CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ask most people training for a triathlon and they'll likely tell you it's more mental that physical. That's certainly been the case for Charlotte triathlete Mark Hoffman.
"I've got to get up and give it everything I've got."
That chance to give it everything looked in doubt after a cycling crash injured vertebrae in his back while training.
"Just walking out of the hosptial was a big victory. The paramedics were there in about 3 minutes."
Mark had just opened up his Inside-Out Sports shop when the accident occurred and didn't have medical insurance. While still in the hospital- friends, family, and competitors donated just over $20,000 for his bills.
"I'm very thankful for all the people that did help- and I'm sure that's a big part of why I am where I am now."
Now he is weeks away from competing in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii having qualified for the event about a year ago.
"The opportunity to go to Hawaii is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I never thought I would be invited to go there. I'm really glad to show everybody what I've been doing for the last few months."
Good friend, and business associate, Chad Andrews isn't surprise by the help from the community or Mark's determination.
"That's our DNA. We're givers. I've seen it happen many, many times. " said Andrews. "The guy's made of Teflon."
Eight members of Hoffman's family will travel with him to support him on his big day. A viewing party is also planned by friends in Charlotte.