Miles Taylor: Pushing the Limits

Posted at 11:28 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 23:30:54-05

Any weightlifter will tell you, it's all about determination.

"Miles will fail 2,000 times, continually get up until he gets it," said Brian Alsruhe. "And when he gets it the world changes."

It's about perseverance.

"He's competitive. He doesn't like to quit," said Ralph Cappiello.

And a little bit of attitude.

"He's got every reason to be mad at the world. He's always in a good mood when he's here. He's always supportive. He's always walking in with a smile on his face," said Nicolai Myers.

Becoming a world class strongman also takes the utmost control of your body.

That's something Miles Taylor has never had.

"It's something I have to live with. There's nothing I can do about it. Just got to make the most of what you got," he said.

Miles has cerebral palsy.

"You can't do everything like everybody else does, like a normal person. You have to find a way to overcome those obstacles," he said.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement and muscle tone. It’s caused by a brain injury at birth.  

For Miles, C.P. isn't his disability. It's his motivation.

"It takes me maybe twice or three times as long to get something done," he said. "But, I'm determined, very determined to get it done."

The 24-year-old from Finksburg works out at NEVERsate Gym in Westminster three times a week alongside his coach, and friend since grade school, Nicolai Myers and gym owner Brian Alsruhe. 

He's been training there for the last year.

"He came in and we handed him a medicine ball and were like 'ehh' and he took to it like a fish to water," said Myers.

"I just want to prove to myself, and everyone else, that I can do it," said Miles.

Oh, he's proved it. 

Over the last 12 months he's gained five pounds of muscle. He's now weighing in at 99 pounds. Last month he set his first national record and went viral in the process.

A deadlift of 156 pounds set a United States record for his weight class. The video of it has almost 15,000 likes on Instagram and is inspiring people around the globe.

"It was amazing. I pulled it up like it was nothing," said Miles.

He added that people from all over the world have messaged him after seeing the video. 

"To know that somebody just like me is inspired by me, that's just great," said Miles.

His inspiration comes from someone who isn't able to see his recent success.

"Every day I miss my mom so much," he said.

Miles' mom Laurell passed away in 2009. The woman who adopted him from a Vietnamese orphanage when he was one year old gave him everything.

"She's the main reason I'm in this country," said Miles.

The man he calls his everything now is Ralph Cappiello, who’s known Miles since he got off the plane from Vietnam. Ralph’s been his caretaker for the last decade. Miles calls him dad and the unsung hero of his life. 

He was close with Miles’ mom too.

Pictures are part of how they both remember her now. And how Miles expresses himself when he's not at the gym.

"I think she'd be so proud of me. She always said that I would be a special person," he said.

"This is where the magic happens," Miles said while sitting in his in-home studio.

Miles has been taking pictures for the last five years. He loves it. He does everything from football to nature to weddings. He’s also a graphic designer.

It’s his photography that brought him to the gym last year, when Nicolai asked him to work one of his strongman competitions. 

That’s when Miles picked up his first atlas stone. 

The rest is history.

Any weightlifter will tell you it's all about knowing when you’re going to max out. 

For Miles Taylor there’s no telling when that’s going to happen, in the gym or in life.

What's his limit?

"We don't know yet. We're not there," said Myers. "He hasn't shown us he has a limit up until this point. He's only getting stronger."

"I always want to grow. I always want to learn. I'm just going to keep going until my body doesn't know," said Miles.

Miles' motto is become comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

He said that’s when you’re going to overcome obstacles. 

As for his photography, he wants to eventually turn that into a full-fledged business. 

He said it’s coming along.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook