A Little Background

17 Feb

How I got here…

Life is hectic. My wife and I have multiple jobs (each) and we have kids, and as anybody with kids knows, patience is not their strong suit. 6 months ago I was as overweight and out of shape as I have ever been in my life. My self image was horrible and I found myself actively avoiding things with my friends and family as a result.
Now, I was never the athletic type. Ever. I went to the gym when my wife dragged me, under protest, and I allowed it to put me in a bad mood. I used our hectic life to justify “not having time” to stay fit, and to eat crappy food. I would try various things for a while and then they would fizzle off into the sunset and it was back to the old habits. I won a weight-loss competition at our firehouse, eventually I found it back, and then some. I did P90X for about 45 days and then got promoted and went of to NYC for 4 weeks for training…another excuse to eat and drink and not exercise.

Enter Crossfit…

So, here I am fat, depressed, and barely able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. I was headed down a bad path and in desperate need of a change. I had a couple friends who did Crossfit, and while in intrigued me I was very hesitant. It’s not cheap, and given my history of not sticking with things, I was reluctant to commit. Plus, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I mean, really – have you seen what these people do? Then came the Groupon that changed my life – 2 months, $75 – surely I could try that, and if I fail miserably, I’m certainly no worse off. While I’d like to take credit for this, I should point out that what really happened is that my wife bought two, and said
“We’re starting September 1st”.

September 1st…

I think it was actually the 2nd or the 3rd, but after our first class at CrossFit BoomTown I thought I was going to vomit, or die, or maybe both. I was really a little scared that I was going to get hurt, or do something stupid, or be so sore that I wouldn’t want to go back. I did hurt, but I went back, and kept trying. What I quickly learned is that this wasn’t just a gym, it really is a community. I mean, they say that shit on their website, but who believes corporate websites? I met some people who were at levels I may never reach, but I also met people who were, or had been, exactly where I was. I quickly learned that everything can be scaled (which I did a LOT), that someone always has to finish last (and its ok if it’s me sometimes), and that no matter how I performed, everyone just seemed to encourage me to keep going.

The last (almost) 6 months…

I’m still going. Better yet, I actually ENJOY it, look forward to it, miss it when the hectic schedule gets in the way, and make every effort not to let that happen. My wife is going too, and is very supportive, she’s always encouraged me to “move” so I would expect nothing less, but fitting CrossFit classes into the already hectic schedule hasn’t been without its challenges. In 5 1/2 months I have accomplished things I never would have dreamed of. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but I’ve come a long way too. For starters, I’ve lost several inches off my waist and dropped almost 25 pounds. I couldn’t do a single pull-up when I started, I couldn’t jump rope (pause here to mock me), and I could rarely make it through a workout without several little breaks to catch my breath. Now I’m doing pull-ups unassisted (not a lot, but several), I’m working on consecutive double-unders and I even did a hand-stand push up the other day. Yesterday I completed an Rx workout in 11 minutes that I didn’t think I could come close to in under the 12 minute cap. What’s more is that every little accomplishment, every PR, every time I hit that skill I’ve been working on, it inspires me to keep going and to challenge myself further.

The next 6 weeks…

The next 6 weeks I’m participating (along with my wife, and 40+ other people from the gym) in a Paleo Challenge. For anyone who doesn’t know and might be reading this (although I don’t know why), the Paleo diet includes “hunter/gatherer” foods like meat, vegetables and nuts, and some spices. What it DOESN’T include is dairy, grain, sugar, legumes or alcohol. If you have ever seen me eat, you know this is going to be very difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat and veggies, I rarely drink caffeine or any kind of sugary drinks, and I don’t eat a ton of junk food. I do, however, love yogurt, milk, cheese, bread, crackers, chocolate and pasta, which I can’t have. Why, then, would I do this to myself? I’m not sure I really know. Curiosity, desire for better results in the gym, more weight loss, to name a few reasons. There is some prize money. Maybe its just to prove to myself that I can do it. In any event – I’m gonna try it, and that’s why this blog exists. Throughout the challenge I’m going to try and post some details about what I’m eating (good and bad), share some recipes, and highlight some accomplishments in the gym as they happen too. If the blogging goes well, maybe I will continue after the challenge. Time will tell.


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