Adapt and overcome: Phoenix man's journey from amputation to CrossFit competitor

Posted: Updated:
Jeremy Ogle has overcome amputation to become a gold medalist in adaptive CrossFit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Jeremy Ogle has overcome amputation to become a gold medalist in adaptive CrossFit. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ogle was a lifelong runner and is now in the best shape of his life. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ogle was a lifelong runner and is now in the best shape of his life. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Jeremy Ogle tries to adapt to every situation. He spends six days a week in the gym in pursuit of personal gain.

“Usually you’ll see me smiling,” says the 30-year-old adaptive athlete at Crossfit URU.  “You’ll see me be the most positive person that you because I know what it’s like to be down."

Ogle was a lifelong runner and is now in the best shape of his life. To watch him work out is remarkable when you consider where he was in June 2015, nearly three years ago now.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Sports]

“No one knows exactly what happened,” Ogle says. “They found me on the side of the freeway because my bike lit on fire. Someone called, by the time cops got there they had left. Which, I could care less, it saved my life. I woke up and was paralyzed and since then I've been trying to overcome it."

Ogle tried for two years to have nerve transplants and grafts to get part of his arm to come back. Throughout his recovery and eventual amputation, another major event changed his life.

"My daughter is Elouise and she was born three months after my accident,” says Ogle. “That's probably one of the scariest times of my life. I had never changed a diaper with two hands, and I was now going to be a single father. It's pretty wild to think about"

The early days were hard. Jeremy was trying to shoulder parenting and learning to live with one arm. When he walked into Crossfit URU, something immediately felt normal.

“This place is my therapy,” says Ogle. “If I don't come here for more than one day for some odd reason, things just don’t seem right. This is where I relieve a lot of pain. This is where I come to think. This is where I come to be me, most importantly, I get to be me and I get to be around friends and family."

“A couple of us have attempted to do one-armed rope climbs and failed miserably,” says Rob Best, owner and trainer at Crossfit URU.  “Jeremy is an exceptional athlete, one-armed or not.”

CrossFit has gotten Ogle through some dark times. He keeps climbing, determined to run through every obstacle in his path.

“I want to break down every day, I probably cry three to four times a week. Things get hard. Things get tough, being a single father,” says Ogle, who says co-parenting now couldn’t be going any better with his daughter’s mother. “People have goals, people have dreams. I don't care who you are. It doesn't matter if you're missing an arm or not, life gets you. You've just got to be as positive as you can and keep going. Things will work out, things do get better.  When I look back on my accident, I'm thankful.”

Ogle had a banner weekend at the Texas Regional Paralympic Games, taking home gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints. If he keeps up his current pace he’ll earn a spot in the Tokyo games in 2020. It’s a bold goal but not Ogle’s only one.

“My end game is to be able to stand in front of kids with handicaps, anyone with a difference, any able-bodied and just let them know that if you want to, you can," he says. "When life presents you with challenges, you adapt."


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.