Blind teen using fitness as a way to build the life he wants and inspire others
CHATSWORTH, Calif. (FOX 11) - Whether it's work, school, family or just being tired, people use many excuses to avoid a weight room.
One teenager is not. He is walking right into a weight room with no sight.
Ali Abdulhadi had a rare form of cancer in his eyes when he was a year old. Surgeons removed his eyes and replaced them with prosthetic ones.
"I believe that God wants me to be different. Wants me to be a leader," he told FOX 11 reporter, Leah Uko.
The 17-year-old has a vision for himself he doesn't need his eyes to see.
Abdulhadi is working to become a bodybuilder and a rapper.
He plays goal ball, which is a sport for blind people. But recently realized he was out of shape and began working out at Crunch Fitness in Chatsworth.
Abdulhadi's mother would guide him through the gym when he went to work out.
One day, they came across a friend who was willing to help the teen put on some muscle.
Brian Andraos, who is a trainer, embraced Abdulhadi's disability and began meeting with him weekly.
"He never skips the gym. He never skips a meal. Whenever I'm tired I tell myself 'What's my excuse?' If he's coming to the gym, why wouldn't I?" Andraos said.
Andraos teaches Abdulhadi how to connect his mind to his muscle. This is a skill all bodybuilders use, but it's essential for Abdulhadi since he can only feel what he's doing.
Abdulhadi has also taken up music. He has written and released three songs on YouTube and Spotify.
"My goal is to have a nice, like, lean muscular body so that when I do shows and I'm performing for my music, I got the looks and that will inspire people even more."
He's a busy teen who has learned through fitness that everyone can build the lives they want regardless of the weight they carry.
Just as long as we have a supportive team guiding us along the way.
"You got to think outside the box, do a little bit more than the rest. But that just pushes me more to work better."