Sgt. Noah Galloway has fought an uphill battle ever since Dec. 5 when a service vehicle he was riding in triggered an IED, leading to the loss of his left forearm and left leg below the knee. Galloway had always prided himself on his physical and athletic prowess, but with two limbs missing he thought his weightlifting days were behind him. He knew the only way to pull himself out of his struggle with depression was to get off the couch and back into the gym.

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"I looked back, and my depression terrified me," Galloway told Men’s Health. "I never wanted to experience that again. That's why I got into races. What kept me moving was never going back to where I came from. I wanted people to see more than my injury."

Following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, Galloway dropped out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham to join the U.S. Army. In 2003, he was sent to Iraq as a part of the 101st Airborne. "I enjoyed every bit of it," he explained. "I spent a year in Iraq living with the locals, on patrol all the time. I was like, 'This is it. I want to do this the rest of my life.'"

Tragedy struck four months into Galloway’s second tour when his night vision goggles failed to pick up the trip wire for the explosive. "The roadside bomb was big enough to send our 10,000-pound Humvee flying through the air. We landed wheels down in a canal." On Christmas Day 2005, he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center with his jaw wired shut and two limbs missing.

According to Galloway, for the next couple of years all he did was “sit at home and drink and smoke and sleep.” By 2010, he thought enough was enough and decided to get back in shape. To do so, he knew he would have to move past being affected by people seeing him in his condition. "I was embarrassed to go in there," Galloway said. "I joined the 24-hour gym and went at 2 in the morning when no one was there. I was starting from scratch."

Less than four years later, Galloway has completed three CrossFit events, three marathons, eight Tough Mudders, a dozen Spartan races, and a 58-hour Death Race. He has also established the No Excuses Charitable Fund in support of his local YMCA and Operation Enduring Warrior. While he admits he gets down on himself some days, he has learned not to dwell on it and lives by the old adage, “This too shall pass.”