Army sergeant Nick Koulchar was deployed to Sadr City, Iraq in 2008 when the vehicle he was in was struck by an explosive device. The driver was killed instantly while the force of the impact caused Koulchar to lose both his legs above the knee.
Koulchar was airlifted to Baghdad. Twenty-four hours later he was airlifted again to Germany where he was stabilized before being transferred to Walter Reed Medical center where he would undergo more than 60 surgeries.
A new way of life.
He also had to learn how to navigate his new life in a wheelchair. He had to learn how to sit up, how to get in and out of his chair, how to support himself using only his arms. “It’s pretty much like starting life all over again,” he said in an interview.
But he did start all over again. Like many veterans, Nick struggled with depression. Looking for a way to stay healthy and lose some weight he decided to return to weightlifting, a sport he had enjoyed when he was younger.
And this led him to CrossFit.
He found Grand Trunk CrossFit in New Hudson, MI in 2015. “The beauty of CrossFit is that it can be tailored based on the athlete’s level of fitness or physical condition,” says Koulchar. “For someone like me, it was nice to know I could do a workout and see real results.” One year later, owners Brooklyn and Diana Netherton approached him about coaching.
Now he’s a familiar face in the gym not just as an athlete, but also as a coach even though he knows some members can be intimidated by his injury. “The next time you attend a WOD and I’m coaching, try not to be too intimidated,” he laughs. “But never take for granted your ability to do squats, no matter how much they might suck.”
From: Morning Chalk Up