An occasional series featuring our favorite Instagram follows.
Who he is: Right below-knee amputee (RBKA) since 2017 due to a blood clot
What he does: Works his butt off to save his residual limb, which is threatened by chronic and severe blockages in his femoral artery. It’s a heroic battle. Lovell’s doctors have basically given up on further treatment, leaving him to soldier on alone. He’s succeeded so far by maintaining an intense workout regimen that, in essence, creates a de facto bypass of his blocked artery. Lovell’s nonstop activity in the gym, at home, and on the Scammy Steps near his house are the only things forcing blood to find a way around the clots.
Follow at: @just_the_one_leg
Why we followed: Lovell’s Instagram feed is as authentic as they come. He doesn’t hide a thing, and the honesty is bracing. He rarely shrinks from a given day’s challenges, nor fails to reap its rewards. He’s passionately focused on preserving circulation to his leg, but he’s just as passionate about helping other people who are living with limb loss, depression, PTSD, and whatever other challenge life may have thrown at them. He’s opened an online store that supplies running shoes singly (rather than in pairs), increasing choice and flexibility for amputees who use a blade.
In his own words:
May 28: “At the time [of my amputation] this was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. The thoughts I had during this time took me to some very dark places, questioning everything in my head over and over, I wasn’t ready for this to happen to me. I felt like my life was over. The journey you take as an amputee is a hard one and not for the faint-hearted. It takes a strong person to be one. It’s not just the physical things that are now a lot harder; the mental side of this really took its toll on me, and I spent a lot of time struggling. Then I started to accept what had happened and changed my mindset. I started to train in the gym and slowly gain the confidence back I had lost.”
May 18: “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm’s about.”
May 13: “There’s no need to be perfect to inspire people. Let people get inspired with how you deal with your imperfections.”