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Discovered in 1992, Tyson Beckford has been modeling—at one point, becoming the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo menswear—for over two decades. But many may be surprised to know that the fashion industry was never his original pursuit. In fact, Beckford was teas when he was younger because of his “strange looking features. He says he only turned to modeling as a way to “pay the bills” when acting didn’t initially work out.

“My natural progression was always to go to acting,” Beckford says as he turns his attention to Hollywood with starring roles in 2014’s Addicted and Jean-Claude LaMarre’s all-male stripper drama, Chocolate City and the sequel.

But it was one fateful morning that changed Tyson’s life forever and even shaped his thinking in these three areas:


On June 7, 2005, Beckford was injured following a car accident in Secaucus, New Jersey. Shortly before 5:00am, he lost control of his 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 and struck a utility pole. The vehicle caught fire immediately after the collision, but Beckford was able to pull himself out before the red pick-up became fully engulfed in flames. He was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center and hospitalized for head trauma and cuts. During an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Tyson claimed the accident had a profound effect on his spirituality.

The day after the accident, Tyson’s face swelled. He was worried when his son first visited him in the hospital because he didn’t want him to be scared of the way he looked.

Knowing that if he’d been unable to move from his car a few seconds longer, he could have died, Tyson says his entire way of thinking has been altered. Now, he says, “I live every day like it’s the last. I value life more now than I ever did before. My friends used to call me a daredevil, and I think that side of me is kind of gone now.”


“Everyone has to juggle health and work. For me it’s traveling that adds obstacles. For others it’s usually family. Whatever your reason is make sure you figure out a way around it. If your life is different then make your workout different. And never let yourself eat fast food just because you don’t have time. If it matters you’ll make the time. Buying greens and veggies is not expensive. If you have to eat somewhere with no quality choices then just get a small amount of food to hold you over until you get properly nourished.”

Do It For The 300

Normally it’s a mix of weights and cardio. Some days are light, starting with an ab routine I call “300,” which includes 300 sit-ups, 300 leg lifts or 300 crunches. That’s done first thing in…

Tyson Beckford: “If It Matters To You, You’ll Make Time”  was originally published on

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