@smilestaylor / Instagram / The Loyal Brand
@smilestaylor / Instagram / The Loyal Brand
When avid photographer Miles Taylor stopped at the NEVERsate Gym in Westminster, MD, to get some action shots, he did not know his life would change , He already knew one of the instructors, Nicolai Myers, since elementary school, and at the end of the visit, the 99-pound Taylor turned off his camera and picked up an Atlas stone. The cerebral palsy (CP) he was born with ̵
Taylor, who has been raising for over a year, quickly gained five pounds in the first 12 months and earlier this year, the 24-year deadlift more than doubled his body weight. Taylor broke his first personal record of £ 200 at NEVERsate, outperforming it by snapping 205 pounds on a visit to Nike.
Lifting has changed his body, mind and life. "I have CP, CP does not have me," reads Taylor's Instagram page. He lives with words, Taylor was always determined not to let him be suppressed by the cerebral palsy. He is always active and competitive in sports. He still likes to play soccer. Myers recalled that Taylor was in sports all over high school. "He was always involved because he was on the sidelines and cheering everyone on, or he always had a team manager position in almost every sport I could think of," Myers said. "If there was a varsity sports event, you would see Miles next door, with the team being their biggest support system."
Yet, it was a challenge for Taylor to start in the gym. In the beginning he could not lift or carry a weight without Myers supporting him or literally holding him up. Cerebral palsy affects motor skills and makes it difficult for people with disabilities to control or coordinate their muscles. Taylor's condition has improved since he started to lift, and he now goes in to warm himself up. "It has helped me so much in my everyday life and I'm more confident," said Taylor. "It has improved my CP. It gives me stability in my running and in my daily tasks around the house. "Also transformative was the support of the NEVERsate fitness center, owned by Brian Alsruhe (title holder Maryland's Strongest Man), whom Taylor said had created an atmosphere of positivity with a genuine sense of community.
"Brian has created this atmosphere where there is no negativity," said Miles. "We are losing all negativity. We are all a big family. We all support each other very much. It does not matter how much you raise, it's just automatic – you give 100 percent. I just love it. "
Myers said the angle of the gym is affordable for everyone. Alsruhe, who opened the NEVERsate five years ago, runs it mainly through online sales of goods and personal training in the gym. "That's how the gym works … Brian's vision never wavers," Myers said. "It started little, [and] now we have almost doubled our footprint. We have everything from a 12-year-old girl to a 54-year-old man, Miles, national champions and competitors – football mothers know nothing about lifting and then join their first strongman contest six months later. 
Outside the gym, Taylor works in partnership with The Loyal Brand and his collection of sports and exercise wear. Part of him goes to the River Valley Ranch, where Taylor continues to work as a summer consultant, and spent the day with Arnold Schwarzenegger during the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, where the seven-time Mr. Olympia called him on stage lifting 185 pounds to the packed house – a lift he hit with ease: Taylor's videos became viral and were picked up by various stores across the country, including his first record lift posting earlier this year, which nearly reached 800,000 views on Instagram.
His latest adventures did not end with Arnold: Taylor, along with Myers and Alsruhe, was recently flown to the Nike Beaveront office (OR) to provide feedback to the athletes with the company's Flyease shoe. While he was there, Taylor plunged into the Nike gym to break another personal record and raise 205 pounds.
View this post on Instagram205lb deadlift PR and a somersault in a The Nike World Headquarters! Could not have done better 😂 A big thank you to @nike @neversate @ uncle.nic for all the support !! Could not ask for a better team! #valuation #neversate #strongman #powerlifting #cerebralpalsy #nike
The goal is to gain more competitive experience under Taylor's belt this year. "We train day in day out, so it's interesting for me as a coach to see his daily progress and see his numbers increase," Myers said. "So there are really no stone goals. The sky is the limit.
Taylor does not slow down anytime soon and continues to hold motivational talks – most recently in a college classroom at McDaniel College. "I generally learn about CP or disability in general and how lifting has improved my life," Taylor said. "I want to educate people and raise people's awareness."
His other passion, photography, is still part of his life, and Taylor continues to celebrate weddings, birthdays, and other events. But when it comes to lifting, he has no special personal records to beat the next goals or goals in him. "I just want to get better and better," he said. "And if I get better, the numbers will rise."