Part One: My old normal
It was June 2017. I was 242 pounds at 6 feet, over 30% body fat, 36 waist, XL shirts and my cholesterol was consistently over 254. I had headaches weekly and stomach issues that doctors couldn’t figure out. I was always tired, always. I’d come home from work, eat, sleep and start my day over. I had no energy for anything else. My six-year-old son began sports and I couldn’t keep up. I was on a path of health destruction.
One of my best friends, Robert, kept inviting me to work out with him. I’d always say yes, but never show up. The reality was that I was too busy with life. My job was extremely demanding. I had two kids and a wife that also needed my attention and time. I just didn’t have time to workout. It was going to be too much strain on my ability to manage work and family time.
Part Two: Okay, fine. I try it.
Robert didn’t give up. He devised a clever way to get me to workout with him. He was getting married in December 2017 and asked me to be part of his wedding party. He wanted for “us” to look good in our tuxedos so, to support this endeavor, I unwillingly decided to workout with him.
He made a simple plan: run, push-ups, air squats, pull-ups. No need to touch a single weight or even step into a box.
Here is something about me.
I was a college athlete with a body fat under 7%. I could run for days. But, those runs, push-ups, air squats and pull-ups truly humbled me. I ran 200 meters and you’d think I had just finished a marathon. I could only do one push-up and one pull-up at a time. I was a hot mess. However, my friend never gave up on me.
Part Three: Down to business.
At one month away from the wedding, I realized it was time to get serious.
Robert took me to CrossFit and I did my first WOD. The very next day, I officially joined the community that would change my life forever. I learned the movements, the different WODs, but more importantly, I learned how to take care of my body. I learned how to eat properly. I learned how to manage my time. I gained a family that supports me and pushes me to be better.
Part Four: Not too busy after all.
Remember my reasons as to why I did not join my friend on his workouts?
Well, those reasons are still valid. My job is even more demanding today. My kids have grown and have additional activities that still demand my time and attention. My wife loves having me around and spending quality time with her. I put all those reasons on paper and structured my journey to health. In November 2017, I started to workout at 5:30 AM, five days a week. It did not have an impact on my duties at work and at home. I have more time, becoming efficient at home and at work. The discipline set in and I’ve never looked back.
Part 5: My new normal.
Today, I am 60 pounds down, at 11.5% body fat with a 32” waist, wearing medium slim fit shirts. My cholesterol is under 170 and I have no headaches or stomach issues. I’m in the box five to six times a week and have even podiumed at CrossFit competitions. I am full of energy from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep.
Now I run a mile as a warm-up. I have built strength, confidence and an ability to help others. The way I eat has drastically changed. I eat healthy without compromising the required nutrients that my body needs. (Even writing this, I chuckle. I now eat vegetables on my own, which my mother has tried to do for over 35 years.) I never thought any of this could happen.
Part 6: It does take a village.
I would be foolish to think that I did this on my own. First, the support of my wife and kids have been integral to my journey to health. Driving Force CrossFit and all associated with it are part of that journey and I could not be more blessed than to have their support and guidance.
CrossFit has truly impacted my journey to health in many more ways than just physical health. My mental health, my relationships are all better due to the positive impact of our community.
I am 37-years-old. I have set a personal goal that by 40, I will be in the best shape of my life. I call it #driven240.
And, in case you were wondering. I looked great in the tuxedo.