LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas Soldier, who was active for his entire lifetime, suddenly hit with a life-altering injury. It struck while he was in sniper training three years ago after falling into a pond, hitting a concrete brick.
When Tyler Rollins took a big fall during that training and became quadriplegic, he thought his life was over.
“I was paralyzed face down in water and confused,” said Rollings. "My initial thought when I woke up from surgery was I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life in a bed.”
But now, he won't let paralysis stop him from winning in the face of challenges as he launches a new chapter of life. For the past several years, Rollins has fought depression, anxiety and anger from the injury until he met Kym James, his fitness coach.
"He's an inspiration to a lot of people even though he may not particularly like that word very much,” said James.
James has worked with Tyler in the gym by finding ways he can adapt and redefine his norm now that the Army vet can't move 85 percent of his body.
"I started getting to where I could push my own chair and I was like crap it's time to go now,” said Rollings.
It was time for him to help others with disabilities. So Rollings began using the skills he's learned in the gym to start his own fitness program at Bishop Park in Bryant.
It's called "Fully Adaptive Strength Training" or "FAST" Fitness.
"The goal is to use community and fitness to help people deal with the struggle with the life of a disability,” said Rollings.
From meditation to strength training he believes the class will lead to a life of independence for others just like fitness did for him.
"After about a year and a half I was totally independent, I live on my own and do all of this only three years out of my accident,” he said.
James has even seen a difference in Rolling’s life since turning to fitness as a coping mechanism.
"He's done a really good job implementing how getting stronger, moving more, and getting more active can seriously impact your day to day living,” said James.
The FAST Fitness class is new, not many people are aware of it. Rollings encourages anyone with a disability to check it out.
He hosts the class Tuesday and Thursday nights at Bishop Park.