Premier Member Highlight – Alec Hyre
Alec Hyre is 24 years old and has been living with cerebral palsy since birth. Early in his life, his doctors predicted that he would grow up with severely limited mobility and that he would not ever attend college. Today, Alec is a graduate of the Florida State University with a masters degree in sports management. As far as his mobility goes – well, let’s just say that his wheelchair does not hold him back from moving more than the majority of Americans do. Alec is a truly delightful and inspiring individual, however, he doesn’t necessarily aim to inspire. This is his story.
Alec did not always work out. His fitness journey began about 3 years ago, when he was in college. As a sports management student, his classmates and friends were pretty active people. He was tired and embarrassed of being the most out-of-shape person within his peer group. He began going to the gym on campus with his friends and he says that having a supportive environment kept him coming. The gym became a meditative space for him to clear his mind and, ultimately, feel better. Along with exercise, Alec says he also reinvented his relationship with food. The combination of healthy eating, rolling around the track, swimming, playing basketball and weight training resulted in Alec not only feeling great, but also losing nearly 100 lbs. Today, Alec works out at Premier at least 4 days a week (before COVID-19 of course), and at home on the days that he doesn’t make it in – except Saturdays; those are for rest.
Alec’s decision to start exercising was not entirely self-serving, though if it was, that would be completely respectable. Alec admits that he started this journey to take some burden off of his parents. As a person with cerebral palsy, Alec has always been limited in what he can do physically. He still has to rely on others for assistance, and those others have pretty much always been his parents. When he wanted to go to college, they moved the whole family to Tallahassee so that he could attend FSU. Alec is extremely grateful for his parents and their support throughout his entire life. He decided it was time to give back to them. One of his main motivators to become healthy and active is so that he can do more for himself, rely less on his parents, and become someone that they would be proud of, although I’m sure they already are.
Alec is fairly well-known and well-loved at Premier, even though he has only been a member for a few months now. He admits that sometimes, people will tell him that he inspires them to be better, push harder, stay consistent, etc. While he is fine with that and happy to help, he doesn’t really think of his fitness journey as a motivator for others. When I inquired further about this sentiment, he said “I’m just over here living my life, doing the best I can, just like everyone else.” He sees his cerebral palsy as a built-in excuse to not do things and he refuses to allow that, because those excuses hinder him from doing the best that he can. I asked Alec if he had any advice for people who are beginning their own fitness journey. He shared that one thing that has been beneficial for him is to not compare himself with others. He also says that it is super important to get over that initial hurtle, and advises to “Just start. Even if it is small.”