By: ABBIGAIL PALUDAN
Tyson Wilson, an aspiring bodybuilder, is dedicated to making a difference within his Aboriginal community by fighting to stay on the fast paced track to becoming the first Aboriginal male bodybuilder at just a young 20 years of age.
Defying all odds of health, background and finance, Gold Coast local Tyson Wilson is determined to become the first Aboriginal male bodybuilder.
For Wilson, attaining this dream comes with a fair share of hard work and dedication; he is shy of neither in what is most arguably the most competitive sport on the Gold Coast.
“I really want to be a trailblazer within my community; I want others to know there is a new aspect of life that you can follow now,” Wilson said.
“All you need is yourself, a couple of weights, calisthenics and a dream.”
Tipping the scale at more than 100kgs at a height of 180cm, beefy Wilson is determined to make a significant impact on the Gold Coast, his Kununurra community in Western Australia and the nation abroad through bodybuilding.
“I like to say that I was born from the land and raised by the sea. I was born in Kununurra, Kimberly Region in Western Australia and moved to the Gold Coast when I was six-years-old,” Wilson said.
His transition to the Gold Coast at six years old was a miracle in itself.
“After a tragic funeral for a family member in Kununurra my uncle, Rob Ferester, asked me to move to the Gold Coast to start a new life with him away from the alcohol and drug abuse,” Wilson said.
“My uncle could have chosen anyone, the whole community is family, and all of my cousins were in the same situation. It could have been any one of them, but he chose me to raise by himself in Palm Beach.”
Wilson attended Palm Beach State School and was bullied for his differences, but he quickly found an outlet and a love for basketball to deal with the social anxieties he was experiencing.
“Basketball was my first sporting love. I got the opportunity to represent my state, Queensland, in basketball and it was a highlight of my schooling years. It was rough out there for me, other kids just don’t know about my culture and it reflected on how I was treated,” Wilson said.
“But after graduating, I closed the chapter on basketball. The Gold Coast really isn’t as diverse as it professes to be. Still to this day, I struggle with the differences I have culturally. But it’s me. It’s my heritage. I would never put that on the line and let that go to fit the Gold Coast stigma.”
The exercise stopped after school and Wilson gained a significant amount of weight in a short time frame, which was genetically astounding.
Wilson sparking the idea to become the first male aboriginal body builder was far from a normal origin.
“It was crazy; I woke up in the middle of the night with a dream of becoming the first male Aboriginal bodybuilder and I didn’t even know anything about bodybuilding,” Wilson said.
“I quickly did some research to see if there was anyone else who held this title because I didn’t even really know this world existed. After looking into it some more, I realised there is no one from the Aboriginal community who has.”
“But beyond that medically, it’s hard for my DNA intrinsically to gain weight and that’s when it clicked for me because I honestly looked like Fat Albert. It wasn’t pretty.”
In August 2016, weighing a chunky 125kilos, Wilson set out to lose weight after a personal crisis.
“My now ex-girlfriend broke up with me last August, I know typical ‘let’s get ripped’ motivation. That motivation didn’t last long though, it was really fleeting,” Wilson said.
The highs and lows of fluctuating results was not a substantial motivation for Wilson to continue pursuing his dream, but finding a personal relationship with a faith grounded him.
“In the beginning of the year, I found the love of Jesus, the unique plan he had for my life and a community of positive Christian believers who were determined to encourage me to chase my seemingly crazy aspirations,” Wilson said.
“My faith has been my rock and I am truly blessed to have found it.”
“The miraculous circumstances that have taken place in my life, whether that be moving to the Gold Coast or being able to gain weight easily, is God at work moving the pieces on the board. There are no coincidences in my life.”
His mentor from Elevation Church, Brandon Beech, has stood by Wilson ever since he walked through the doors at the start of the year and is one of the positive Christian believers who has been a part of his inspiring journey.
“I meet with Tyson weekly in a small group setting to discuss our faith and keep each other accountable,” Beech said.
“Since I first met him, he is driven in every facet of life, in his physical, relational and spiritual health. But I have seen him particular grow in his spiritual life which has benefitted the other areas”
“He has an inspiring sincerity and drive that comes to light in his passions, both health wise and spiritually.”
Now that Wilson found his motivation and support to continue his pursuit of the IFBB pro-card, Wilson has a strict diet regime and workout routine to justify his aspirations.
“The sound of an alarm wakes me up to start the day with an hour of cardio before work,” Wilson said.
Working full-time at a local employment agency as a trainee administer, Wilson supports himself financially in an expensive industry and finishes every day at 5:00pm. From work to play; Wilson makes his trek home.
“As soon as I arrive home I take my supplements Hydro Shred and BSC to get me charged up for my workout. I hit my local Jets Gym, who has been so good to me, for two hours of focused muscle training. My regime changes day to day, but I always fit in my abs and cardio,” Wilson said.
Not only does Wilson focus on himself and his own well-being at the gym, he mentors others to reach their fitness potential. One of those fellow gym junkies is Antonia Gatt who is extremely thankful for Wilson’s involvement.
“Tyson’s presence is always positive and seeing him push for his dreams is really an inspiration to me and I believe it would be to anyone that hears his story. His hard work is on another level, every time I see him he is giving 110% effort and it makes me aim for the same,” Gatt said.
Presently, doing it individually without a trainer has been a challenge for Wilson. Yet, it is a true testament to his personal drive because his results are astounding.
“At the moment, I look in the mirror and see what needs working aesthetically,” Wilson said.
“Scales don’t bother me; I try not to weigh myself because it is about the outward appearance and not the weight gain.”
“The goal would be to find a trainer or sponsor who wants to come along side me and help me reach my dream.”
Beyond a physical aspect, Wilson finds the gym to be a getaway where he finds an escape.
“The gym is my sanctuary, I go there and I don’t have to worry about anything. I can go in, clear my head, leave and get ready for the next day with ease,” Wilson said.
Another major aspect of Wilson’s training regime in preparation for the IFBB competitions is his traditional diet approach.
“I cook a lot of fish, prawns and kangaroo for my meal prep because I know my body, my background and genetics; it works best,” Wilson said.
Beyond the training and diet, Wilson’s catalyst for results comes from his family and his community in Kununurra.
“I want to be a bright light shining within my community to show that anything is possible,” Wilson said.
“My sweet baby sisters still live there, but in foster care.”
“I want to light the path away from alcohol and drugs.”
“I saw first-hand the affects of alcohol and drug abuse when I lived in Kununurra, I never wanted to be a part of it.”
“As soon as I found out I had three sisters, I changed my perspective on life to influence a healthier lifestyle.”
“Knowing they are there in that environment drives me to be the change.”
Although the bodybuilding journey for Wilson is just beginning, he has come a long way in only a few months.
“If I could tell myself a year ago anything, I would say keep doing what you’re doing because although I was a wild child, the lessons I learnt made me a better person and put me in the position I am in now, living out my God-dream of becoming the first male Aboriginal bodybuilder,” Wilson said.
Wilson is getting closer to his first competition in February for the International Federation of Body Building Queensland Championships at the Southport Sharks Club Gold Coast.
“I love the people who believe in me. It can be at my church, at home or in the gym and I am constantly being encouraged to get to my February comp. The amount of people who have stood by me to help this dream kick off and succeed has blown me away,” Wilson said.
If Wilson wins a bodybuilding event, he hopes to go back home to Kununurra to celebrate and share his victory with them.
“I am grateful for how far I have come, where I am at and where this journey will take me,” Wilson said.
“Watch this space.”
(Also published on Mens Fitness Magazine)