Double amputee Army Vet on cover of Men’s Health

Disabled Army Veteran and double amputee Noah Galloway has been named the 2014 Ultimate Men’s Healthy Guy Winner.  He is on the cover of the magazine’s November edition to be released next week.

According to Men’s Health, the last night Galloway’s body was whole, he was driving a Humvee in Iraq. Unfortunately the vehicle hit a trip wire and his whole life changed.

“The roadside bomb was big enough to send our 10,000-pound Humvee flying through the air,” he said. “We landed wheels down in a canal.”

Galloway woke up six days later at Walter Reed Hospital, an arm and leg missing and his jaw wired shut. He said, “I was done.”

Back in the U.S. a disabled vet, he hit bottom, suffered depression and he stopped going out. “I’d sit at home and drink and smoke and sleep. That’s all I did.”

But one day, he told Men’s Health that he finally saw what was left of him.  Galloway remembers the moment clearly.  He was standing at the mirror and he saw a man who was dirty, flabby, sallow, and beer-soaked.  He told himself, “Time to get to work” and back in shape.

Initially he was embarrassed to go to the gym so he joined a 24-hour gym and would go at the early hours of the morning so no one would see him.  He learned how to overcome his disabilities, learning how to work around his missing arm and leg.

“Little surprises kept me going,” he told Men’s Health. “A little better this day, a little stronger the next. Suddenly it was six months. I was like, ‘Man, this is pretty good.’”

When he no longer cared who saw him, he worked out when he wanted.  He decided he wanted to start racing.  He improved his cardio fitness and started with a 5K obstacle race.

“I looked back, and my depression terrified me,” he said during an interview. “I never wanted to experience that again. That’s why I got into races. What kept me moving was never going back to where I came from. I wanted people to see more than my injury.”

Yahoo Health reported Men’s Health received 1,300 entries in its search for the “Ultimate Men’s Health Guy.”

“There were so many amazing men, narrowing the pool down from 1,300 to our three finalists was torture,” said Men’s Health Editor in Chief Bill Phillips.

According to Phillips, one line in Galloway’s video entry set him apart. “He said it was his choice whether to be bitter about what happened to him in Iraq, or to be better and he chose to be better. That’s a lesson we all can learn from. Every day, whether it’s your job or your relationship or somebody Tweets something nasty at you, it’s very easy to become a negative person. Noah reminds us that when we choose to be better, we can quite literally change our mindsets and our lives.”

Editors narrowed the entrants down to a group of 10, who then had to submit videos and answer questions. In total, the search was an eight-month process.

“Noah has said that he wouldn’t change anything because he’s a better man because of what happened to him, which is really amazing to say because he’s been through so much,” Phillips said. “It wasn’t an easy transition.  It took five years, and those years were really dark for him.”

Galloway looks at everything he’s been through as one long journey, and this competition was just another step.

“You can choose to be bitter, or you can choose to be better,” said Galloway, now married with three children, referring to his transformation from hopeless former soldier to super-fit cover star.


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