Tampa, Fla. -- For Nate Pedro, fitness is a lifestyle.
"Played sports my whole life, rode bikes, skateboarded as a kid. That kind of evolved with more team sports, football, basketball," said Pedro.
Nate wanted to take his passion for fitness and turn it into a career. After graduating from Seminole High School in 2008, he went on to study Exercise Physiology at Barry University.
"Barry was the right fit. I got accepted into ther Physiology program and I went down there and kind of jumped on board.
But one night during nate’s last semester, everything changed.
"Oct. 9, 2013. It was just a normal night. Woke up to some people breaking into my house. Kinda got into a scuffle. Ended up with them shooting me in my side and in my spine. I completely lost feeling in my left leg, right there i fell to the ground. They beat me, robbed me and it was kind of a life changing time from there."
Doctors declared Nate handicapped in his left leg.
"I was in and out of the hospital for about a month. There were moments where i wanted to give up where i wanted to curl up in a ball, but i had to keep going, I had to keep fighting.
And that’s exactly what he did
"I ad no function in my leg for about two weeks, then started to regain function in just my toes. It was just a wiggle. And a wiggle turned into a foot lift, and that turned into a knee lift, and then i could move my hip. And it was just regaining function everyday from there."
Nate finished his degree while rehabbing his leg and would eventually land a job at Pride Strength Training in Tampa.
"He would come in probably once a week and I noticed something about him, he was just such an interesting person. He was always so positive. I had no idea about his story, so I introduced myself and asked if he wanted to come on board with us," said Pride owner Kim Kasem.
Nate was able to beat the odds. Now, he’s helping others do the same.
"Family is number one. You gotta have people that are close to you, you gotta have people you can lean on. And also knowing if you really believe in what you wanna do and you believe it intently and emotionally, then it’s definitely gonna be possible. You have to believe it 100%"
"His work ethic, his attention to detail, his care in the people, total inspiration to I think anyone that would wanna work with him," said Pride facility director Jeoffrey Walters.
From lieing in a hospital bed, to pushing his body and mind to it’s limits. Nate pedro didn’t allow his situation to define. Rather, he let it fuel him to turn that tragedy into a triump.