How Triple H inspired one WWE fan to change his life
Kevin McLin, Jr. could barely take another step. It was 2005, and the then 21-year old found himself out of breath as he trudged up the stairs to his parents’ home in New Orleans. It was a sobering moment and one in which McLin, Jr., carrying a hefty 256-pounds on his 6’2” frame, recognized that he needed to transform himself.
“I realized, ‘I’m not going to get any better,’” McLin, Jr. recalled. “I needed to change. I always wanted to work out, always wanted to have the body, but I didn’t have the motivation at the time.”
That motivation would take on an unlikely form: Triple H’s interviews. The Game’s most passionate speeches helped the actor and Dillard University grad find both purpose and drive. WWE.com sat down with McLin, Jr. to ask him how exactly WWE’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative helped inspire him.
WWE.COM: When did you realize you needed to change your routine?
KEVIN MCLIN, JR.: After being out of breath on those stairs, I spoke with my parents about how uncomfortable I felt. I started training with a conditioning coach and went from my heaviest, at 256, to around 220-pounds and maintained that weight through the majority of my 20s. I still keep the DX shirt I had at the time, which was a XXXL.
WWE.COM: Quite an accomplishment. You said “the majority” of your 20s. What happened?
MCLIN, JR.: I was always hitting a plateau, thinking, “I’m not where I want to be, and I don’t know how to get there.” Then, in 2013, I lost my grandfather to cancer. After some reflection, I knew I could be better, be the person I wanted to be. I just didn’t know how. That’s when I found these YouTube videos of Triple H. They would make me laugh and feel better at the time. Then I saw one with Triple H saying that being the best isn’t just doing it one day and being champ then going away. It’s being consistent and doing it over and over again. I listened to that and other motivational speeches when I was working out, when I needed a second wind. They’ve helped me still, especially when you know you have a little bit more in you.
WWE.COM: Besides pushing you through a workout, how else have they helped you?
MCLIN, JR.: They motivate me to get up early in the morning. They get me to do the really heavy-lifting when I need to get psyched up. Sometimes when I work out, I get into a rut, so I also watch Triple H’s workout videos on YouTube or Instagram to learn new exercise routines.
I’m also eating healthier. I’m on the ketogenic diet [no sugar, no carbs]. I love hamburgers, so I just order one without mustard or ketchup, take the bun off, put cheese on it and wrap it in lettuce. I’m having conversations with friends right now who are overweight, and they’re losing friends to obesity due to heart issues. Right now, it’s Mardi Gras season, and everyone is eating King Cake and I’m not. It’s tempting, though.
WWE.COM: You actually got to meet the man who inspired you when Triple H visited New Orleans recently. How was that encounter?
MCLIN, JR.: I just wanted to thank him because the days that I felt like not pushing it in the gym, his words really inspired me. I told him how much I learned from him about working out and how much of a fan I am of WWE. He was very grateful, very nice. It was cool meeting him.
WWE.COM: What’s your message for people who might need a little motivation themselves?
MCLIN, JR.: I would say that hearing Triple H at the right time sparked something in me. The one thing people need to understand; [results aren’t] going to happen instantly. It took me almost four years. Now, I enjoy working out and seeing results. Every day, I try to challenge myself, and people should challenge themselves, too.