Neile's Hometown Heroes: Meet Tadd Parrett

Neile's Hometown Heroes: Meet Tadd Parrett (KTUL)

He stares adversity in the face and beats it every day, and he will inspire you to do the same, no matter what you may be facing.

"When there's a will, there's a way," says Tadd Parrett.

The certified trainer with a degree in Sports Medicine knows a thing or two about fitness.

"It's totally all about the reward of helping someone, and that's what I've always wanted to do," Parrett said.

He motivates both strangers and clients like Cathy Nelson who said, "I watched him train other people, and I respected his knowledge of how to do stuff. I would ask him every now then, you know, 'Hey, if I want to do this, what do I do?' Or if I want to strengthen this, what do I do?' And then finally, I got to the point where I thought I would like for him to train me, so I said, 'Will you be my trainer?' and he said sure."

Every day, Tadd helps people like Cathy reach their goals.

"He says, 'OK, so, tomorrow you're not gonna think nice things about me'; I go, 'OK,' and usually, the next day, I'll go 'He pushed this a little hard,'" Cathy said.

Come prepared to work and leave your excuses at the door. Parrett says, "You gotta start somewhere, and you just have to keep showing up. You just have to keep going, and you'll get where you want. Sticking to it is the hardest part."

Born with Spina Bifida, Parrett trains both "able and non-abled" bodies, and he says, yes, he's in a wheelchair but that doesn't mean he just sits around. "It's my lifestyle. I've never known anything different," he says.

He says, for him, the chair doesn't get in his way, but that's not always the case for others.

"I can't tell you how many jobs I lost just because I'm in a wheelchair. They won't ever come out and say it. But I don't know, I don't want to sound negative. People have looked down on me for quite a bit on different things, and I love proving them wrong," he said with a smile.

Cathy puts it like this, "So, your trainer's in a wheelchair, and I mean, I don't even notice that anymore, because he can do and show and demonstrate virtually anything and everything we've been doing."

Tadd knows what it means to face more than one challenge; in fact, about six years ago, he knew he needed to be in better shape. So, he hit the gym, lost about 60 pounds and even finished two marathons.

And when he's not training himself or others, you can find him teaching group fitness classes that are not for the faint at heart.

"It saddens me when I hear people say, 'Oh, I can't do this.' I don't understand that -- never have, never will," but Parrett does understand going after a goal and never giving up.

He says not only does he want to inspire and help people, but he also wants to help break the stigma that some people attach to people who use wheelchairs. He doesn't let it get in his way, so don't let it get in yours, he says.

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