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Arnold Balais: Power over Pain

Some people succeed, some people fail. And most of those that failed was because they gave up too soon. They submitted to their situation, whatever it may be. They didn’t fight past it and they didn’t accept that they are capable of anything that they put their mind to. This is why when someone comes along that seemingly overcame all the odds life has to offer and reached all his goals and more, it is truly aweinspiring to say the least.

Enter, Arnold Balais, 41 years old
Husband, father
Mountain climber

Arnold was born in Dinalupihan, Bataan. Like many, he idolized famous athletes growing up and played basketball. But one day in 1990, as Arnold was playing a routine game on the court, he suffered a bone injury. For over a year, he was bedridden because of an infection. Then, doctors decided to amputate his leg. The news devastated Arnold, but he used this setback as a way to motivate himself to do even better. He didn’t let his disability hinder his quest to become the best version of himself that he knows he can be.

Despite his situation, he took it upon himself to rise above it. He started lifting weights and building his body. Weightlifting has its fair share of challenges. For Arnold, those get doubled due to his amputated leg. During his training, he went through a gauntlet of pain – from headaches, backaches, pain in his leg, knee, arms, and hands. Through all those he didn’t give up. He kept pushing himself. And he counted on Alaxan FR to get him through the pain. His perseverance amidst all the setbacks led to him becoming a part of the Philippine delegation to the 1996 Paralympics, finishing 12th out of 24 competitors.

After his initial Paralympics stint, Arnold wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to push himself and face more challenges. So, he moved to Cebu where he took up swimming and soon enough, he was participating in competitions like the Philspada meet where he earned gold, as well as silver and bronze medals at the 4th ASEAN Paralympic games. But for Arnold, there was a bigger mountain to conquer, literally. In 2013, Arnold set out to scale the tallest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Apo.

But for Arnold, there was a bigger mountain to conquer, literally. In 2013, Arnold set out to scale the tallest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Apo.

Throughout his climb, he faced numerous challenges. The most taxing was the unpredictable weather plus all the pains associated with climbing. He even had to use a makeshift ladder, thus removing the use of his crutches. He wouldn’t let anything deter him from reaching the top of the mountain both physically and mentally. So, after climbing for two straight days, Arnold finally reached the peak, becoming the first amputee to climb Mount Apo.

Arnold is living proof that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish great things. Your situation right now doesn’t determine your future. It’s what you do despite of it. Throughout his life, Arnold has shown that he went through seemingly insurmountable odds only to come out on the other side bigger, better, and more successful than ever before. Anyone can do this because with the right mindset, and most of all, the right partner to get through the pain, you can succeed, you can power over pain.

"Basahin ang tagalog version dito."
ASC Ref. No U112P051917A
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