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Evolve Your Voice - Todd Seyler

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Be Inspiring

This simple two word motto of SOVO conveys empowerment through an individual’s voice.

Growing up a victim of child abuse, I had no voice. When I cried, no one listened. When I had troubles, there was no concerning ear. Questions warranted no response. No desire, hope, belief or celebration was ever shared. I was silenced by the repeated sound of a smack, punch, kick and verbal berating.

With no outside voice, I created an internal voice guided by the instincts of survival. I existed in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution daily; only the strong survive.  As an undersized child, my abusers physically dominated me resulting in years of torment and pain. 

However, I listened to my internal voice of survival and knew my existence on this Earth would continue only if I was strong and could fight back.  In 1988, with Darwin’s doctrine at heart, I was first exposed to weight training and knew that the benefits of exercise would be my saving grace. 

Reaping the muscular strength and size gains throughout my high school years, I was now able to protect myself from the daily abuse. Stronger and more able to withstand punishment, the weight room began to develop my body into a protective tool against my abusers. 

Additionally, my confidence levels soared linearly with my improvements in strength and size. As a victim, I was told that I was worthless on a daily basis. After constant berating, a victim begins to believe these disparaging remarks. However, my progress in athletics provided positive affirmation that I had value – I could have a voice if I chose to.

Not only was the weight room developing my physical and mental strength, training allowed me to positively channel the toils that ravaged my soul. My voice was now provided an avenue to scream at its highest level - without receiving a punch to the face. The weight room was now a part of my existence and delivered an island of solace amongst an ocean of chaos. 

I committed my future to the weight room and athletics.  Shortly after, I Graduated Ohio University with a degree in Exercise Physiology.  As a strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays and the NFL, and the collegiate level, all while running my own business for more than eight years (www.napalmfitness.com), I have channeled my destructive past into a successful present for a peaceful future.

Additionally, in 2000, I began training as a professional mixed martial artist.  Fighting across the United States and Canada over a ten year span competing in 38 professional fights, I was not the most gifted of fighters, but, I was definitely one of the most conditioned.  Never out of shape and always stronger than my opponent, the gains in the weight room enabled me to compete for nearly a decade in the cage. 

Relocating to Southern California in April of 2010, the motivation for my move was to find peace.  Feeling that a change of scenery and a serene environment would promote happiness from the outside in, I am still working daily to manage the demons that afflict my very existence. The pain of child abuse does not end when the physical abuse concludes. 

Understanding that my story (www.achildsdemons.com) will impact the lives of others, I have made a commitment to enhancing child abuse prevention and awareness through my actions.  The fact that 16,000,000 innocent children are abused, neglected and rendered helpless to combat the onslaught of physical, psychological and societal burdens that a victim is left to carry needs to be known by the masses and those who do share in my shoes need support to persevere. 

 “Be inspiring,” two words I would never have uttered growing up in chaos yet have carved a path of empowerment in my life.

In-line with Darwin’s Theory, I evolved my inner voice from a silenced punching bag, to a college graduate, to a strength and conditioning professional, to an ultimate fighter and now a source of hope for the 16,000,000 other silenced voices.  I am no longer a victim - I am a survivor. 

 From my love to you, I challenge you all to “BE INSPIRING!”

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