We all have a path that brought us to where we are at today – no one starts out on top.
My junior year of high school in preparation for a dance or some social gathering that involved me awkwardly hoping to talk to girls, I decided I needed to lose weight. I thought of this plan about 7 days before the gathering, so I had plenty of time to hit an abstract, and not very well thought out goal. After starving myself for 5 days, eating nothing but an apple and few slices of deli turkey, I ate, in my estimation, 400 peanut butter cookies. I still went to the gathering and still had fun.
I offer the above story because I think it is a pretty common scenario. Each and every one of us, as our own worst critics, have succumbed to outside influence to try and meet some abstract ideal body image. Then with a poor goal or complete lack of a goal, we set off trying to get an Adonis like physique in a short time, because why not? The unfortunate truth is that it is time consuming lifestyle, not a quick fix.
My health and fitness story really starts with my time in the Marines. When I joined, I could do 3 Pull Ups and run 3miles in 22min. I was always active, and my run time shows that I wasn’t out of shape, but I certainly wasn’t in shape. My gym life was sporadic. I would stick with a plan for a while, find new priorities and jump ship for even longer. During my second deployment, I found CrossFit. That was 10 years ago. And while I have had my ups and downs, I have remained athletic and capable for the past decade.
To me it was finding something that I enjoyed and gave me a learning experience. I started consuming knowledge about nutrition and making myself informed. As I soon found out, there is a lot of nonsense out there about health and fitness. But looking back to my high school story, I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t want that to be the case again. I signed up for a CrossFit Trainer Certification while still overseas, hoping I would be home in time to make it (I was).
This began my fitness journey in earnest. While I had always been active, I had never been fit. After 6 months of committing to CrossFit and an actual Nutrition plan. I got a perfect physical fitness test. For the Marines that meant 20 strict pull ups, 100 sit ups in 2min and 3mile run in 18min or less. I was pumped. One of my goals was accomplished, all because I committed to a plan.
After leaving the service I started getting into the competitive side of CrossFit and found my passion for coaching. If I didn’t want to be misinformed anymore, then I didn’t want anyone else to be either. As a young athlete and passionate coach, I enjoyed learning and sharing my knowledge. I was rough around the edges, but my heart was in the right place. I now would call this Kool-Aid phase. While I was definitely helping others and myself get more fit, I now know I could’ve done more.
My personal endeavors from this point vary from competing at CrossFit, to competing at Weightlifting, getting hurt, having a decline in my health and fitness and then taking it back. The nuances are not that important. What is important is that after getting hurt I was in the worst shape I had been in a long time. My body fat was up to 15% and I felt sluggish. My injury, plus a break up got me going down the negative self-talk road and I let it carry me way to far. My only saving grace was my past fitness that acted as a shield from becoming to unhealthy and my knowledge of how to be fit and healthy. We all go through lulls and periods of time where we don’t make ourselves the priority. Just don’t let those periods define you and you can get back to you desired level of health and fitness.
After a decade of CrossFit and coaching I love health and fitness more than ever. The variety, the fun, the life changing steps, the people you meet. I am truly blessed to have been around the people who taught me and still round the people I get to teach. The biggest lesson I have learned over the past decade is this. Just do it. Whatever it is. There is no perfect diet, workout, or plan. You need to do what is right for your goals. And, if your goal is to lose weight and stay healthy, find something you can consistently do. Like 300 days a year consistent. It may not be fast, but it will be forever.