A soldier who lost his leg in a freak shooting accident has relaunched himself in the most unlikely career – as an extreme fitness trainer.
Mark Smith was told he would probably never walk again after his right leg was amputated at the top of the thigh.
Today, after 23 operations and months of rehabilitation, he is running 400 metre sprints with an Oscar Pistorius-type blade.
This month the 28-year-old is launching his own company Frontline Fitness – complete with army-style training and boot camps.
“It will be based on the fitness exercises I had to do during my ten years’ service. There will be stretcher racing, log racing, tyre flipping races and much more,” he said.
Frontline Fitness will “go the extra mile” in terms of fitness levels. And Mark, who lives with his wife and son on Walnut Tree, is convinced he will provide the inspiration for people to give their best.
“There aren’t many personal trainers who can be a living example that no matter what happens in life there’s always a way to get through it.
“I want to motivate people to believe that with determination anything is possible.”
Former Ousedale pupil Mark was a Lance Sergeant in the Grenadier Guards and had served in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Falklands.
Two years ago he was on shooting training in Canada, where the army had built a mock Afghan village out of MDF wood.
Machine gun fire went through an MDF building and caught Mark, who was obscured behind.
“I had seven bullets in my leg and shoulder. It was one of those freak things but I don’t blame the soldier who fired the gun.”
At first Mark was fighting for his life and his wife Natalie was flown out to Canada. Today though he is fighting fit and ready to launch his business. For details view Frontline Fitness MK on Facebook or call 07873 729173.