Fourteen months ago, Tony Mayes was sitting in a hospital bed, listening to a doctor list options regarding the condition of his left leg.
“In order to keep my leg, I’d have to go through several surgeries, and even after all those surgeries, I would never have a pain-free walk surface because I didn’t have enough padding on my foot,” said Mayes.
After a little thought, Mayes chose to have his leg amputated at the same time, choosing an attitude with which he’d approach the rest of his life.
“I said “Doc?” and he said “yeah” and I said, “it’s gonna be alright, I didn’t like that leg anyway,'” said Mayes, laughing.
Mayes has tried to keep this positive outlook throughout the rehab process, a process that hasn’t been easy.
“The pain was unbearable, but pain is mind over matter,” said Mayes.
Mayes has devoted himself to his workouts, striving to do as much as he can under his circumstances.
“I didn’t like using my walker, cuz it drew too much attention, then I tried a cane, it draws too much attention, so I pushed myself harder to walk without anything,” said Mayes.
Mayes says he’s inspired by the young people he sees daily at Planet Fitness, but for those around him, he’s the real inspiration.
“Tony’s determination, his courage, his persistence, nothing is off limits, he’s willing to try anything, if it seems too hard, he’ll be like ‘I’ll give it a shot’, nothing’s ever off limits and I really admire that about him,” said Mayes.
Fourteen months ago, Mayes was sitting in a hospital bed. Now, he’s making the most of his life, sharing his gratitude every chance he gets.
“I thank God every day, because we take it for granted, we take our lives for granted, our life can be gone in the blink of an eye, you can be gone just like that, for some reason He kept me, I just hope I live up to whatever He kept me for,” said Mayes.
Mayes says he feels like he’s in his mid-twenties now, although he doesn’t want to fully test that feeling, and he added that he has grown 2 inches taller thanks to his new leg.