Once paralyzed, JoJo Polk now inspiring gym-goers in Raleigh
Posted July 7
Raleigh, N.C. — Hundreds of people file in-and-out of Heat Studios in Raleigh every day. They love -- and love to hate -- trainer JoJo Polk.
"I remember when he first came,” recalled client Sarah Noble. “I heard him yelling when I was coming up the walkway and I remember being very intimidated."
Intimidating, and a walking, standing form of motivation Polk was -- and is.
"I've had some people say, 'I can't give up, if you didn't give up,'" Polk said.
Fourteen years ago, Polk was a professional football player, a defensive back for the Tulsa Talons of the Arena Football League.
"It was third down. I knew they were going to run a crossing route," Polk recounted. "I was one step too late; I only got one arm on the ball. Next thing I know, that's all I remember."
Paralyzed from the waist down, Polk was told his playing days, and walking days, were over.
"I basically went into a shell for a little bit,” he said. “I actually cried a little bit… a lot of bit."
As reality slowly sunk in, something else happened, though. Polk regained feeling in his foot. Just eight months later, he was back on the football field.
"It kind of came back slowly but surely," Polk said. "I think everyone said, ‘that is crazy.’"
Polk played nine more seasons in professional football. He excelled thereafter and even won a championship.
"All of my doctors have given the scientific reasons, but they can't even explain to me why," Polk said. "It shows you no matter what happens in life, you can still live your dream."