Turning Invictus into Powerful Medicine: Tyler Vanpelt
Written by Libby Landry

Tyler first came to Invictus Sorrento Valley to commit to getting in shape before he’s deployed for the Marines. He showed up on a Saturday when Coach Lalo was on the floor. Tyler would go on to get a bar muscle-up in his ever CrossFit class that Saturday. Tyler said the Invictus teams’ performances in the 2019 CrossFit Games is what ultimately inspired him to come into the gym that day. 

We’re so happy that he did. Tyler can be described as energetic, friendly, and genuine. He’s always joking with the coaches or talking to the new person in the class. He’s got one of those contagious smiles that you want to have around. 

Despite this, what you might not see from the surface is that, “Like so many people, I’ve struggled with insecurities, depression and social anxiety.” The biggest compliment he has given us at Sorrento Valley is that he feels this is a safe space for people to grow. He speaks of the strength and confidence that he gains from coming into Invictus. He sums it up with, “I feel better, look better and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.” 

Tyler’s physical fitness has improved in his time with us as well. When he first started with us, I had just finished 6 weeks of intensive pain management due to two herniated discs and nerve damage throughout my lower back. I was on six medications…Six! Including opioids, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, and anti-inflammatories. Within two months, I was off all medications and my back pain has eased tremendously.” 

And that first bar muscle-up we mentioned earlier? There have been many other firsts as well. He’s been stoked about his first ring muscle-up, double-unders, and experiences with the Olympic lifts. 

All of these personal gains, and when asked why he stays at Invictus, he gives the credit to the coaches. This is the epitome of Tyler’s selfless spirit. He says, “It was obvious from my first workout at Invictus Sorrento Valley that the coaches are truly masters of their craft…I’m not sure if I enjoy the amazing programming, Aush’s old man music or Lalo’s untied shoes the most about my new home.” 

Tyler sums it up better than we ever could by saying, “Invictus is the most powerful medicine I’ve ever taken. If you show up, you will feel better.” 

We are honored and privileged to coach you, Tyler. Thank you for being a beacon of kindness, graciousness, and teamwork. The Invictus community is better with you in it.

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