As soon as he finished his studies, Mark Smith joined the British Army and served his country's armed forces in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in 2011, as he was preparing to return to Afghanistan, Mark was shot during a training that severely affected his femoral artery and caused him to have his right leg amputated three days after the accident.
Back home, with the end of his military career, Mark was somewhat disoriented about what to do with his life: "I was lost after leaving the army. My wife said I was unhappy, "said the man.
During this period, not only the ex-soldier's wife, Natalie, but also his four-year-old and two-year-old Ellis and Ethan encouraged him to rebuild his life. He did not want to stay in the past and even if the boys did it.
Mark with his sons Ethan and Ellis
"I did not want my two children to go to school and have to say that their father was once a soldier, living in the past. I want to be an example for them, I want them to see me working hard, so that this attitude repeats itself in them, as they grow, "he explained.
Until one day, after hearing about a bodybuilding championship for people with disabilities, Mark found a new source of inspiration to move on. He has always had a certain interest in the fitness world and after reading about bodybuilding and competition for people with disabilities, he was hooked and signed up for the event, not thinking much about what he was doing.
As he was never a person who did things in half, however, the former soldier decided to invest heavily in the preparation and began training five to six times a week. The result: in six months he eliminated approximately 20 kg and reduced his fat percentage from 17 to 8%.
Soon, the day of the championship arrived and even wondering what he was doing there and feeling very exposed, Mark introduced himself. The biggest surprise was when his name was announced as the first place and he was applauded standing up."It was incredible," said the now bodybuilder.
The leader of Blesma, an organization that helps the military that lost its members in service, Barry Le Grys, praised Mark very well: "Mark has done wonderfully well and this demonstrates what can be achieved."wife Natalie
And the changes in his life are not just physical. For his wife, winning the bodybuilding championship made her husband so happy, as he had never been left after the crash.
"I used to look back and ask myself what I was missing out on in Army life, but now I have a purpose and I can look forward to it," he concluded, reflecting on his trajectory.