ] When you woke up that one morning and "all your questions were answered," what did you find?

I found that everything I was doing then was right. I was confused because of all those insecure thoughts that I had.

My insecurities took over every thought that I had. I can't make up for the things I missed out on life, but I can move forward on the things that I do now.

I Can't Make Up For The Things I Missed Out On Life, But I Can Move Forward On The Things That I Do Now.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I Can't Make Up For The Things I Missed Out On
Life, But I Can Move Forward On The Things That I Do Now.

[ Q ] It seems like many people turn to the bottle when things aren't going well. You did a complete 180 and decided to take a different route after waking up one day and decided to hold your head up high and are now are caught by the fitness bug.

You are currently taking a boot-camp exercise class where you are showing up people in the class. In fact, trainer Mike Davies, is actually pretty hard on you from what I hear. Can you tell us a little about the types of things you have to do in that class?

I do almost everything that everybody else does but if I can't do a certain exercise I do walking lunges or pop squats. The hardest thing I've done in boot camp, I would have to say is pushing a 25-pound weight down the aisle and back.

If that's not bad enough one day he had us do that across the room. I made it over once and then it started to get extremely hard but I kept going.

I Do Almost Everything That Everybody Else Does.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I do almost everything that
everybody else does.

[ Q ] You mentioned that you want to compete in bodybuilding. Do you have a show that you are currently getting ready for? Would Mike Davies be training you?

No show in particular yet. I have a lot of work to do for that to happen but I've got nothing but time. I've often thought about that and for now because of finances I train myself. Possibly down the road he will.

I Have A Lot Of Work To Do.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I Have A Lot Of Work To Do.

[ Q ] If there is one thing that you want people to take away from this inspirational interview, what would it be?

Nothing is impossible!

[ Q ] Is there anyone you want to thank for helping you get to where you are today?

I would like to sit here and tell you it was a teacher, coach, parent, or a relative but that's not the case. A lot of those people told me to do something easy, that didn't involve anything physical because it would be too hard for me.

I use those thoughts to push even harder. If someone tells me I can't do something, I will do it to prove them wrong. That's what drives me.

If Someone Tells Me I Can't Do Something, I Will Do It To Prove Them Wrong.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
If someone tells me I can't do something,
I will do it to prove them wrong.

Recommended Articles: