Tuesday, August 22nd 2017

Touched by an angel

From down and out to pin-up: How a burnt-out fitness trainer was voted Playgirl’s ”Man of the Year,” and discovered that true beauty isn’t skin deep

kevinsmGUEST COLUMN: KEVIN TALLEY — While some may debate whether angels or spirit guides really exist, from my life experiences I can state categorically that I am a “true believer.”

As a counselor, fitness trainer and motivational speaker, what helps me to aid people with their own life struggles are the tough times that I have gone through, and the lessons I have learned on how to overcome adversity.

Guides have played a huge role in my life, beginning when I was nine years old — and reoccurring when I was in my early 30’s and nearly committed suicide.

Early one summer day, when I was around nine years old, I was riding my bike down the street where I grew up.  Pedaling as fast I could, I thought I heard a car coming behind me. I turned around to look, but nothing was there. As I turned my head back around, I hit a shrub head-on at the end of a neighbor’s driveway. I completely flipped over the shrub and was knocked unconscious.

bikeWhat happened next is something I will never forget.  I opened my eyes, and all I could see was red, with images outlined in black. I didn’t know what had happened, and I didn’t know where I was.

A man’s voice spoke to me telling me that I was okay.  He told me to stand up and gave me detailed directions on how to get back home, and, the entire time, told me that I was all right. I made it back to my home and went right to bed. For the next three days I had a fever and a bad headache. My mother had no idea that I was knocked unconscious, and at the time, I didn’t know either.

To this day, I believe the voice to be my angel, my guide . . . my “source creator.”

I wouldn’t hear this voice again until I was in my early 30s’ (I’m 36 now). I was married at 23, and had a little girl soon after. Our marriage seemed to be going well until four years into it, when I noticed that my wife was acting erratically. After seven years of marriage, I discovered that she had been involved in several affairs and was doing small amounts of drugs.

She had quit her job for no reason, and all the bills were now on my shoulders. I was self-employed as a fitness trainer, and, with this added pressure, things were going badly for me personally and professionally. I was becoming deeply depressed, and wasn’t even aware of it.

One day, my wife called and told me that she was bleeding profusely, telling me it was a miscarriage. Once I got to the hospital, she was acting very strangely, not wanting me to hold her. Then she wanted to leave without seeing a doctor.

Later that evening, she had asked me to fix her something to eat. I was gone for about 15 minutes, came downstairs to bring her the food and found her talking on the phone.  She suddenly got very uncomfortable and hung up.  It turned out that she had been talking to the guy who got her pregnant. After getting the phone bill, I found that she had been speaking with numerous men.

I felt like my life was shattered. At 6’3, I felt like I was only a foot tall. What made it worse was that she made me feel like everything was my fault. As a man, I didn’t know what to do and was at the lowest point in my life.

One day while waiting for my client to arrive at the gym, I had received a phone call from my wife that just put me over the edge. Now keep in mind, this is several years and several instances that brought me to this point.  I went outside of the gym as my client was pulling up. As I told her I had to leave, I had tears pouring out of my eyes.

kevin-and-daughtersmI went out to my car with every intention of killing myself with my gun.  I drove my car to the back of the parking lot, made sure there was a bullet in the chamber and was thinking about what would be the best way to do it.

It was then I heard my angel’s voice speak to me. “Look under your arm,” he told me. I put the gun down and opened the armrest. There was a picture of me and my daughter. I hadn’t put that picture in my car.

I unloaded the gun and threw it in the back seat and screaming, ‘What the f*** am I doing?’ I then drove for hours trying to figure out what to do.

Fast forward a few months. My wife and I had been separated for five months and I had been seeing someone who really helped me a lot. I felt it was time for a new chapter of my life to unfold.

Since I was 18 I had worked as a model. Feeling that I needed to do something for my self-esteem I sent my pictures to Playgirl Magazine. In August of 2004, I was flown to Scottsdale, AZ and did a shoot to be the April 2005 centerfold.

lotsofkevinsm1Talk about a self-esteem boost! I gained a lot of local fame, being interviewed by local news shows and appearing in the local paper. Living in Louisville, KY, I attended several celebrity parties during the Kentucky Derby.

It was truly a fun time in my life and there was more in store. During this time I had grown leaps and bounds spiritually, trying to find out who “Kevin” really was, and why certain events were happening in my life.

In  December 2005, I received an email from the Editor-in-Chief of Playgirl Magazine, congratulating me on become “Man of the Year” 2006 by the most votes in the magazine’s history!  Of course I said yes, and had all intentions of accepting this honor.

But two weeks later I had a strong gut feeling that it wasn’t the right path for me. I wrote Playgirl an email turning down the offer. To this day, I have never heard anything from them.

In 18 months, my journey went from almost killing myself to being declared ”Man of the Year.”  Not a bad turn-around, and one that I have my angel to thank for.

Kevin is a motivational speaker, coach and fitness trainer who runs Kevin Talley Motivational Coaching International.

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9 Comments on “Touched by an angel”

  1. I am so proud of you, Kevin for sharing your story so clearly, openly, and courageously. It is a heart warming story that reminds us all of moments in our own lives when we felt low, defeated, or terribly lost. Your story is a beautiful one; one meant to inspire, uplift, and remind us all that there is always another choice- another opportunity- another way... when things seem so unclear and confusing. You are very brave for allowing us all to see the real you and know the challenges that even someone like yourself (who seems to have it all- physically and externally)faces and has the courage to move through and beyond. You have chosen to remember the power of your spirit. May your story awaken that immense inner power residing within every reader that reads or hears your story.
    Much love,

  2. Namaste, Kevin
    I can definitely relate! Thanks for having the courage to share your personal phoenix story with us. Shine On!
    Big Love,

  3. I would like to thank Cyndi, Soul's Code, and all those who have read the article. There are true angels out there. You need to look within yourself for the answers.

  4. Thank you for sharing your eviscerating, and then affirming, journey. You are a testament to the human spirit.

  5. Kevin, thank you for your courage and honesty in expressing your story so beautifully and sensitively. I know it will inspire thousands who can relate. As a therapist, I thank you for the public service announcement of personal triumph over pain.

    You are a jewel!

    Love, Nancy

  6. Lovely story, Kevin. Everyone needs to be reminded that even the worst situations bounce back!!

  7. wow, very interesting - thank you for sharing - really incredible

  8. ps - still looking for those original playgirl photos ;)

  9. You know therefore significantly relating to this topic, produced me individually imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men are not interested unless it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. Always handle it up!

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