“No matter what you want to do in life you have to have
the determination to start and the intensity to hustle hard.
But the key, are guts. It’s going to get hard,
there’s going to be times where you don’t want to do it anymore
but are you going to have the guts to push through it?”

 

About JoJo

Coming out of college in 2000, JoJo was a D2 All-America defensive back at Northeastern State in Oklahoma. After being undrafted, JoJo was lucky enough to pursue his lifelong dream of playing professional football with the Tulsa Talons. During his rookie season, he had seven picks in six games and started getting a bit of attention from the NFL. Towards the end of the season, he got a call from the Kansas City Chiefs and was invited to fly out for camp one week later. JoJo tells me, “It’s all I could think about. I had already told my mom that I got picked up. But, we had a game the Friday before, that would determine whether or not we got into the playoffs, and I always put team first, so I saw it as a win-win.” Instead of skipping the game and resting for camp, JoJo suited up. On the third play, he tripped over a fallen receiver, slamming into a padded wall and breaking his C-6 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

After three months, he was walking and eventually made a full recovery. He returned to arena football a year later where he won the 2001 Most Inspirational Player and went on to win Two AIFA Championships during his eight seasons. JoJo retired from football in 2009 and relocated to Raleigh where he began working as a trainer. In late 2014, he was offered co-ownership in CORE Fitness Studios. He jumped at the opportunity. “That was almost a no brainer. I’ve always wanted to own my own gym; this is a good place with good people so I knew I had to do it.”

 

About Shirley

Shirley is a graphic designer who loves her family, clean and simple design, cycling, cheesy Hallmark movies, and animals. If you want to challenge her to a game of  “who has the wildest animal rescue story” she’s totally in but know this: you don’t have a chance.

Shirley developed a passion for cycling when a friend loaned her a Specialized Road bike.  Since that day, Shirley has cycled thousands of miles including 130 in a weekend to raise money for MS research.

In November of 2017 she gave birth to her second child and 2 days later she suffered heart failure from a condition called PPCM. She recently took over this blog to document her recovery.