Hey everybody! Welcome to Conversations with Doc Martin, where we talk to extraordinary people doing extraordinary things!
In today’s interview, we talk to Wesley Hamilton, who has transformed from “victim” to “victor!”
Gun shot wounds left Wesley with a spinal cord injury, which led him to fitness and nutrition. Through this unexpected journey, he became inspired — and empowered!
Wesley drew inspiration from his roles as a father, a potential role model, and went on to establish a philanthropic organization called Disabled, but Not Really, whose mission is to bring positivity and hope to the disabled community and beyond! He’s won bodybuilding competitions, philanthropic awards, and some even say the hearts of the world.
Wesley transformed yet again when working with “The Fab Five” on Season 4 of the Netflix hit show “Queer Eye.” Wesley shares that The Fab Five taught him how to be true to himself, and he was humbled by the experience. He believes that the highest human act is to inspire, and this is his purpose in life. Wesley works hard to deliver motivating messages on the power of self-love, resilience, and change; trying to make change in the world.
With a smile as bright as can be, Wesley tells us that the beginning of the year (as it is right now) is always a troubling time for him, but “today’s a good day”. He starts off by telling us a little bit about his story.
Born and raised on the East side of Kansas City, Missouri, Wesley tells us that he can sum up the story of his adolescence in a few short words, that he was a product of his environment. There were no role models or positive representations in his community, so the things he did as a teen fell into a lifestyle designed to work against him.
Five days after Wesley turned 24, he was shot multiple times which led to him having a spinal cord injury from the waist down. He goes on to tell us how because of the lifestyle he had been living and the mindset he had, he had accepted the fact that he was going to die. He points out that to his surprise, when he didn’t, at first he was angry because now he had to learn to live with something new.
Up until that point in his life, he felt that his options were predetermined for him, that he was either going to end up shot, or in jail. So when he got shot, it was simply something he thought was part of his required life. But, when he woke up and realized he was still alive, it was a whole new world for him.
Wesley talks about dealing with his new life for the first year and how it was a struggle. He had slipped back into the lifestyle he was living prior to the injury, and felt like it was easier to hate the world for who he had become instead of embracing who he was. This put him into a state that led to two years of bed rest, six surgeries, self confidence issues, and more.
But… It also led to something else.
Wesley says this entire experience led him to realize how debilitating it is for the disabled community in the world. But this realization was only the planting of the seed. He also had gotten custody of his daughter a few months prior to his injury, and with these thoughts now the main focus in his mind, he began to ask himself “Is this the example I want to show my daughter?” — he decided that instead of showing defeat, he wanted to show her strength and perseverance.
Come join us over on the Conversations with Doc Martin YouTube channel for the full interview and find out the rest of Wesley’s incredible story of strength, commitment, and selflessness.
He is a truly inspiring human being!