DENVER, NC (WBTV) - The one thing you should never do for Justin Holland is feel sorry for him. You can cheer him on when he's benching more than he's ever done. You can give him a pat on the back for successfully bulking up for a competition. But he doesn't need pity.
In fact, he wants to share his story to inspire others.
Almost two years ago, the 21-year-old was diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a condition that has left him blind with only a slight perception of light.
But it's not stolen his passion for doing the things he loves.
"You have to have some self-awareness. I mean, I can't be a NASCAR driver or fly a plane, but my passion has always been in the gym and I've always wanted to have a YouTube channel, so I just decided to do it," Justin said.
We met Justin Friday at LKN 24 Hour Athletic Club in Denver. He uses a cane to "feel" his way around the gym from machine to machine. He uses his hands to feel weight sizes and maneuver controls on machines.
When watching him work out, you almost can't tell he's blind. And he's totally OK with that.
"No matter what you're going through, somebody down the street could be going through something that's way worse than losing their sight," Justin said.
After he lost his sight, he started his own YouTube channel where he posts videos he shoots and edits himself. He uses sounds to make edits in his videos, and positions the camera where he thinks it might get him in the frame.
"I've been asking for a little more help recently to make sure I'm in the frame," he said.
He has more than 600 followers on his channel. He hopes to have more soon, and he hopes that each person who watches his videos will be inspired to erase the word "can't" from their vocabulary.