Spokane man with disability trains alongside competitive athletes to stay healthy

Man with disability works hard, stays healthy

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Many people have goals when it comes to working out. For some, if they do not exercise, they feel guilty.

For one local man, skipping the gym could have serious consequences on his health.

Lukas Bratcher has seen more hurdles than his gym has in its equipment room, but that has never stopped him.

"I am always in the mindset that I am going to try it until I know I can't," Bratcher said.

Bratcher was born with a physical disability called Amyoplasia Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. The condition restrains his joints and muscles from growing in his four limbs.

Bratcher was raised in Saudi Arabia, which made exercising to sustain muscle growth even more difficult.

"I didn't have those resources so we had to make it a very big priority," he said.

Right now, fitness is everything.

"My body deteriorates faster so I'm always of the mind that you need to stick with it, stay consistent (and) work hard," said Bratcher. "I feel like I'm doing good, right? I'm doing good work."

Bratcher trains at Multicare Rockwood Sports Performance Center Bratcher alongside competitive athletes, but he also works with trainers that have become friends. He is a respected athlet at Rockwood Sports. 

However, it has not always been that way.

"There have been a lot of times where I've been told no or I have been told I can't do something or I have been denied," said Bratcher. "For me if it's more of a challenge, right? If somebody says I can't do something then I'm like all right challenge accepted, let's go."

Bratcher is an inspiration to anyone who watches him train, including strength and conditioning coach Nick Hedgecock, who happens to be hearing impaired.

"Seeing him, you can tell that this is a man, this is somebody that has to work hard to be where he is right now," said Hedgecock. "Knowing that he is the one who will do whatever it takes to try to lead a normal life, or what we deem a normal life, is inspiring," he said.

Bratcher trains three days a week, for hours at a time.

He said he plans to continue to stay healthy so he can one day start a family, but he also just wants to educate people.

"There's a void and understanding people with disabilities and I have a voice that I can use," he said. "Give it a shot, it's worth the time, it's worth the energy, it's worth the effort."

© 2017 KREM-TV


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