Alex Tilinca Proves That You Don't Need Superpowers To Be A Superhero, Just Resilience
How old were you when you realized your purpose in life? If you haven't discovered your purpose yet, how old were you when you realized your passion? Many people die without knowing the answer to either of those questions. If you can answer just one of those questions, you're winning. Imagine knowing who you are and what you want to be by 16. Yes, 16 years old, and you have tunnel vision the length of a Loch Ness monster. Alex Tilinca proves that age is just a number when it comes to following your dreams. Only 19 years old and Alex is a Gymshark athlete, Mr. Olympia's classic physique champion, and professional bodybuilder. If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us that life is short, and Alex doesn't intend to waste one minute of it.
Born in Transylvania, Romania, Alex and his parents migrated to New York when he was young. As a child, Alex was your typical tomboy. Most of his friends were boys and he enjoyed playing video games. As he got older, gender roles became more prevalent among him and his friends to which he responded, "The idea of being a girl was uncomfortable. I became insecure and started withdrawing from people. I was a hermit." Alex spent those days playing video games alone. Then one day, he discovered the meaning of transgender via a YouTube video, "I started to cry. I didn't feel alone anymore. Finally, someone understands me." Close to his mother, Alex disclosed his decision to transition to her. Both of his parents were supportive, and he began his transition the next year at age 12. A few years later, in high school, Alex started going to the gym. He got a membership at LA Fitness, and as he became more experienced, he required a more specific gym. That's when he found the Powerhouse Gym. Founded by Bev Francis, a repeat world powerlifting champion and a judge for the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition, Alex got a coach and went to work. A few years later, he claimed Mr. Olympia's classic physique championship title in the teen division. When asked what it's like to be a professional bodybuilder, Alex stated:
Bodybuilding is really glorified on social media, but it's not like that in real-life. It's mundane and requires a lot of discipline. It's a mental process getting that lean. As you get closer to competing, if you pinch your skin, it's like playdoh. It'll just stretch and stretch, but I love it
Commonly, bodybuilders are compared to superheroes, pushing their bodies to the brink of biomechanics. Inspired by superheroes at a young age, it wasn't just their bodies that intrigued Alex. It was their resilience, "The classic superhero has to overcome something." Whether it is your gender or your physique, you can overcome anything. In the words of Alex, "Never let the circumstances of where you come from dictate your success."