September 5th, 2012 is the day my life changed forever.
I have been overweight since I was old enough to understand the concept being fat, always believing that one day, one magical day in the future, I would lose the excess weight and live a healthy and happy lifestyle. That frame of mind is really really good if you want to continue to gain weight for the rest of your life.
Shortly after I graduated with a degree in Petroleum Systems Engineering, the office at my new job was starting a weight loss competition. I joined up thinking it was just the incentive I needed to finally catalyze the weight loss I had been dreaming about for nearly three quarters of my life.
As the day of initial weigh in was approaching I was anxious to see what the scale was going to tell me. I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time; I had no idea what to expect. Nothing could have prepared me for what was staring back up at me when I stepped on that scale.
Like a flood breeching a dike, years of self-delusion crumbled and waves of emotion and memories crushed me with their weight. Nervous comments from friends and family, hurtful sniggers from complete strangers, and words of warning from medical professionals that were all previously discredited and ignored, now expressed themselves in a single moment of clarity and a soul crushing realization:
I weighed 348lbs,
I had to lose 150lbs,
and there was no more hiding from it.
Since that day, I started, and have not stopped for a single minute, to become a better person. I started challenging everything I thought I knew not only about health and fitness but also about my core values, how to live a good life, and how to be a good man.
For two and a half years I read books, listened to podcasts, hired coaches, fired coaches, tasted success, and suffered defeat; building a knowledge base on which to structure my new life. However, it was very clear that there was a missing component that I could not identify. Just as I would start to think I had that structure nearing completion, discontinuities between my career, social life, and fitness goals would bring the whole thing toppling to the ground.
CrossFit was the missing component. Like the critical keystone, CrossFit completed the arch between how to live my life with value and purpose, and my desire for a life of health, strength, and vitality; creating a single, united, inseparable structure.
CrossFit helped me to realize that there were tons of people that were just like me. People who wanted to get strong, challenge themselves mentally and physically, but who also struggled on a daily basis with other commitments and desires that acted to pull them off their path. As well, I was opened up to a world of unbelievably insightful, inspiring, and motivational experts and mentors (two of which are cofounders of this gym). I discovered physical and mental strength within myself that I used to marvel at in others. And most importantly, CrossFit provided me with a venue to express my building passion for health and fitness and help other people discover theirs.
There is a quote that I discovered recently by Eric Roth from the screenplay for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that is now one of my guiding principles:
I hope you live a life you’re proud of
– And if not –
I hope you have the courage to start all over again
In 2012 I was unhealthy and unhappy, working hard and playing the corporate game so that I could retire at 55 and live a dream life. Today I am healthy, happy, I have lost 135lbs, and I am working hard to create a life from which I would never want to retire.