Twenty-two-year-old Collin Clarke of Evansville, Indiana, is breaking ground for people with Down Syndrome—he will soon compete in his first body building competition:
Clarke’s interest in body building started at Bob’s Gym North, where he was working, when he met bodybuilder and personal trainer Glenn Ubelhor, who also works at the gym:
What first started as mere curiosity turned into a dedicated passion. Clarke spent all last year working day-in and day-out with the hopes of competing one day.
Ubelhor began helping train Clarke after he noticed Clarke imitating his body building poses. And while their love for bodybuilding is what brought the two together initially, their dedication to hard work is what has kept them close over the past year:
Ubelhor told BuzzFeed News that he has never seen anyone so focused on training:
When Ubelhor started working with Clarke, he weighed over 200 lbs, with 30% body fat, making him medically obese. Now, Clarke has dropped down to 145 lbs with just 10% body fat.
While Clarke looks like a completely different person on the outside, he says that his attitude, mindset and general outlook on life has improved greatly, as well.
Clarke is in the final weeks of training before his competition, telling NBC affiliate 14 News:
“I’m so happy to be doing this. Bodybuilding is in my blood and I always wanted to do this, ever since I was a kid.”
When it comes to working towards a dream, no matter who you are, Clarke told reporters:
“Never give up, never quit, try harder, push harder, and just give it your all.”
Clarke’s contest is set for November 14th; he will be competing in the novice division.
He will be given no preferential treatment, which is exactly what he wants.