I’ve been an athlete my whole life. Played football, baseball, basketball, and raced BMX bikes as a kid so I was constantly active. Once I got to high school, BMX took a back seat to the other three (although I would occasionally go back and race every once in a while. Never forget how to ride a bike right?). I chose to go to the University of Redlands, a small D-III school in Southern California, so that I could play both football and baseball at a collegiate level. While I did end up leaving the baseball team so I could concentrate on football, which was more than enough to keep me active. Growing up that way had put in my head the thought that becoming overweight would NEVER happen to me. Welp….
After making the switch from running back to fullback after my freshman year, the coaches told me I needed to put on some weight and get stronger. So for the next three years I hit the weights and the cafeteria hard, gradually going from 200 pounds to 240 pounds as a senior. I still had my athleticism though. Enter second semester senior year and my senior thesis as a chemistry undergrad. A whole semester of many all-nighters fueled by a diet of Adderall, energy drinks, pasta, pasta, and more pasta, and of course weekends full of copious amounts of beer because, college. The end result is what you saw above. TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY pounds. That far off thought had become a reality and I had been in denial that it was happening the whole time. I was uncomfortable and unhappy, and needed to do something about it.
Enter summer of 2012 and a now great friend of mine, Neil Anderson at GPP Fitness in Centerville, UT. General Physical Preparedness uses a combination of cross-training, body building, weight lifting, and core work, and that worked wonders for me. I dropped 25-30 pounds within the first three months, combining workouts 6 days a week with a diet that cut carbs almost completely out of my diet (except for drinks with friends on the weekends. Let’s not get crazy here). I couldn’t get enough of the workouts! I was getting more and more in shape, feeling more and more comfortable, and slowly but surely getting back to my old self again. One of the many outside sources of inspiration was actually my co-blogger Dom. He was/is also achieving his own fitness goals, and always offered encouraging words and motivation whenever I needed it. After these few months, I needed a change and decided it was time for that change. Moving back to California at the end of that summer proved to be another step in this journey.
That’s where I found CrossFit. I got a small taste at GPP, but I needed more, something more intense and competitive. I still had that competitive edge in me from college football. CrossFit was everything I could’ve asked for, especially after finding CrossFit Intersect in Long Beach, CA owned by Joey Altobelli. Right off the bat I loved it. The community was amazing and the workouts were fun and challenging. Keeping a somewhat clean diet and intense workouts all week, I continued dropping the pounds and getting in better shape. After about 4 months of work, I entered my first competition. What a rush! Nothing like a legit CrossFit competition! Having friends and workout buddies around you, cheering you on while you enter the pain cave and finish a workout is an incredible feeling, and one that took me through 5 competitions, including coed teams, male teams, and mixed teams.
So a year after starting this journey, I came to this….
This was taken exactly a year after the first picture. I was down 55 pounds to 215, dropped about 9-10% body fat, and increased every one of my lifts and workout times. Since that picture (which is about the same as it looks now) I have lost an additional 7 pounds, some more body fat percentage, and haven’t been in this good of shape since I was in high school. And it feels absolutely AMAZING. I am now back at GPP in Centerville, this time as a trainer, my fitness experience being trusted enough by Neil to help other people reach their goals. Along with my training at GPP, I have taken up Olympic weightlifting at Praxis Olympic Weightlifting in Murray, UT, taking on another challenge that I love. I have also picked BMX back up, racing at Rad Canyon BMX, as well as playing competitive sevens rugby with my good friend Sean Sellwood. I still have some fitness goals to accomplish, but I know that I can get there through hard work and dedication, which is what it takes to accomplish ANYTHING. Thanks for reading!
Before: 270 pounds, 25ish% body fat, size 40 waist, 9+ minute mile, 155# snatch, 200# clean and jerk, depressed
After/Current: 207 pounds, 12% body fat, size 36 waist, 6 minute mile, 225# snatch, 290# cleans and jerk, happy