Jiu-jutsu athlete finds hope in recovery

By Nicholas Linares |Staff Writer|

If there is anyone who can take a hit and get back up, it is none other than “Big” Roger Tarango.

The former Indianapolis Colts player has seen his fair share of ups and downs but has always managed to come out stronger and better on the other side.

Now in his late 30s, Tarango spends his time training at X-Fit Combat Sports in Highland, improving his strikes, takedowns and all-around martial arts skills.

Several years ago Tarango was in a horrible car accident that left him bed ridden and in no condition to pursue any of his athletic abilities.

While riding his motorcycle he was struck by a vehicle, sending him flying across the pavement and destroying his legs.

At that time Tarango was over 400 lbs. and knew that his weight would affect his recovery.

As he tried to heal and regain his strength, a dependency to the opiates he was given formed and he started to lose his path in life.

“I started to feel weak and hopeless, I didn’t know how I was going to come back from this,” said Tarango.

The healing took place and he regained the strength to walk, move and function around people once again.

Tarango wanted to make a comeback, but over the course of two years he had developed an addiction and

lost over 200 lbs., leaving him with atrophied muscles and a vulnerable state of mind.

It wasn’t until 2016 that Tarango reached out to a friend asking about Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria, according to Project CBD.

He was aware of UFC fighters Nick and Nate Diaz using it but was unsure of its usefulness and real power.

In October 2016, Tarango made the choice to put his doubts behind him and rekindle his training.

He found he had the strength to come away from opiates and antidepressants in only three months time.

His body began to heal in ways he did not think was possible. His joints stopped hurting, his bones grew stronger and he accomplished his first four pull up’s in over two decades.

“I knew my body had changed and I was becoming stronger and more flexible,” said Tarango.

He is now back at the gym training several days a week with several competitions closely approaching.

The plan for Tarango is to keep training hard, improve his endurance and get back to his title of top Jujitsu fighter.

Having a clear mind to focus on training is important to Tarango, without that, he loses his agility and quickness.

“By letting me train and have an outlet, I can focus on being a better me,” said Tarango.

From total bed rest to getting ready for competitions, if there is one thing that is certain, it is that Roger

Tarango will not be taken down.

“The strongest man in the world is nothing without a great foundation,” concluded Tarango.


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