BOCA RATON — It was the most intense physical challenge Boca Raton veteran Tyler Wells had faced since he had his leg amputated nearly a decade ago — and the public will see it all unfold on television at the end of the month.
Wells, a Boca Raton resident and Florida Atlantic University graduate, is one of ten veterans who will appear on CBS Sports‘ “Power Triumph Games,” a mini-series that pits veterans who have overcome an injury against each other in military-style obstacles for a $50,000 prize. The series was filmed over the summer and airs its first segment Monday, Oct. 31.
“Your military training trains you to adapt and be ready for the challenges you’re going to have in the military, but it’s how you apply that training to your everyday life once you separate from the military that matters,” Wells, 33, told The Palm Beach Post on Thursday.
The competition forced Wells and his fellow competitors to grapple with their athletic weaknesses and physical disabilities, Wells said. For the Boca Raton man, an intense under water challenge was most difficult.
“It just reminded me that there will always be something in life that you’re forced to rise above,” he said.
For Wells, the ultimate challenge came two years after his tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Air Force — a 2007 motorcycle accident that forced the amputation of his leg.
“Being a veteran, everybody automatically assumes that I lost my leg in service,” Wells said. “Half the time it breaks their heart that I didn’t lose my leg that way.”
Just after the accident, Wells said he struggled to cope with the thought that he may not be able to cycle and run like he once did.
“Every amputee goes through this state of depression,” Wells said. “You mourn it.”
With the support of family, friends and doctors, he learned to use his prosthetic leg as a tool. He hadn’t tested his true athleticism post-amputation until the competition, he said.
“This was by far the toughest thing I’ve done since my military career,” Wells said.
Wells shares his story at local churches and city events, and will continue to do so after the show has aired, he said.
“I just want people to know, you’re going to face these challenges in life, and you’re going to fail from time to time,” he said. “It’s about how you take that experience and make it a learning experience, make it a teachable moment.”
The “Power Triumph Games” three-hour mini-series airs Monday, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports. A one-hour sports special recapping the games will air Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.