Tim Sweeney is the highly regarded industry leader in health, fitness, nutrition, and performance and founder of The Everyday Superman.
When Tim was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. His parents were devastated when the doctors told them their newborn son had only 10 years to live. Scared and confused, his parents took bold action. They decided to raise him without limits. They never labeled him and never told him that he was different or that he couldn’t do something.
When Tim grew up, he believed anything was possible.
He cherishes memories of running road races with his father, biking through local towns, and swimming at the health club. As a triathlete, Tim’s father instilled the value of a healthy lifestyle that centered on nutrition and exercise that was fun.
Tim’s father taught him how to read nutrition labels. He taught him such things like high fructose corn syrup is sugar in disguise. He would pay Tim $20 a month on the honor system to not eat any sugar. Tim is forever grateful for that value system he was taught and that he can now pass on to his own children.
One of the life threatening characteristics of cystic fibrosis is malabsorption. Growing up, Tim was always the string bean who wore clothes like a coat hanger. He just told people that he was a “hard gainer”. At the age of 12, Tim had lost the ability to run like the other kids. His lungs were slowly deteriorating but his desire to be active, healthy, and compete was still burning a fire in his heart.
When it all started
When he was 12 years old, his father introduced Tim to resistance training. Tim had finally found his passion. He was eager to learn as much as possible, which included Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mail order guide on how to get big. Tim even went so far as to stuff a $20 bill in the mail. Surprisingly, the Get Big guide arrived only a week later!
One of the most influential people in Tim’s life has been his Uncle Frank. In the summer between freshman and sophomore year in high school, Tim was trained nearly every day after school by his Uncle Frank. After his first year of consistent and dedicated exercise, Tim had put on over 30 pounds of muscle. Tim was able to transform his body through his uncle’s teachings, guidance, and his own hard work.
Ten years after finding his passion, Tim won the NPC Mr. Connecticut State Overall Men’s Bodybuilding title and his Natural Pro Card. It was the culmination of hard work and adherence to a strict and consistent exercise and nutrition plan. To all who knew Tim, he was the symbol of health and fitness.
When it all ended
Soon after Tim won the CT state title, his health began to decline rapidly. A lifetime of healthy eating and exercise got Tim very far (well beyond the 10 year survival rate his parents were told), but there is no cure for cystic fibrosis and the recurrent lung damage was irreversible. When his first son was born, Tim was given 18 months to live without a double lung transplant. Nutrition and exercise were the only things he could control while he was living in the hospital waiting for a double lung transplant. The doctors had never seen a patient so close to death still managing to walk--and drag-- an oxygen tank up and down the halls of the hospital. What the doctors didn’t know was that Tim wasn’t just hoping for a miracle. He was taking action the only way he knew.
On November 10, 2009, Joshua Sonett, MD, Surgical Director of the Lung Transplant Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center, performed the double-lung transplant that saved Tim’s life. “Without that transplant, he likely would have had just weeks to live,” says Sonett. A few hours after the surgery, Sonett, who had just completed his fourth Marathon in New York, invited Tim to begin training and join him in the 2010 New York Marathon. “I gave Tim the challenge just hours after the transplant. He perked up and said, ‘Yeah, I’ll run the Marathon with you’,” remembers the surgeon. Sonett himself has run four marathons and says he’s lost sight of the first-time accomplishment. But for anybody running 26.2 miles, a full marathon, it is an amazing personal accomplishment, and of course, most marathon runners are in reasonably good health. Tim was now set to run the marathon less than a year after the surgery despite what he had just been through and not running since he was 12 years old.
Dr. Sonett performs miracles every day. Dr. Joshua Sonett (NYP), Dr. Jessie Wilt (NYP), and Dr. John McArdle (Yale) have saved Tim on more than one occasion. People like them, who save people every day is the true inspiration for the name The Everyday Superman. Thanks to Tim’s everyday Superman, his determination and hard work, he was discharged in record time from the hospital in just 6 days. Shockwaves were sent throughout the medical community. But those who knew Tim and his dedication to a healthy lifestyle weren’t surprised.
Post transplant life can be challenging for many reasons. The overwhelming concoction of drugs can cause a host of side effects, such as muscle loss, diabetes, impaired vision and memory, decreased bone density, hallucinations, depression, and so on. Tim experienced them all but he was dedicated to an unparalleled discipline to eating clean and exercising as the only means to a truly healthy body and mind. His first night home after being discharged from the hospital, Tim was walking on his treadmill in the basement with socks at 1.5 mph (the slowest the treadmill can go). Within a month he ran his first mile (the hardest mile he has ever run). After 3 months, he ran 5 miles. Within 11 months, Tim finished the New York City marathon alongside the surgeon who had saved his life, Dr. Joshua Sonett. This past year, Tim was honored when New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center asked Tim to film a commercial to showcase their motto:
Amazing things are happening here.
Tim has discovered another passion: coaching others to maximize their health. Tim had set his mind on making a full recovery. It became his purpose the first year after his transplant. In that time, life was still throwing curve balls, and Tim had to constantly adapt. His experiences took him beyond the classroom of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and nutrition. He began to understand the psychology and the role motivation and a support system play in making a full recovery and body transformation.
Tim knew he could use the inspiration others felt when they heard of his amazing recovery to educate and motivate others on what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Everyday Superman is the resource to achieve maximal health.
Ten years ago, Tim trained his clients to look good. After all, everyone wants to look good, right? His experience has reminded him of the values his father had instilled as a child. Exercise is non-negotiable and should always be fun. Most importantly, nutrition is the cornerstone to health. Tim now realizes that he has the ability to help others truly transform their health and fitness because he has done it. This is the essence of being a coach. When Tim coaches his clients on motivation, proper nutrition, exercise programming, looking and feeling better, Tim speaks with confidence.
Since running in the New York City marathon, Tim has dedicated his life to showing others that there is a success story for those who are faced with seemingly overwhelming odds.
Tim Sweeney lives in southern Fairfield County, CT with his wife Beth and his two sons, Timmy & Harrison.