US Army Veteran Tyler M Everett

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Tyler M Everett

Background:

I was a somewhat overweight child, not evening out until my sophomore year of high school, at which point I dropped nearly 30 pounds in just a few months. Throughout all those years, I was always active playing sports (baseball, basketball, football) and just being a kid playing outside. I cut grass for my parents and neighbors, and my brother and I would play baseball and basketball at the house. Running through the woods, playing Army was always a favorite pastime for me though.

At the age of 14, during the summer prior to my freshman year of high school, I found the gym. My brother was getting ready to start his senior year of high school and was lifting weights as a member and co-captain of the varsity basketball team, and was nice enough to allow me to join them. I immediately fell in love. I lifted and ran drills with the team, maxed-out in bench press, squat and power-clean, and steadily got stronger. That was a relatively good year of football for me as well, though I was slow. I was a heavy 5’10” at approximately 190lb at that point.

After my freshman year, I started playing on the varsity football team. During the off-season we trained, and we trained hard. We staggered lifting weights and doing speed/agility drills each week. One week would be 3-days weight training/2-days speed/agility, the following week would be 2-days weight training/3-days speed/agility. Again, during my sophomore year, I dropped nearly 30 pounds during the later part of the football season, ending up at 166 pounds during playoffs. I continued weight training during the season, so I did not lose any strength, and my speed increased as a result of the weight loss too.

Between my junior and senior year of high school, I joined the Army National Guard. I signed my first contract on my 17th birthday. During that summer, while my class and teammates were enjoying their summer, I was located at Ft Benning, GA, Home of the Infantry, enjoying 9 weeks of grueling Initial Entry Training (Basic Combat Training). Morning PT followed by countless hours of additional physically grueling activities were the norm the entire way through. At the end, I knew I was in the best shape of my life. Football in the late summer heat of the Northeast was nothing to me.

After my senior year of football, many of my teammates began the small-town pastime drinking beer and partying; I was back in the weight room every day after school. I continued this new-found hobby of weight training over the next few years, until my first overseas deployment to Iraq in 2004. During this time, I started training one of my fellow Soldiers – a first for me. I noticed significant strength and size gains during this deployment, returning home in 2005.

My weight lifting continued as a hobby over the next several years. 2007 found me in New Mexico, working alongside the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Patrol Agents as additional eyes and ears to aid in identifying undocumented aliens and drugs entering the United States. I trained 2 additional fellow Soldiers during this timeframe, one who was very obese and at risk of being barred from re-enlistment. I also implemented a physical training (PT) regimen for the platoon of nearly 50 Soldiers for whom I was responsible. For the majority, their successes were great over the months as we trained daily.

Upon my return from New Mexico, weight training became more than just a hobby; it was my new-found obsession. I trained between 5-7 days per week, and I trained hard; every day was an opportunity to do better and be more than I was the day or week prior. I began studying more into the art of weight training and bodybuilding; spending more time trying to “shape” my body, and more time on the nutritional side.

In 2010 I deployed overseas for the final time. I had the pleasure of training two fellow Soldiers who had never spent a second in a gym before. One became my training partner the duration of the rotation to Kuwait and Afghanistan. He still trains hard to this day, and I feel proud that I had a hand in educating him, knowing that he had the drive deep inside to follow a similar path to mine. The other Soldier was another story where he had the potential for bar from re-enlistment if he did not either make weight or pass the body fat percentage test. Because his overall size was crucial to his civilian job and us in the military, and because he was not having issues passing the PT test, I decided to push him to lowering his body fat, increasing or decreasing his measurements in the right places in order to pass the body fat percentage. In just three months, I saw a man transformed – he was stronger than ever, and lean enough to make his allowed body fat percentage. He was also devoted, in both his weight training and his nutrition. I take my hat off to both of these two men as they have shown they have what it takes to be animals in the gym.

Looking Forward:

What many people don’t realize is that anyone can walk through the doors to the local gym and throw some weights around. But there are a very select few – those 5% – who are dedicated, even devoted, to giving what it takes day in and day out. I believe that there is only 5% of the population out there truly doing what must be done, giving what must be given, and putting out what must be put out to live to their aspirations, be it in the gym, at work, or in life in general. I have worked my body into the ground to be one of those few willing to do what it takes. When I have worked long hours and shifts throughout my careers, I give up sleep so that I can put my time in the gym to be better today than I was yesterday.

I grew up in a line of coal miners, becoming one myself after my first rotation overseas. I spent nearly 11 years working 1000’ underground daily, surrounded by some of the hardest-working men and women out there. I’m humbled to be able to call many of them my friends. And now I work in the power generation business, traveling during the peak outage seasons – here again, I find myself working around some very fine men and women; people not afraid to work their tails off to get the job done, done safe, and done right. During the off-peak seasons, my aspirations are to do more personal training, to help more people achieve the goals they have set for themselves. I want to be that guy that sits in the shadows smiling and nodding as he sees a transformed person walk out the doors, knowing that I helped that person, but never expecting a word said. Seeing the smiles on their faces, their healthy bodies… That’s thanks enough for me.

Instagram: @TylerMEverett

 

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