Roy Stalvey’s life has been about transformation more than once. When he was in high school he weighed a mere 135 pounds. While many people are looking for ways to lose weight, he was trying to put weight on.

Weight-lifting helped Stalvey to accomplish his goal. He joined the Navy in 1985 and the workouts the military put him through also helped him achieve the strength he was seeking. In four years time he gained 70 pounds.

He has continued his physical fitness regimen up till now at the age of 54. His five-day-a-week workout has given him the ability to bench press an impressive 245 pounds.

“When the pandemic hit I knew even with the gyms closed I could not miss my workout,” said Stalvey. “I converted my garage into a home gym. I like the CrossFit method of working out.”

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning workout that is made up of functional movement performed at a high intensity level. These movements are actions that are performed in day-to-day life, like squatting, pulling, pushing, and so on.

Stalvey has taken part in various marathons and Barbarian Challenges and is also into rucking. Rucking is moving, either walking, jogging, or running, with weight on your back, commonly carried in a backpack.

He has also gone to White Sands, New Mexico and taken part in the Bataan Death March memorial march. This event is in memory of and to honor the 60,000 to 80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war that were forcibly transferred by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. The prisoners were forced to march over 60 miles in six days with only one meal of rice the entire time.

Another transformation he has achieved is recovering from a terrible accident. While serving in Afghanistan in 2005, he was weightlifting when his spotter failed to act quickly enough and Stalvey dropped 287 pounds on his chest.

“The medics told me I flatlined for over 4 minutes,” said Stalvey. “Doctors said if I had been a smoker, I probably would not have made it.” The results were broken ribs, lung failure from collapse, a bruised heart, and paralyzed vocal cords. The recovery process took him several months to return to normal and then more time to rebuild the body mass and strength he lost through the down time.

Stalvey continues to push himself to reach the best of his own ability. His life is a reminder that transformation comes from a resolute desire inside ourselves.

Roy’s Motto: “Just keep going.”

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.

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