By Dominic Garcia

(CBS4) — In 2007, Adam Popp’s life changed forever. He was serving in Afghanistan disarming roadside bombs when a secondary IED exploded, resulting in the amputation of his right leg above the knee.

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“As I’m flying through the air, you have 1,000 thoughts going through your mind,” he told CBS4. “‘Am I gonna live?’ was one of those first thoughts, and after that it’s like, ‘What is my life gonna look like now?'”

During his rehabilitation, Adam got involved with adaptive sports programs and started running with the help of a prosthetic leg. At first, he needed a harness to help him run. But as time went on, his runs got longer and longer.

(credit: CBS)

“I just started this journey of five days a week just running for 30 minutes at the beginning,” Popp said. “It was walking more than running, but I was making progress, and I saw I was able to do something I hadn’t been able to do for 8 years before that point.”

Adam started doing half marathons, then full marathons. And this week, he’ll be competing in the Colfax Marathon in Denver.

“It gives you a lot of perspective in life to think that, just 8 years ago, I was kind of a couch potato and thought so many things were taken from me,” Popp told CBS4. “But it just became a new starting point and a blank slate to start over.”

(credit: CBS)

Adam hopes his story helps inspire others and has these words of encouragement.

“It’s not over when you lose. It’s over when you quit.”

Dominic Garcia