In 2014, former NFL linebacker David Vobora met an unforgettable soldier. US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, one of only five quadruple amputee veterans of the War on Terror to survive such traumatic injuries.
At the time, Travis wasn’t feeling particularly enthusiastic about physical fitness, so when David invited him to work out at his personal gym, Travis reminded him that he didn’t have any arms or legs.
“But you still have a core, right?” David countered.
Travis found the argument compelling. He wasn’t about to let his condition stop him from living his life. The pair began regular training together, and David kept customizing and adapting the routine to meet the unique challenges of Travis’s injuries.
While working with Travis, David saw an opportunity to help more wounded warriors and injured people achieve their full potentials.
Yes, there were excellent rehabilitation programs out there. Just like there were noteworthy Paralympic sports organizations. But there was no program that truly bridged the gap between the two—one that could achieve the dual objective of helping people recover from their injuries and transform them into powerful athletes.
The Adaptive Training Foundation was born. Ever since, ATF has welcomed wounded veterans like Travis from across the Armed Forces, automobile accident survivors, and other aspiring athletes into their gym in Dallas, Texas.
In addition to rigorous physical training that’s customized and designed specifically to accommodate a person’s unique challenges, the program focuses on encouraging sustainable lifestyle changes. ATF trainers focus on breathwork, meditation, and nutrition to give athletes the tools they need to thrive.
To trainer Mo Brossette, the path towards thriving as an adaptive athlete begins in the mind. “You will feel pain. You will feel discomfort,” he says. “But any suffering you experience from those is a state of mind. That’s why we don’t use words like ‘victim’ or ‘disability’ in here. Because those are states of being that you can make a conscious choice to avoid.”
To this day, ATF is committed to ensuring no one who goes through their program pays a single dollar. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, ATF is 100% funded through individual donations and investments, relying on the generosity of grateful Americans to not only restore peoples’ lives, but empower them through movement and athleticism.