T H E E D M O N T O N S U N • T h urs d a y , J u ne 22 , 2006

life sty le 73

They should see him now
One-time target of schoolyard teasing is now a fitness pro
ing Education. A couple of years ago, Babb even lent his expertise to the Life Channel for a few episodes of Taking it Off, a reality TV show that followed the get-fit exploits of several human guinea pigs. But with all the time he spends inside the gym training clients, Babb prefers to pursue activities outside the gym for the lion’s share of his own physical regimen. “I don’t necessarily enjoy running on a treadmill or spending my time on a crosstrainer or in the gym doing traditional weights,” he admits, explaining he has a psychological need to get away from work when he’s not working. Babb, also a big fan of Pilates, says he only works out in the gym from one to three times a week, usually about an hour each session. The rest of the time he keeps active through a variety of pursuits, including squash, soccer, cycling, ultimate Frisbee, beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. “I really try to stay as active as I can,” he says. “You don’t have to go to a gym to get in shape or stay in shape. There’s a lot of things you can do otherwise.” That’s honest advice from someone who makes his living in the gym. Babb, who bases his balanced diet on Canada’s Food Guide, takes a level-headed approach to keeping fit. Fitness, he explains, is about feeling good, rather than attaining washboard abs and bulging biceps. “For me, it’s not about body beautiful or looking like a super model, it’s really about the person inside,” he says of his attainable fitness lifestyle. “Anybody can accomplish whatever they want to do if they put their mind to it and maintain their focus for a period of time. “And because sport and being active changed my life, I think that it can change other people’s lives, too.” If only those bullies who verbally harassed Babb more than two decades ago could see him now.
– Do you have an inspirational story for Keeping Fit? E-Mail Cary Castagna at ccastagna@edmsun.com

EDITOR: Sally Johnston

PHONE: 468-0115

FAX: 468-0139 E-MAIL: sjohnston@edmsun.com


e wasn’t the proverbial 98pound weakling who had sand kicked in his face by a musclebound bully. But Tye Babb admits he did take his fair share of name-calling in junior high school for being somewhat of a nerd. “I was a brainy kid … I got good grades,” the 34-year-old Edmontonian recalls, adding it didn’t help matters that he was also shy and prone to teary outbursts. “I was quieter. And I’m an emotional person. So if the tears start flowing, then it’s an easy target.” Babb, a little reluctant to discuss in any great detail the verbal cruelty he suffered more than 20 years ago, explains that his peers turned on him after elementary school. “For them to fit in and look cooler (in junior high), they ended up picking on me,” he says. “My name’s Tye. You can make anything rhyme with Tye.” However, that all changed once Babb adopted a more active lifestyle. In grades 8 and 9, at the urging of a friend, he took up volleyball and basketball, which he says put him in with the “cool crowd” and spurred his social development. And a funny thing happened along the way – he fell in love with sports and fitness. While in college, Babb would go on to compete in the discus and javelin events at the 1997 national track and field championships. These days, the six-foot-two 210-pounder, who credits his high school basketball coach with introducing him to weight training, works full-time as a personal trainer. In fact, his company – Target Your Energy – is the exclusive provider of personal training services at YMCA locations across Edmonton. With up to four other personal trainers working under his supervision, Babb keeps up a hectic schedule. A graduate of the University of Alberta with degrees in psychology and physical education, he also offers a 12-week fitness course through Metro Continu-

– RYAN JACKSON, Special to the Sun

Personal fitness trainer Tye Babb does a cable pressout, above, and works with an exercise ball, left, at the south-side YMCA at 1975 111 St. Getting into sports and fitness totally changed his life.

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