From the ultrasound the doctors and my parents knew I was different. The doctors labeled the syndrome as Hanhart syndrome which is a super rare genetic disorder that leaves the baby with either undeveloped limbs or undeveloped organs, in my case it was the limbs. They gave me a 30% chance to live. I made it, 100% healthy organs. Just missing my legs and arm. The doctors started giving my parents a list of all the things I’d never be abled to. Get around, eat, dress myself. That I’ll never be independent. All these limitations that I have shattered in the short time I’ve been on this planet.
I am the baby of four. My parents promised that they were going to raise me like the other 3 kids. No excuses. No adaptions. This world won’t adapt to me, you are going to have to adapt to the world. That was a major key to my life and attitude. I take every obstacle out there and give it my all to shatter these limitations the world has put on me. Writing this gets me fired up because there will never be someone on this world like me. At least in our lifetime. No one is doing what I’m doing with my circumstances. And it’s great because when the world finally realizes my worth that I know I’m worth. My audience will be huge for me to spread my message. And in this fitness industry no one is doing what I’m doing and growing as fast as me. Numbers don’t lie and when the fitness industry realizes how big and important I am it’ll be a bitter sweet moment.
My middle school and early high school years were my rock bottom. The big question was WHY. Why me. Why was I born like this. Why do I have to go through these challenges in life. I didn’t want to live anymore and put up with this. But that’s not me in my heart. I’m not a quitter never was. I needed to find out why and what was my purpose. Then wrestling came into my life. All my friends were varsity wrestlers and they egged me on to try it. But at that time my right short arm was very pointy and fragile. I made the decision to get it amputated a bit to add my comfort and cushion on the limb so I can do physical activities. My junior year I was JV and got my butt kicked every single day. But I wasn’t a quitter.
I worked that whole year and lifted a little bit and came back my senior year to be the 106lb varsity wrestler on my team. That’s when I realized my purpose. I would have packed gymnasiums give me standing ovations even when I was loosing. I didn’t know why. Then I finally realized over time the impact I had on people just by me being me. Random people coming up to me crying saying I changed their child’s life and they are now trying things they never thought they could do. The confidence and assurance I instilled in these people by me being me. BAM! That’s my purpose and that’s what got the ball rolling.
After I graduated high school I wanted to continue to spread my vibes and message. I thought how can I take this to a whole new level? Then fitness came in. What if people saw me doing something and having a ripped body. You can’t buy an in-shape body – it takes WORK. If people see ME ripped up that reflects the hard work physically and mentally I put in and showing them there’s no excuse. Now we’re in the present where my goals are to continue to grow in the fitness industry and level up my motivational speaking up to be speaking all over the world. These things will happen I am certain just might take some time, a little of a lot no one knows.
Nick Santonastasso is Motivational Speaker, Viner, Youtuber, and aspiring Fitness Model. Learn more about Nick here.