Tarik Beaulieu

Editor’s note: This story was originally filed in March during the spring semester.

(Rock Hill S.C.) – As he stood on the scale, stripped down to his socks and underwear inside the men’s locker room, the numbers bounced up and down for a few seconds until they came to a stop and the number 235 rested on the screen.

The summer of 2018 was the beginning of a new path for Winthrop University accounting major Tucker Laney as he began his life-changing fitness journey.

What started as a warm summer jog developed into an everyday jogging routine to get into the best shape as possible.

Laney started his fitness journey weighing 285 pounds and after more than a year of continuous work he now tips the scale at 235 pounds.

After transferring from York Technical College, Laney began exercising at the West Center in August 2018. While there, he was able to expand his workouts by implementing basketball and weightlifting activities.

When initially exercising at the West Center, Laney exercised with friends that were experienced due to his lack of experience early on.

However, after persistence and the willingness to learn, as well as push his body to measures he thought were unreachable at the time, he is able to create a workout confidently alone.

Whenever Laney is on campus, he aims to work out that day.

“I play basketball a lot, almost like every day essentially. It is just a good hobby and keeps your cardio up and helps with reaction time,” Laney said.

Facilities attendant and economics major Jeremiah Hart has been able to witness Laney’s progression since he began exercising in the West Center.

“Tucker has had an interesting progression in the West Center. At one point, he got down to 190 lb., but that was a weight he did not like, because he felt weak,” Hart said. “When he makes up his mind, he really does commit. It’s cool to see how far he has come. With him in the gym, it’s a great environment to be in.”

With a determined work ethic, Laney was set to add a small portion of weight back while staying healthy and overcoming small setbacks.

“It is fun. But there are definitely days when you just get mad at yourself,” Laney said.

Missing shot attempts on the basketball court or not being able to lift a desired amount of weight has only added to the reasons to come back, according to Laney.

With the support of others and the will to become better, he says it’s possible to accomplish one’s fitness goals.

“Most people won’t judge you like a lot of people think they will,” Laney said. “If you’re in there and you’re actually trying…that person next to you went through that same struggle. Nobody is born with this crazy gift to bench press or squat 400 pounds or bench 300 pounds. You have to earn that.”