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Man overcomes accident to compete again

By Ed Brock

Getting hit by a car might be enough to take the spirit out of most people, but Allen Bobb won't let it get him down.

It's been over four years since a driver pulled in front of 39-year-old Bobb while he was riding his bicycle in Monroe, but he still bears the scars.

He lost 23 pounds of muscle due to atrophy after the accident. Because of nerve damage his left leg still shakes and quivers if he puts to much stress on it and he walks with a slight limp.

That hasn't kept him from winning four bodybuilding competitions in his weight category this year.

"I say don't mind my limp, worry about the titles I'm winning," Bobb said. "(The accident) has put me in a new perspective of what I'm supposed to do with my life."

Now a resident of Stockbridge, Bobb also works as a trainer at a World Champion Fitness where he's been working out since meeting Chad Mangum, brother of the gym's owner Jamie Mangum. A native of Myrtle Beach, Bobb has been working out for about 10 years, ever since he went through a painful divorce.

At that time he was also smoking and drinking, but he gave up those unhealthy habits.

"I made a whole 360 degree change with my life," Bobb said.

Bobb trains 22 hours six days a week, 1? hours in the morning and another 1? hours in the evenings. Instead of hiring a physical therapist he went to the National Academy of Health and Fitness in Colorado and became one. He uses that knowledge in training the Silver Sneakers, a group of seniors who often have their own physical weak points. For 72-year-old Ed Fahrenkamp of Jonesboro it's a knee problem and his insurance company pays for his wife and him to train with Bobb.

Fahrenkamp even referred his daughter to Bobb for training.

"I think pretty highly of him," Bobb said. "When you can take a bunch of people who are over 65 and have them come here three times a week, some of them more, you've got to have something."

Bobb is very cautious in training people with injuries, Fahrenkamp said, and if they feel like they can't do a certain exercise Bobb finds something else for them to do.

"They listen to what he says," Chad Mangum said. "You've got to say he's very focused. He's unbelievable for his age."

In competition Bobb trains in the Masters Lightweight Division, the Masters being for competitors over 35 for state level and 40 and over for national level.

He runs a car detailing business as well, holds raffles to help pay for his competitions and Innovative Sound and Sun Sational in Stockbridge have helped sponsor him in competitions. Bobb said he appreciates Wendy's and Ryan's restaurants for providing good food for his training and he wants to thank all the people who come to his classes and by so doing lend him emotional support.

One of Bobb's inspirations is professional bodybuilder Jeff "Box" Long who also trains at World Champion. Another is his girlfriend Mary Jane who helps him prepare for his competition and calms him when his dieting makes him irritable. And she's also been training for 12 years and he's helping her get ready for competition.

"She's a blessing. She keeps me happy," Bobb said.