Amputee's Passion For Health And Fitness

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Written by
Whitney Bailey
Written by
Whitney Bailey

Joel Ellen states he has always had a passion for health and fitness. In fact, he turned his passion into a career by earning a college degree in health and fitness. After graduating from college in 2010, Joel began experiencing chronic hip pain.

Joel eventually had to have his leg amputated above the knee due to a series of events that involve multiple doctors visits, prescriptions, addiction, and rehab. Through all of the trials and tribulations, Joel’s love for fitness never wavered. He now shares short clips of his workouts on his social media to motivate others. 

Black and White Picture of Joel (amputee) leaning on crutch

“I found that when you’re in as much pain as I am in, and you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you have to either sit at home and do nothing or create coping mechanisms to have a normal life again.”

Joel likes to focus on self-improvement. He accomplishes self-improvement by going to church, practicing his daily rituals and of course, working out. One of Joel’s favorite exercises is burpees. He jokes that his least favorite exercise is most likely squats. “One of the things that keeps me sane is going to the gym because it’s the one place where I feel I’m not ‘handicapped’. It feels like I can do whatever anyone else can do,” says Joel.


Joel’s advice for others in a similar situation as himself is to educate yourself because medical professionals aren’t necessarily going to know what you are going through. He recommends learning what it takes to keep you strong and flexible.

“When you actually take the time to do the research and take the time (health and fitness) becomes a standard in your life and becomes a passion.”

Joel also advises others to be as “transparent as possible.” He states, “You don’t have to put yourself out there for everyone to see, but don’t be afraid to be who you are.” Joel’s hope for the future is to use his story to motivate others.

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