TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Alex Dillmann is very devoted to going to I-Fly, the indoor skydiving simulator in Brandon. If you ask him, he's not just having fun, he's training.
"You can think of a million reasons why you can't do something... but as long as you have that one thing. You can definitely achieve it." Dillmann told FOX 13. "I didn't do a lot of things because I was scared to do them. It's regret is what it is. I don't want to go through the rest of my life with regret. If there is something I want to do, I'm going to do it."
One of the things he regrets is not skydiving when given the opportunity. Alex quickly discovered that he should do things he wants to do when given the opportunity because you're not always able to.
"I'm in a wheelchair," Dillmann said. "It's a chair, it doesn't define me. I could care less. I'm still doing what I want to do."
During his second deployment to Afghanistan, his vehicle hit an IED. He lost his friend and the use of his legs. Dillmann spent the next two years in recovery.
That was the motivator to try the things he didn't before the injury -- like skydiving.
"I just have to solve the variable of how I can do something without the use of my legs," he explained. "As soon as I do that, everything else is cake. I don't have certain things I can control, so I have to overcompensate with things like braces or extra fabric to drag when I jump out of the plane."
Dillmann said it's similar to the military in that you "lead by example."
"Nobody takes any negative experiences away from it," he said. "They just see somebody with a disability who is doing what he loves to do. I just hope people think, 'If he can do it...I can try.' That's really what I would like people to take away from this is, 'Wow even with those challenges, he's still finding a way to do things that he loves to do."
His wife, Holly, for instance, is proud of him.
"When I do see him up in the air and when he comes down, I'm truly amazed," she said. "He is truly inspiring, and he doesn't even have to try."