DALLAS — David Vobora has always understood the need for fitness. Vobora was a high-level athlete who played college football at Idaho and then a few years in the NFL as a linebacker with the Rams and Seahawks. After his professional career, he took his knowledge of working out and opened a gym in the Dallas area. The focus on who his trainees are changed when Vobora met a quadruple amputee, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, back in 2014.
What You Need To Know
- David Vobora founded the Adaptive Training Foundation in 2014
- The gym trains individuals who have suffered life-altering injuries
- Vobora has trained hundreds of individuals over the years
- His gym operates as a nonprofit and provides training for free
“I came up to him, was like, 'When was the last time you worked out?' And he's like, 'So I have no arms and legs. What do you mean work out?'” said Vobora of his conversation with Mills. “His biggest thing was the fear of falling. But it wasn't really the physical pain of hitting the ground. It was the embarrassment. It made me realize there was a huge need and a huge void.”
That conversation gave Vobora the idea to open a gym to help those individuals who have suffered life-altering injuries. In September of 2014, Vobora created the Adaptive Training Foundation.
“At some point, cash runs out, insurance runs out and people have to look at themselves in the mirror, realizing there's no one that's going to save them,” said Vobora. “They're their own hero.”
Edwin Munoz is one of those individuals. In September of 2018, Munoz dove off a dock and hit his head on a rock. He was paralyzed from the neck down and was told he would never do things like feed himself again.
“When your independence is stripped away from me in that split second and you hear all that stuff, it almost starts to mold in your head that you're never going to do that stuff again,” said Munoz.
Munoz would spend five months in the hospital. As he continued to recover, he found ATF (Adadptive Training Foundation).
“A doctor said I would never walk again,” Munoz said. “I took my first steps in this gym. If I would have never found ATF, I wouldn't be nowhere near where I am today. So, and for that, I'm forever indebted to David in the program.”
Now Munoz is a trainer at ATF and is able to work with clients like Veronica Ko. Ko was in a motorcycle accident a while back and her left leg had to be amputated.
“It's really neat to be part of a gym where they don't see you or define you with your disability,” said Ko. “They define you as a human being, just like any normal person.”
Munoz and Ko are two of the many individuals that Vobora and the team at ATF have been able to help over the years.