Iraq War Veteran Corwyn Collier has revealed more about his journey to becoming the Men’s Health 2023 Ultimate Guy.
In the years since sustaining serious injuries in combat, Collier has overcome numerous obstacles and life-changing moments, which he shared exclusively with The US Sun.
The 41-year-old was only serving five months in the US military when he was nearly killed by a roadside bomb.
His serious hand and leg injuries were treated at Walter Reed Hospital and he underwent 30 surgeries over the next nine months.
Speaking about the qualities he believes the Ultimate Human possesses, Collier brought up the idea of showing emotions.
“For me, the ultimate man is … a normal, everyday guy,” Collier said.
“It’s someone doing their best to take care of themselves … physically, mentally and emotionally.
“We men tend to wrap that up sometimes, especially when it comes to emotions, because all our lives we’ve been told not to cry.
“I think that’s a big stigma that I think we need to move away from.
“I don’t think that makes you any less of a man, I think it just makes you more human at the end of the day.
“And I think the ultimate goal is to be human, to understand that you should feel for other people.”
“FIND YOUR HAPPINESS”
Collier also offered words of wisdom as he discussed his personal journey that led him to become the Ultimate Guy.
“You can only be yourself, you can only be yourself,” Collier said.
“Find your happiness. Your happiness must be your happiness.
“I think that’s what makes the ultimate guy for me too. Stop trying to chase everyone else.”
Collier also shared his thoughts on why he thinks he deserves the Ultimate Guy title.
“It’s someone who understands that sacrifices matter, compromises matter in life, and that’s what I think made me the Ultimate Guy,” he said.
“I’m not unique or special.
“All I did was, I had to sacrifice myself, I had to fix myself emotionally, I had to fix myself mentally to get to where I am.”
“A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT”
Collier said it was the first time he tried to get up and walk after his injuries.
“The first day I tried to get up and walk, I couldn’t,” he told the US Sun.
He recalled that his wife Iisha then “stopped babysitting me and stopped comforting me.”
“If you want to be the man you once were, you have to start fighting for the life you want,” Collier recalled as Iisha had told him.
“That’s when I started really enjoying digging and really pushing myself through occupational therapy and physical therapy.
“Although I wasn’t quite there mentally, I started to get physically stronger.
“That was a big turning point for me.
“She definitely gave me that tough love when I needed it the most.
“I had a life-changing moment before I even turned 30,” Collier said of his fight injuries.
“By the time I was 30, I had to change my whole life.
“Now I’m 40 and still developing as a person. I’m still changing my life.”
“REBUILD WHAT I HAVE”
Collier continues to work on himself and his health.
As for his health, Collier said he drinks occasionally but doesn’t smoke. He continues to focus on taking care of his body.
Getting back into training, he looked forward to “rebuilding what I have”.
“I don’t have everything,” he said, “but I’ll build back what I have.”
“Mentally it helped me because I was still not 100 percent okay at the top.
“But when I went to the gym, I felt normal because I was able to lift and do things.
“It made me feel better inside about my injuries…didn’t mean that much as far as I was ashamed of them.”
Collier said the shame about his injuries took time to overcome.
“I can’t walk around with a sign on my head that says ‘Injured Vet,'” he said.
“So it took me a long time to start wearing shorts. I used to always keep my hand in my pocket because I didn’t want people to stare at me.
“But I’ve never felt like this in the gym.”
Collier’s recovery has helped him break new ground.
Shortly after returning home from the hospital in March 2010, he began his master’s degree in education, which he completed in 2012.
Then, in 2013, he began teaching history at Maple Heights High School, where he also coaches track and field.
In addition, Collier began competing as a bodybuilder.
He was the first wounded/partial amputee veteran to receive a Pro Card from the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness in 2016.
“It was a great trip,” he said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7355048/ultimate-guy-2023-corwyn-collier-men-stigma/ Ultimate Guy 2023 Corwyn Collier reveals the stigma he believes men need to shed and his ‘most life-changing’ moment