28 year old Anand Arnold from Punjab, shares his surname with the first name of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood’s famous bodybuilder turned actor. The similarity does not end here. Arnold is a professional bodybuilder having three Mr. India titles, 27 Mr. Punjab titles and 27 other titles under his name.
But Arnold‘s story and his success in a field that demands very high levels of physical fitness is different from many others in his profession. Not only had he to lift weights and train like others in his profession do, he had to also fight with a deadly enemy- cancer.
Anand Arnold’s Journey
He had started bodybuilding at the age of 13 and won his first trophy that year. But life dealt a cruel blow for him two years later when he was diagnosed with cancer in the lower spinal cord. Surgery was the only way to save his life. But it left him paralyzed from neck down for three years, with only some flexibility in his hands.
Anyone else in his position might have given up, but not Arnold. “Those three years were like hell for me,” he says. But once he had healed, he was back to what he loved doing most, training. He had decided that he would not let his disability keep him back from his passion. He started training with renewed determination, even though he was wheelchair bound and might never be able to walk again.
His family supported him, but they were bit sceptical at first, because in his profession, disability was obviously a very major setback. Arnold soon ensured that he had turned their scepticism into pride and happiness. He started winning competitions again. Over the years he went on to win several titles as mentioned earlier. Arnold is India’s first wheelchair bodybuilder. Success has not taken away from him the zeal to reach new heights. He is determined to achieve more.
Anand Arnold’s Biggest Dream
What is his biggest dream? It is to make a movie on his life which he hopes will inspire and motivate people to reach their goals in spite of setbacks.
To quote him, “To succeed, turn your weaknesses into strengths.” Coming from the man who has beaten cancer and paralysis on his way to success, the wisdom in these words is worth its weight in gold.