When his friend Ryan Schults took Rustin to the gym, he began to hit the heavy bag and all that build-up pain and uncertainty began to escape. It felt therapeutical so Rustin became dedicated to relearning martial arts and jiujitsu in particular. Rustin had recovered his strength and was back on his feet, even if one was made of metal and plastic. “The great thing about jiujitsu is that the playing field between amputees and non-amputees is actually quite leveled. Not having a leg for the opponent to grab can actually be an advantage.” My coach always told me to take my disability and turn it into ability. To take my disadvantage and turn them into my advantage. And that’s what I learn and have been teaching too.
From there on Rustin became ever more involved in the community around him. He handcycled over 600 miles over the course of a week with a fellow army veteran to raise funds to support a family who had also lost a dear one to brain cancer. Later on, Rustin founded B-Bold, a program designed to train adaptive athletes. Through B-Bold Hughes is helping other people regain their active lifestyle and that’s what we are all about too so when Levitate went to Colorado, we just had to meet him at his gym – Trials MMA in Fort Collins.