What's Right: Remarkable Tomball body-building team defies the odds


by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News


Posted on August 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 3 at 5:40 PM

HOUSTON -- Linda Johnson is a competitive body-builder. Looking at her, you might never guess she is also a breast-cancer survivor. She was diagnosed two years ago. Now she’s winning trophies at competitions.

Her body-building teammate, Lindell Montgomery, is 75. He has done nine body-building shows. Montgomery says he takes no medications and is in perfect health. The guy who trains him and Johnson is Ray Bessette, owner of Firm U gym in Tomball.

"I believe that anybody can do anything they want as long as they have the science behind them. What we do is, we just teach them real basic science, how your body works," said Bessette.

And he believes that works for everyone -- even those whose bodies don’t function at 100 percent.

The other member of Bessette’s remarkable body-building team is 21-year-old Sam Smith. Smith, a native of England, has cerebral palsy.

But that’s not a deal-breaker for him and Bessette.

"The doctors in England said I’d never be able to walk, so it’s kind of like, you know, I proved them wrong and I can prove a lot of people wrong," Smith said.

Smith has competed in seven body-building shows.

Bessette’s remarkable training approach is simple.

"I start from the head down," he said.

He has another notable client, Justin Farley, who also has Cerebral Palsy. Farley’s goal is simply to move more normally.

"My goal was to get better at walking and my stability," said Farley.

He has achieved that. These days, Farley is much improved and more confident in a crowd as he navigates the campus of the University of Houston, where he is a student.