Conquering The Platform-Tony Taliani
Intense Attire sponsored athlete Tony Taliani tells his story, in his own words of overcoming adversity and becoming an inspiration to others.
"I grew up like any normal kid playing sports, hanging out with friends, and spending time with family. In 8th grade, I got some news from my doctor that was devastating to a 13 year old. I learned that I have Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition which causes shrinking of a person's field of vision, loss of night vision, and eventual, total blindness. At first, I was depressed. I did poorly in school, got into fights, gained a ton of weight from comfort eating, and generally felt terrible about myself. However, I eventually got into sports that didn't require sight such as swimming and track that allowed me to get in shape, compete, and feel like I belonged to a team. These sports brought me into the weight room, and now I'm a training junkie.
Competing in Powerlifting, Strongman, and CrossFit has given me access to a larger community of fitness junkies and introduced me to adaptive athletes who have more difficult challenges than I do. This connection gives me hope, pride, and helps me deal with the knowledge that I can't do a lot of the same things that other people do. I've learned that, even though I can't do a lot of things that other people can do, such as drive a car, a lot of people can't do the same things I can do in the gym or on the platform. We all have to be grateful and proud of what we have and use it to help others. My hope as a blind athlete is to fight the stigma of what blind people can do and share my experience as a person who has lost most of his sight. I am active in the Foundation Fighting Blindness which raises money to research cures for blindness causes diseases, and I will be donating a portion of the sales of this shirt to this great cause."