DALLAS – Blake Watson and Kenny Kalish are athletes. They're also good friends, who are successful former members of the U.S. military. And that's how they'd prefer to be known -- not just as two guys without a few limbs.
Both Watson and Kalish served in the Marine Corps.
"It was just the feeling of doing something bigger than yourself," said Watson, a corporal.
Kalish was a sergeant, and both were in Afghanistan when they stepped on improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
"Lost my left leg above the knee, lost a lot of tissue and muscle in my right leg, and had to have my left elbow fused," Watson said.
"There were a few days where I'd just look down and be kind of mad. Like, 'Hey, there used to be feet down there,'" said Kalish, who's a triple amputee.
They rehabbed together in San Antonio, but there is one space in Dallas where they've done the best work of their recovery. It's the Adaptive Training Foundation.
"It's a place where everyone can come as you are, and champion each other," said founder David Vobora.
He created the Adaptive Training Foundation to give Watson, Kalish, and others with injuries a gym specifically designed for them.
"They feel like it applies to what their limitation is, and they're gaining ground against what their injury stole from them," Vobora said.
And it's working. Watson has lost 40 pounds, and found purpose.
"[Vobora] gives you the opportunity to push; find your limit and push past it," he said. "And feel comfortable pushing past that limit."
He now works with the foundation.
As for Kalish, he has more energy, muscle, and a new goal.
"I want to try to make the US Paralympic Team for shot put and discus," he said.
All thanks to these trainers, and a new group of brothers in arms.
The Adaptive Training Foundation is one of the groups that benefits from money raised by Carry The Load.