True warrior in Cordele set to walk a mile - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

True warrior in Cordele set to walk a mile

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Doctors told James Tolbert he would never walk again after he broke his neck wrestling with friends. He knew something was wrong right away.

"Well first reaction after I fell I said oh my God something's wrong. My body feels kind of odd, I feel electric shock go through my body, but I knew something was wrong when I tried to get up and I couldn't move," said James Tolbert.

Tolbert had surgery 8 days after the accident, and then underwent four months of rehabilitation at the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta.  Just 5 years after the accident, he went to Impact Sports Fitness in Cordele walking on a four arm crutch.   His trainer had a challenge for him.

"My challenge to him was at that point, put the wheelchair up. Go to the cane at home. Go to the cane at work," said his trainer Teresa Ward. "Any time you can go without either one, put it all down. Just try it."

James's only goal was to walk again. But his trainer had much bigger goals for him. She wanted to give him a longterm goal to get him to work hard.  

"Jamie's goal for James was to number one have a goal that would exceed taking that next step, set this goal six months from now and let's see if you can walk a mile."  

James took the challenge and worked hard. To him, he reached his goal right when he signed up. He can't believe he is walking a mile.

"After I actually registered it kind of sank in. I said this is actually going to happen. I am actually going to cross that finish line before anything," said Tolbert. "It may take a while but I am determined to finish that right there."

Their goal is to finish in an hour, and Ward mentioned James has been an inspiration to everyone in his gym.

"He has no idea how many people he's touched," said Ward. "These people don't know James, but they're walking with James tomorrow."

Tolbert will have many people there walking with him and cheering him--people he knows and people he doesn't know.

 

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