Teen Amateur Of The Week: Daniel Fought Injury With Iron!

Hip degeneration and labral tears ripped basketball from Daniel's life, but he didn't give in to injury. See how this teen battled back and lifted heavy iron to build a powerful physique!


How did your fitness
journey begin?

Staying fit has always part of my life. I was a point guard in basketball and a running back in football growing up. As a high school freshman, I was diagnosed with hip degeneration and labral tears which required surgery. Being extremely active and refusing to listen to my body caused my hip to deteriorate. I was a stubborn athlete and wanted to keep playing.

I still live with hip degeneration and will need hip replacements in the future. My rehab to get back on the court was fast even though I missed most of my freshman year and my entire sophomore year. When I had a surprise comeback, my coaches were scared about the liability of my hip. I used to be a starter but was benched and played two minutes per game in the fourth quarter.

It was the hardest point of my life and I was heavily depressed. It didn't feel normal to sit the bench, so I worked out to get back to my prior condition. I was overlooked and felt like I wasn't accepted on my team. This is when my fitness journey began.

Gaining muscle and getting shredded became part of my everyday life. I started with push-ups and pull-ups at the park. I picked up weights shortly after and enjoyed training consistently. Even with my ongoing hip problems, lifting gives me motivation to never give up on my goals. I want to better myself as a person and built great confidence.

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

I work out at home and built a gym in my basement. I've always been a big runner and love to burn out my abdominals.

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

I needed to get stronger after hip surgery and took the opportunity to work out hard and rehab the injury. Training kept my mind going while I was away from basketball. Fitness shaped my life off the court and I believe it was meant to be.

What/who motivated you to be a fitness guru?

I always looked up to my oldest cousin who passed away unexpectedly at age 25. He was the strongest person I knew and always had great advice when I needed it most. When he passed, I wanted to live for him. My cousin will always be a big inspiration to me. He gave me a sense of strength and dedication that I will never let go of.

Where did you go for inspiration?

I thought about tough times, fought through hip surgery, and pushed on from there. My inspiration came from the hardships I encountered at a young age. My older brother, Andrew, played a huge role in my upbringing too. He stood by my side to make sure I made the right choices. I couldn't have asked for a better brother. Life may not turn out the way you want it to, so it's up to you to make the best of it.

What are your future fitness plans?

My future fitness plans are to live a happy, strong, and fulfilling life as a fitness athlete. I want to compete and earn a pro card. That's when my dreams will become reality. From here, I want to touch as many lives as possible while being fit at a young age.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Always improve from the inside and out, push yourself to the max, and never give up on your vision. Be yourself and be happy about who you are because life is precious. Block out the naysayers and focus on what makes you happy. Without the right mindset, you won't get through a tough workout. Push yourself beyond imagination to see results.

Who is your favorite competitor?

My favorite competitor is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I look up to him and followed his inspirational fitness videos. He helped me visualize a goal to work toward.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

I look at articles on Bodybuilding.com and apply them to my training and diet. I love reading stories about fitness athletes who became successful. It gives me motivation to keep my body in the best shape possible.

Daniel's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Find Yourself" by John O' Callaghan (Feat. Sarah Howells)
  2. "Believe" by Hollywood Undead
  3. "Youth Of The Nation" by P.O.D
  4. "Alive" by P.O.D
  5. "Hero" by Nickelback
Photo Credit

Jahn Hall