Interview: Miles Taylor Talks Living, Lifting, and Competing

Miles Taylor and trainer Nicolai Myers
@smilestaylor / Instagram / The Loyal Brand

When avid photographer Miles Taylor stopped in to the NEVERsate Gym in Westminster, MD,
to get some action shots, he didn’t realize that his life would
change. He already knew one of the trainers,
Nicolai Myers
, since grade
school
, and by the end of the visit, 99-pound Taylor put his
camera down and picked up an atlas stone. The cerebral palsy (CP)
he was born with—a condition that impacts movement, speech, and
muscle tone—was replaced with new abilities for Taylor through
lifting.

Taylor, who has been lifting more than a year, quickly gained
five pounds within the first 12 months, and earlier this year, the
24-year-old deadlifted more than double his body
weight. Taylor broke his first personal record by lifting 200
pounds at NEVERsate, and recently surpassed this by deadlifting 205
pounds during a visit with Nike.

Lifting has transformed his body, mind, and life. “I have CP,
CP doesn’t have me,” reads Taylor’s Instagram
page. Words he lives by, Taylor was always determined not to let
cerebral palsy keep him down. Always active and competitive in
sports, he still enjoys playing football. Myers remembered Taylor
being everywhere when it came to sports during high school. “He
was always involved from standing on the sidelines cheering
everyone on, or he always had a team manager position with just
about every sport that I could think of,” Myers said. “If there
was a varsity sporting event, you were going to see Miles there on
the sideline with the team being their biggest support
system.”

Never Say Never

Still, starting out in the gym was challenging for Taylor. In
the beginning, he couldn’t lift or carry any weight without Myers
supporting him or literally holding him up. Cerebraly Palsy impacts
motor skills, making it difficult for individuals with the
disability to control or coordinate their muscles. Taylor’s
condition has improved since he started lifting, and he now goes
in to warm up on his own. “It’s helped me so much with my
everyday life and being more confident,” said Taylor. “It
improved my CP. It’s given me stability in how I walk, and with
my daily tasks around the house.” Also transformative has been
the support of the NEVERsate gym, owned by Brian Alsruhe
(Maryland’s Strongest Man title holder), who Taylor said has
created an atmosphere of positivity with a true community feel.

“Brian created this atmosphere where there’s no
negativity,” said Miles. “We kick all negativity out. We’re
all one, big family. We’re all very supportive of one another. It
doesn’t matter how much you lift, it’s just automatic—you
give 100 percent. I just love it.”

Myers said that the angle of the gym is to be affordable to
everyone. Alsruhe, who opened the NEVERsate five years ago,
primarily keeps it running through online merchandise sales and
personal training at the gym. “That’s how the gym
runs…Brian’s vision never sways,” Myers said. “It started
little, [and] now we’ve almost doubled our footprint. We have
everything from a 12-year-old girl to a 54-year-old guy, Miles,
national champions, competitors—soccer moms not knowing anything
about lifting and then six months later they’re entering their
first strongman competition.”

MilesTaylor.jpg

Miles Taylor hits a huge deadlift at the 2019 Arnold Classic.
Photo and video: Chris Nicoll

Miles and Miles

Outside of the gym, Taylor is keeping active with a
collaboration with The Loyal
Brand
and their collection of sports and workout apparel. A
portion of the proceeds go to the River Valley Ranch, where Taylor
continues to serve as a summer counselor. He also spent the day
with Arnold Schwarzengger during the recent Arnold Sports Festival
in Columbus, OH, where the seven-time Mr. Olympia called him onto
the stage so he could deadlift 185
pounds
in front of the packed house—a lift he hit with ease.
Taylor’s videos have gone viral, getting picked up by various
outlets across the country, including his first record lift
post earlier
this year, which pulled in nearly 800,000 views on
Instagram.

His recent adventures didn’t end with Arnold. Taylor, along with
Myers and Alsruhe, were recently flown to Nike’s Beaveront, OR,
headquarters to give feedback on the company’s Flyease shoe for
athletes with disabilities. While there, Taylor popped into the
Nike gym to break another personal record, deadlifting 205
pounds.

Competition Ready

Myers said that a short-term goal is to get more competition
experience under Taylor’s belt this year. “We’re taking
training day by day, so it’s interesting for me as a coach to see
his daily progress and to see his numbers climb,” said Myers.
“So there’s really no set in stone goals. The sky’s the
limit.”

Taylor isn’t slowing down anytime soon and continues to give
motivational talks—most recently in a college classroom at
McDaniel College. “I educate on CP or disabilities in general,
and how lifting has improved my life,” said Taylor. “I want to
educate people and bring some awareness to what people are able to
do.”

His other passion, photography, is still a part of his life, and
Taylor continues to shoot weddings, birthdays, and other events.
But when it comes to lifting, he doesn’t have a specific personal
record to beat next or goals in him. “I just want to get better
and better and keep improving,” he said. “And as I improve, the
numbers will go up.”

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Source: FS – All – Fitness – News
Interview: Miles Taylor Talks Living, Lifting, and Competing