By Dominic Garcia

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Five to six days a week you can find Jared Wells at Armbrust Gym in Wheat Ridge pumping iron. The 22 year old competes in bodybuilding competitions, but a year ago you would have never guess it by looking at him.

(credit: Jared Wells)

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“I had trouble lifting even the slightest things, I was that weak. When you saw me you were wondering is he gonna be okay,” he told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

He was 6-foot-1 but only weighed 117 pounds. What most people didn’t know is Jared has cystic fibrosis, a serious lung disease.

“On a bad day I was constantly coughing, having trouble breathing. It got so bad I was like almost having an asthma attack,” he told CBS4.

(credit: CBS)

Wells says he got to the point of almost giving up and even stopped taking his medication. But one day a friend asked him to go to the gym. Jared said he was immediately hooked.

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“I just kind of got lost in it. Everything else that was on my mind and bothering me, I’d go to the gym, start lifting weights, and it was just gone,” said Wells.

(credit: Jared Wells)

Wells now embraces his cystic fibrosis and is eager to tell people about his journey. He has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, and is actively raising money for charities aiming to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

LINK: Team Jared: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

He hopes that people who see his story become inspired, and whether it’s lifting weights or something else, find an outlet for whatever they’re going through in their life.

(credit: CBS)

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“Embrace going through those hard times and use that to be productive. Just keep fighting because there is light at the end of that tunnel.”

Dominic Garcia