Ellen Show features inspiring story of Alabama war hero Noah Galloway
Noah Galloway, a 32-year-old native of Birmingham, Alabama, is on the cover of this month’s Men’s Health magazine as a result of not only his physique and fitness level, but also because of his incredible back story.
This week, Ellen DeGeneres invited Galloway to be a guest on her top-rated talk show so he could share his story with the world.
“I was going to UAB and I dropped out of school to enlist (in the Army) and I was in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003,” he explained. “I went back for a second deployment and about three months into it, hit a roadside bomb. I don’t remember any of it, woke up six days later — it was Christmas Day — I was at Walter Reed and, you know, because I had just woken up, it was my mom who was standing next to the bed to tell me that I’d lost my arm and my leg.”
Ellen asked him how he responded to that, and he admitted that he had a very difficult time coping.
“There was a lot of anger,” he said. “You know, I was a very physical person. And being injured I thought all of that was over and I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself. And there was a lot of depression I went through… That took a few years of being miserable, and I hid it from my friends and family. I’d go out in public and say everything was fine, but then I’d sit at home and I would drink a lot, and I just kind of kept it to myself. It was hard in the beginning.”
But it was Galloway’s return to working out, which he’d been passionate about prior to his injury, that helped him get back on track.
“I joined a 24-hour gym so I could go in at like 2 in the morning,” he explained. “I was embarrassed of the shape I was in, my injury, everything. I had to figure out new ways to workout, what I was going to do. Then as I started progressing, getting stronger, healthier and fitter, then I felt ok to go in the middle of the day. I started running races. I started with a 5k, 10k, obstacle course races, marathons — anything I could do to push myself. I was hooked.”
Ellen then showed some incredible pictures of Galloway doing things that even individuals with all of their limbs would have a difficult time accomplishing. Then she asked him what challenge he plans to tackle next.
“I think I want to compete in an Ironman,” he said to cheers.” He’s also launched the No Excuses Charitable Fund, which raises money and awareness for organizations that mean the most to him, especially causes related to fitness, which he credits with saving his life.
After making him rip off 20 one-hand pushups — which he did with ease — Ellen surprised him with a $10,000 check from Shutterfly for his charity, along with an Ellen-branded wet suit to wear in the Ironman.
From the battlefields of Iraq and the dark days at Walter Reed, to the cover of Men’s Health and the couch on the Ellen Show, it’s been an incredible ride for Galloway, and it sounds like this won’t be the last we hear from him.
Check out his appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show in the video above.
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