By Halle Thornton
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Senior Airman Kyle Lucas, 2nd Space Operations Squadron satellite systems operator, competed in the Titan Games, a show that gives everyday people the opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges, which aired January 31.
Lucas decided to compete in the Titan Games to compete with his brother Tyler, who is currently stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
“We’re three years apart. We never really had a chance to go head to head in anything,” he said. “It was for ultimate bragging rights in the family and to see who the better athlete was.”
The Titan Games producers approached Lucas after he applied for another show.
“During the whole application process, they asked if I knew anyone else that would be great for the show, and so I pitched the brother rivalry idea to the show and they bought it,” he said.
Lucas said when people found out he made the show, they went on the assumption it was because he is a naturally talented athlete.
“They don’t see the 14 plus years I’ve put in working in the gym,” he said. “They don’t think they can achieve what I have, but you can. You have to have a goal in mind and grind every day to get where you want to be and I think people can see that and go get it themselves.”
To prepare for the competition, Lucas continued to hit the gym and increase his cardio.
“I used the elevation as something to my benefit,” he added. “I hit the Manitou incline to train in a little bit of a higher elevation than I’m used to, and in turn it helped my conditioning at sea level.”
A former Penn State football player, Lucas treated the competition as game week.
“I thought, I’ve got ‘X’ amount of days until I fly out to LA, so I visualized what I had to do,” he said. “Then I executed it in the gym and continued to tell myself I’m going to win, speaking it into existence.”
Lucas explained the first few days in Los Angeles were focused on filming, interviews, working out and taking promotional pictures.
“I also got to hang out with the 64 others who made the show and we all jelled during that time,” he said.
The best part about being in LA however, was seeing his brother.
“It had been almost two years since I had seen Tyler,” he said. “It was awesome. He’s my best friend, and to get the chance to go out there and hang out with each other and then compete at a high level with other highly talented athletes and against each other was a lot of fun.”
Not only is Tyler someone Kyle looks up to, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is as well.
“Meeting ‘The Rock’ was awesome,” he laughed. “He’s been my idol since the early 90s. I grew up watching him on World Wrestling Entertainment. The best part about it was realizing he is the same down-to-Earth guy he portrays himself to be. He’s a real genuine guy.”
When the day of the competition finally arrived, Lucas said he was nervous, but the feeling was familiar.
“With any sort of athletic event you’re going to be nervous, so I just stayed focused on what I needed to do,” he said.
Lucas explained he didn’t know what event he was going to be competing in until two hours before the actual competition.
“They demoed the game for me, and after that it was game mode,” he said. “I thought, I have two hours until game time and I started to focus in and say, you know this is my technique, this is how I’m going to execute and just focus on what I have to accomplish.”
Lucas said as an athlete, he felt confident, but when he found out the event involved throwing a grappling hook, his nerves kicked up.
“I’m not the greatest with throwing things, but I felt like I still could have managed the anchor and beat my opponent,” he said.
Although Lucas did not advance to the next round, he was grateful to have been given the opportunity to compete.
“There is definitely room for improvement, and I need to learn how to throw a grappling hook,” he laughed. “No matter what I did it would not hook on to the rail ties.”
One thing Lucas took away from the experience was he can always work harder.
“I worked with a lot of highly talented athletes and we follow each other on social media,” he said. “I see their workouts, so it pushes me to work harder not only in the gym but in my professional career and strive for greatness every day.”
Lucas said he would compete on the show again if he had the chance.
“I lost in the first round but my goal was to go in and not be one and done,” he said. “I have a lot to prove.”
Lucas’ favorite part of the Titan Games experience was being with his brother and representing the Air Force.
“It was really cool to not only represent myself but the Air Force as well,” he said. “I had a lot of former and current Airmen reach out to me and let me know they’re proud of how I represented the Air Force, so it was really special.”
“Those are some good boys,” said Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.