Athlete and motivational speaker Zion Clark has been overcoming adversity his whole life. Raised in foster care, Clark was born without legs due to a rare birth defect known as Caudal Regression Syndrome. While some people may have seen this as a tragic situation, Clark says he felt empowered to become an elite athlete. Today, he's helping others change their mindset and lives with his new fitness app, which features motivational talks as well as the workouts that help him stay lean.
“My app is really about providing value in [the form of] motivational content to teach people how I was able to overcome adversity and struggle, [which is] something we all deal with,” Clark says.
Clark did more than just overcome his struggles — he became the elite athlete he always dreamed of being. Clark was a Division 1 wrestler at Kent State and holds the world record for the fastest 20-meter run at 4.78 seconds. He’s also training for the Olympic games and hopes to be the first American to compete in both the Olympics (for wrestling) and Paralympics (for wheelchair racing) in Paris in 2024.
“Growing up with Caudal Regression Syndrome pushed me to become an athlete,” Clark says. “I was often told what I couldn't do growing up which fueled me to show the world what I can do.”
Clark believes that his physical disability is his superpower. Along with the motivation to become an athlete himself, he says he knew he had the ability to inspire others, which pushed him to become a motivational speaker.
“I wanted to motivate others to realize the potential they have to do great things,” Clark says. “Our mind is the most powerful thing we have.”
Clark launched his fitness app with four exclusive programs: No Excuses Motivation, Upper Body Workouts, Train Like an Athlete, and Boulders Shoulders. His workout programs guide users through the exact workouts he follows as an athlete to stay lean, quick, and athletic. The motivational videos dive into everything he has learned throughout his journey to help others reach their full potential, and cover everything from mental health to mindset tips.
“[The app] dives into techniques and skills I've learned through experience that I can teach others to use to uplift them,” Clark says.
With his app, Clark says he is excited to teach others his personal motto: live life with no excuses.
“No excuses to me means waking up and making your bed. It means holding yourself accountable to the decisions you make on a daily basis,” Clark says.
Small changes, such as making your bed each day and going to the gym, have a compounding effect. Clark recommends introducing one new task to your fitness or wellness routine at a time to sustain this new routine because, he says, “small and consistent change adds up.”
Clark says going to the gym each day is a gift, and he doesn’t see working out as a chore. He believes that the opportunity to work out is a privilege and that fitness and sports are great tools for improving one’s physical and mental health.
“There is always a way to work out, no matter where you are or who you are,” Clark says.
Join Clark’s community of strong-minded individuals in his new fitness app to learn how to overcome your excuses and reach your own fitness goals.
About the author
Jessica is an editorial assistant and writer at Playbook. She is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University, now based in New York. Jessica loves to read, is passionate about fitness and nutrition, and is always looking for new restaurants with the best pasta dishes. On the weekends, you can find her playing with her dog Wilson, at the beach with a good book, or doing pilates.
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