Iron Lab Strength and Conditioning | Personal Training and Fitness in the West End, English Bay | Vancouver

Based on a true story

Have you ever asked yourself, what does it really matter if I work out today? There are many other things you could do instead. Have a nap, eat more chocolate, watch the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars, check the latest status updates on Facebook, or watch your 700 channel cable tv. There are also many good reasons why you should exercise and eat properly, but there is no better reason to get stronger and fitter than this true story. Work out today and it could save your life tomorrow!

In 2012 a small plane crashed near Vancouver airport with nine people aboard. It was a tragic accident where two people died and seven were seriously injured. Shortly after take off there was a mechanical failure and the plane had to turn back. Unfortunately the pilot did not have enough time to land safely, plummeted from more then 200 feet and crashed just outside the runway on a road.

After the plane crashed it did not explode right away. Gas, smoke and flames surrounded the trapped passengers. If not for the heroism of the people onboard to get the jammed door open and assist other passengers and a few good samaritans who helped to pull out people from the smoking and burning plane before it completely burnt down, the death toll would have been much higher.

I was lucky enough to train (as part of a Peak Fitness Management Team) one of those passengers prior to the crash. I still remember receiving his email a few months after.

“….I believe I would not have survived the plane crash had I not been training with all of you for the last 4 months.  Even with a broken back, I was able to lift my wife over my knees to the hands of good Samaritans who helped her from the plane.  I was also able to lift myself from seat to seat to the exit of the plane (because everyone had left the burning plane) without using my legs.  Had I not been able to make it to the door, I would be dead.  So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all the work that we did together.”

I cannot imagine the horrible situation he overcame or the unbelievable spirit that allowed him to do what he did. He is my hero. What he did that day is the best example of what we can do given the worst situation.

If nothing else will inspire you to exercise, eat well and take care of your body I hope his story will. We train not only to look fit, but also so when tough times come, we will be ready and can rely on a strong body and mind to survive even a plane crash and burn.

This hero marked the first anniversary with a grand celebration of life after crash party including fireworks, friends and family. Clearly, these people were grateful for a new lease on life and spared nothing in the spread. They also had huge blown up photos of the burning plane they escaped in their foyer, portraits of the pilot and a co-pilot who perished, and the x-rays of their spines showing the pins holding them together.

I admire both of them. They almost died in this horrific accident yet they came back stronger then ever. Most of us would just feel lucky to be alive and focus on rehabilitation after suffering massive injuries (think burst spinal fractures, broken ribs, sternum, punctured lungs etc) but these two heroes despite their titanium pins in their spines and bones did much more than that. Today they continue to lift heavy weights, stretch their limbs in yoga and sprint–simply they kick ass! Now life is even sweeter and I couldn’t be happier for them.

So before you make excuses not to take care of your body (get stronger, flexible, fit), remember this: only the strong survive!