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Aspire to inspire: Paralyzed Connecticut man is defying odds

The elevator at the gym has never worked, but that didn't stop Iurane Smart Jr. from making the climb.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTIC) — A video of a New Britain man climbing the stairs at his gym while carrying his wheelchair posted on Facebook is quickly going viral.

Iurane Smart Jr. was paralyzed from the chest down. He was involved in a dirt bike accident in 2017 and has gone through years of therapy.

The accident changed his life forever, but it didn't change his limits. He began hitting the gym one year ago.

"I don't think there are any limitations. I mean sometimes I get upset I can't reach something, and I don't want to stand. I don't think there are any limitations — I'm handicapable, not handicapped," Smart told WTIC.

The elevator at the gym has never worked, but that didn't stop Smart from making the climb. He usually found himself climbing the stairs with the trainers at the gym following behind with his wheelchair.

On this day, it was different — Smart did it all on his own.

Yet another victory when doctors said walking was nearly impossible.

The gym has become an essential part of Smart's routine. He gets joy out of showing others that nothing is impossible.

"For somebody who thought I couldn't do this or I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, I just think about everybody else," Smart told WTIC. "If it inspires them, that's what I live for."

Smart's post has been shared more than 17,000 times.