The question isn’t what North Bergen’s Tyler Solan can do, but what he can’t.
He’s pulled a 100-ton plane with a rope for Special Olympics New Jersey. He’s placed in the top 15 statewide for Crossfit competitions. He’s a physical education teacher and athletic director at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tenafly. He has professionally trained athletes and celebrities in nutrition and performance.
He also competes in Olympic power lifting, and he’s a USA Boxing Coach and Golden Gloves contender, preparing to compete in the annual NJ Diamond Gloves tournament in September. He’s currently looking to launch his own training facility, the Solan Training System, and is scouting locations.
Last year, Solan, 26, launched his own athletic clothing brand titled “All For One Wear.”
He hopes to bring a more fun and an avant garde take to performance wear, clothing that people can compete in as well as sleep in.
“I was on the Stairmaster in the gym, and I noticed that everybody was wearing the same brand, whether it was Nike, Under Armour, or Adidas,” Solan said. “I wanted to create something different, something more like street wear. The idea just came to me.”
Solan designed everything himself, including the brand logo and website.
He has an account with Amazon through which he sells his products. He also produces the designs that go on his t-shirts. Twenty five percent of the line’s Amazon sales go to Special Olympics.
“It’s been a crazy year,” he said, of his line’s success, “and it’s been working out so far.”
All of his hard work came from his realization during high school that he was out of shape.
“I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can.” – Tyler Solan
Solan, who grew up in North Bergen, has said in a biographical post on the web that he once struggled with weight issues. Despite being a multi-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball at the now-defunct St. Joseph of The Palisades in West New York, Solan wasn’t confident.
“Walking into my school’s gym one day, I felt so out of shape and disgusting,” he said in a profile on the web. “I lifted three years for football, so yeah, I guess I was strong, but I didn’t like the body I was seeing.”
He was growing, “but the fat was growing, too. I became more depressed each day that passed.”
Solan decided to make a change at 18 years old, and to work on creating the body he wanted. He created a profile on Bodybuilding.com, and began tracking his progress week by week. Others noticed, and offered encouragement.
“There were times when I would receive messages from kids out of state, serving as their inspiration,” he said. “I believe that’s what led me to become a teacher, because that’s my motive – to inspire others.”
Solan’s fitness successes might also be genetically influenced. He grew up hearing stories about his grandfather’s professional boxing matches and his baseball player cousins.
His father, William Solan, was a Marine. His father is a retired North Bergen Police Department detective who served for 29 years. His brother, Jason Solan, is currently an officer in the department.
Solan has participated in the annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run, which begins in Braddock Park, and the Sacco 5K, a charity race Mayor Nicholas Sacco launched a few years ago.
State of Fitness Boxing Club, the boxing gym where Solan trains, is also situated in the township.
But don’t expect Tyler to walk the beat on Tonnelle Avenue. He says he thought about becoming a cop when he was younger, but fitness is his true passion.
Wanting it all
The desire to achieve is what drives Solan’s multiple interests. “I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can in the health and fitness industry,” he said. He is focused “110 percent” on preparing for the Diamond Games.
“My next accomplishment is to continue running the school program as the athletic director and just continue competing in any competition I can get my hands on,” he says.
Hannington Dia can be reached at email@example.com