PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For many, strength is purely physical. For 32-year-old Eric Komar, strength is his entire story.
“It’s an attainable goal to be one of the best arm wrestlers in the world,” Komar said.
And that’s exactly what Komar hopes to prove as a qualifier in September’s Armwrestling World Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
“The only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourselves,” he said.
Komar is used to pushing past the perception of limitations.
He lives with Spina Bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord doesn’t develop properly.
But he says rather than holding him back, his condition has sparked a desire to help others break their own barriers.
“My goal is to inspire young people with disabilities like maybe they can’t accomplish anything to look at me and say, ‘If this guy’s doing it, I can do it.’”
Seeing Komar in action inspired Jamie Paglaiei, owner of United States Masonry & Chimney, to sponsor the journey to the competition by hosting a fundraising arm wrestling event at the Clarion Hotel in Philadelphia on Sunday.
“You just get so moved by everything he’s been through,” Paglaiei said. “He’s very soft-spoken until he gets to the arm wrestling table where he becomes an absolute beast.”
It’s a testament that strength can be drawn not only from the muscles you make – but from what you make of the circumstances around you.
“You might have to do things differently than someone else. But you can fulfill all of your dreams if you work hard enough,” Komar said.
Sunday’s event will be held from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 13.