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Rising Stars: Meet TJ McLeod

Today we’d like to introduce you to TJ McLeod.

Hi TJ, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
First, I just want to give thanks to my heavenly father for this opportunity. This is definitely a surprise to me and I am thankful for this moment. My name is Terrance, but everyone calls me TJ. I am a fitness enthusiast, an aspiring entrepreneur, and a competitive powerlifter.

I have a sports background, mainly focusing on football with a splash of track and field as well as a little bit of rugby. I can honestly say that I do miss playing rugby but football will always have my heart. I started powerlifting because I was missing the competitive aspect of athletics, and made the transition into taking lifting more seriously around 2018.

I started focusing more and more on what I was eating, how I was training, resting, etc. Powerlifting has been my athletic focus for the past three years and I have enjoyed every aspect of the journey as I evolve in both knowledge and execution of the sport. I am currently seeking to obtain my first North American National Title on November 6th and looking to earn my pro card next year.

As for the business side of my life, I am re-creating the apparel line that I began in 2021. It went by the name of “Monumental”. It was a good feeling to have something that I could truly call my own. Because of my passion for fitness and the lifestyle surrounding it, I decided to re-create the brand – and everything it stands for – into something that I feel would gravitate to those with similar mindsets and passions.

Gym culture continues to change and adapt, and I want my brand to represent and reflect those changes. In my spare time, I enjoy writing poetry and expressing myself in other outlets, and I hope to publish those expressions sometime in the upcoming year.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The journey has not been an easy one but definitely allowed me to embrace every experience along the way. Some of the biggest struggles that I have faced have been finding my purpose and maintaining positive mental health. Fitness has been my outlet to escape some of the challenges I faced early on in life and now it keeps me balanced with the constant changes I deal with in everyday life.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As I mentioned before I am an aspiring entrepreneur and my first business is a fitness apparel line called “Monumental”. It was around the time I began to figure out what I really wanted to do and how I can tie it into my powerlifting career. It was based on the premise of “defining my greatness” and giving everything I’ve got on the platform and transforming that into a business platform.

I enjoy the process of learning and becoming an entrepreneur; business is something that has always piqued my interest and delving into the scenes has become a true passion of mine. My brand is currently undergoing some reconstruction into something fresh and is advancing both with my growth and the gym culture’s growth.

Fitness has become part of my identity and it is something that is very close to my heart. Powerlifting is my athletic outlet, something that gives me that push to go even harder for myself to see what I am capable of. It is a sport that has a basis of camaraderie but there is a competitive side to it, and that is where I feel I reside.

Comparing my rate of progression in overall strength with those competing with me has allowed me to push myself even harder and gives me respect for both them and my training. Not only am I training to reach all of the goals I have set for myself, but I train to show up and give my all each time I go on the platform.

What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson is one that has always been reoccurring in my life, and I would say that is patience and remaining grateful. It took me a while to really know what it means to be patient. There are still times when I do jump the gun on decisions that I should have waited on. Nonetheless, each moment has always come with a lesson, one that will either reiterate what I have already learned or teach me something new.

I feel there is nothing better than a good reminder to keep help keep my path focused. It’s also a part of powerlifting that you remain patient because it is a strength-based sport. Getting stronger is always going to take time and the best thing to do with that time is learn about what you can do to keep moving forward. Over the years I have forgotten what it means to be truly grateful.

The success I want for my life can blind my decision making but in the moments where I may have crashed or hit rock bottom, I remind myself to be grateful for what I have and the journey thus far. “This too shall pass” is something I use to remind myself during those tough times. It is a part of my foundation that was instilled in me at a young age. So no matter where I am in life, I stay grateful for what I have because I can always be without.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @blackranger____
  • Youtube: @Blackranger____

Image Credits
Terrence Bryant (@_tbmedia on Instagram)

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