Garrison ReddAs strong as powerlifter Garrison Redd’s arm and core muscles are, his heart may be stronger.

“I was at work one day and had an epiphany,” says Redd, a T12 para living in New York City. “I worked for the IRS, and one day I thought I was not doing enough to help others with disabilities and that I need to do more to connect them with resources. I started growing a social media presence and getting messages from people around the world asking about my bowel routine, UTIs and keeping a healthy bladder. I realized there weren’t many people they could turn to. I wanted to connect them with society.”

Realizing he would be most effective focusing on fitness, he started The Garrison Redd Project, which offers adaptive sports programs. Additionally he moderates a powerlifting group for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation where he shares fitness tips and workouts. He’s also rustling up sponsorships while training for this summer’s world championship in Kazakhstan and next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo.

How does he keep centered with everything he’s got going on in his life?

“For a couple of minutes every day I do breathing exercises and just think, ‘What am I doing today?’ I try to make a plan for the week or next day or the month,” he says. “That keeps me calm and healthy mentally. If you’re healthy mentally, you’ll be healthy physically as well.”

Redd’s website is thegarrisonreddproject.org and he can be found at Reeve Connect, community.christopherreeve.org/group/16-spinal-cord-weightlifting. Also look him up on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.