I never thought of myself as overweight, but was told by friends and family that I was husky. In 2008 I thought that was a good thing. It only took a breakup with a girl for me to change my ways, to switch my terrible routines, and to ultimately start my fitness journey. Although still, I never considered myself overweight.
I weighed 175 lbs in 2008, and was at my heaviest, wait what? You’re saying I shouldn’t have had pizza bagels for breakfast in college? I have pictures from my sister’s wedding 2008 that still baffles my mind of where I was, to where I am today.
My journey began with the ‘Special K’ diet. If you have never heard of this diet, it’s basically eating Special K, 3 meals a day where you’re drastically cutting calories. I committed and it only lasted a week and I was STARVING. Even though I only committed for a week, I lost 5lbs.
As I decided to no longer pursue the Special K diet as no one should, I decided to change my diet. I changed my diet slowly and the first two things I cut out was soda, all soda, and all fried foods. I didn’t realize then that I was drinking my calories, and eating a lot of fried foods, such as chicken fingers. A kids favorite! At the same time, I also decided to replace my lunch with a large protein bar, so breakfast was the same, which could have been cereal from what I recall, a bar for lunch, and a normal dinner (nothing fried), but I had to work out for at least an hour, every night! My go-to at the time was P90x, and getting to the gym as often as I could. I knew then I was cutting calories not only with the foods, but on top of the workouts, my net calories for the day was around 1,200-1,300 calories.
In 2012, I needed to change things up, I was getting bored of the normal routines, so decided to get into 5K races, and convinced one of my best friends and my cousin to sign up with me. It was a Sunday in January of 2012, and finished my first 5K around 28 minutes in West Chester. Although my buddy and cousin both didn’t continue with their journey, I continued mine with additional 5K runs, a Spartan race in 2012 which I had a posterior dislocation, two quarter marathons, and two half marathons as the years went on.
January 2012 – first 5K race!
Let’s circle back to July 2012 at the Spartan Race. I enjoyed the Spartan Race throughout these long 3 hours, even though it ended with me getting a ride in Blue Mountain’s finest ambulance for a posterior dislocation. The incident started with a spear throw, but completely popped out as my shoulder went into a ramp. I remember climbing down that ramp and yelling to my friend, “My arm is 100% broken.” With the momentum left in me and only two obstacles to go, I finished the obstacles, got my medal, went to the medic, then the hospital.
Since 2012, I popped the same shoulder out 3 more times in a span of two years. I popped it out being a wheelbarrow in beer Olympics, playing basketball, and just by doing nothing. I got to the point where it was time for surgery and decided to retire from beer Olympics!
2012 Spartan Race with a dislocated shoulder
After surgery, and after rehab, I knew I wouldn’t be same. I always limited myself with shoulder strengthening workouts, and should have done more mobility at home. I wasn’t disciplined and paying for it now.
I continued my journey though with more cardio based workouts, my girlfriend (now wife – Coach Fox) always tried to get me to go to her box as she kept saying “we modify for anyone.” I always declined thinking that if I joined, I would pop it out again and I was still hesitant and afraid of my shoulder limitations. So I joined Orange Theory as an in-between. Orange Theory is a great work out, hands down, but I knew there were some Crossfit elements too, so I thought to myself that maybe I can do this.
It took me 3 years, but I reached out to Coach Rachel, asking for more information and addressed my concerns about my shoulder. It was a trigger for me when she mentioned that Coach Chris had the same surgery and understood what I went through. Even though we’re at different calibers, there was hope. I also didn’t mention a word to Lauren as I know she’d be too excited that I was even considering it. So, I had an intro tour of the gym with Coach Chris and Coach Rachel and jumped right in.
Sept. 2018 – one month after starting CrossFit
I’ve now been a member at Crossfit Kanna since August 2018 and haven’t looked back. My shoulder strength is improving, my mobility is improving, although it has a ways to go. I’m now more disciplined, and more aware. I wish I focused more on mobility after surgery and perhaps I wouldn’t have these issues now, but it’s never too late and know with the staff at Crossfit Kanna and with my own due diligence, I’ll find my way back as I continue my fitness journey. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t know that you can do it. You just have to show up.