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Bill Cawthorne

Steve Bracci

It was mile eight or nine at the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon and Bill Cawthorne had tears streaming down his face. Overcome with emotion, he shouted, “I’m running!” It was a proud moment for the Army veteran who was told he’d never walk again without a limp or use his right arm again after suffering massive injuries when a tire exploded during routine maintenance on a truck.

Even after months of rehab and coming home to Augusta, he was still struggling, recovering from a brain injury and in constant pain. One day he took a look at himself—obese, constantly on medication—and it was like a switch went off. He wanted a better life for himself and for his three kids, Isaac, Rebecca and Seth. “I started exercising to help with the pain and it continued from there,” he says.

He began studying martial arts with Rebecca and Seth, which led to personal training opportunities. While he was developing his own programs, he came across Hyper Fitness, an intense, driven program that appealed to his own drive to succeed. “It’s more of a mental conditioning through physical conditioning,” he says. “The program pushes you physically beyond what you think you can do. Then that mental aspect of it is where everything else in life becomes easy.”

From not knowing if he would ever walk again, Cawthorn has now completed multiple marathons, including Augusta’s Ironman. It hasn’t been easy, but it took endurance, which is what he strives to teach his clients. His focus is not on those who simply want to lose weight, but who, like him, want to change their lives, whether it’s someone with a physical or mental disability, a wounded warrior or anyone in pain: “Anybody who wants to reach for those things in life that seem out of reach.”

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