I Inspire – John

I-Inspire_JohnIn words that I never thought would come from my mouth, “I quit!!” I plain and simply gave up because I was too lazy and willing to work anymore to become the best person that I could be.

I was raised to be a winner, and always work hard.  I was given an excellent value system and work ethic from my parents, grandparents, sisters, coaches, and friends.  I was an athlete who had played all sports available to me, and was fortunate enough to play a bit of college football.  I met and married a beautiful woman, and started my own family.  I am successful in my work, and I thought I was moving in the right direction.  I thought I was being a winner, but the reality of it was that I was not a winner. I was a quitter.

People will ask what I mean by the statement above, and I say that I was not truly happy with myself.  In my opinion, a winner is never truly satisfied with their achievements, but they are happy with themselves.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw a person whom disgusted me.  Physically, I was out of breath when I went up a flight of stairs.  I ate junk food continually, and I drank quite a bit.  I knew what it took for me to become happy, but I went for years with ignoring it.  I needed to physically challenge myself.  I needed to test my mental toughness through physically challenging myself.

I tried to tell myself that I was happy being the “fat guy.”  I continually cracked jokes about my appearance, and tried to act like I did not care.  I found the easy way out by quitting.  I tried to tell myself, “That is just how I am built.”  My wife encouraged me, and pleaded for me to get off of my ass and do something.  I know that she saw my disgust with me, and she tried to help me, but I quit!  I did not want to listen.  I often wonder how my wife did not look at me and laugh.  I wonder how my wife could even be physically attracted to me.  My wife did not quit on me, and she kept her belief in me.  I quit.

My mother lost over eighty pounds through diet and exercise, and yet I did not follow her example.  My father has always been in excellent shape, and is always doing something active.  Yet, I did not follow his example.  I had quit.

I am 6’1” tall and my weight went over 300 pounds and suddenly I took notice of what I was doing to myself.  Yet, I still quit, and continued to try and lie.  I tried to tell myself that I was happy.  My waist size was 44 inches, and embarrassingly enough, I was probably a full b-cup in my chest size.  I was the target of many jokes at work and I laughed along with everyone.  I even cracked jokes about myself to make people laugh.  I tried to act like I did not care, but the reality is that I hurt, yet I did nothing about it. I quit.

A couple of years back, a friend of mine got into Crossfit.  I saw his postings on his Facebook account, and it drew my interest.  It looked tough, challenging, and crazy.  I watched him from afar, and admired what he was doing, but I continued to try and tell myself that I was unable to do it.  As the reality of my 40th birthday was approaching, I decided to stop being a quitter.  Call it a mid-life crisis, or whatever you may, but I made a conscientious decision to return to being a winner.  I can remember that it was late in October of 2010 and I was exiting the freeway near my home, I saw a small sign posted on the side of the off-ramp for Walnut Crossfit (WCF).

I made the telephone call to set up my introduction workout.  I was greeted on the telephone by the owner and coach of WCF, Robert Montanez.  His kindness and encouragement on the phone calmed my nerves, and his assurance that I could do this gave me confidence to go to the gym.  My wife and daughter were interested in Crossfit, and they decided to come with me as well.

On October 31, 2010, my wife, daughter, and I went for our introduction workout at WCF.  To say the least, by the end of the class I was truly hurting.  All we did was some wall balls, push-ups, and a small bit of running, and I was done; completely washed out.  But, I was instantly hooked.  My wife and I made the decision to sign up and so November 1, 2010 became our “Crossfit Day.”

I started at 302 pounds when I began Crossfit.  I hurt, and was sore.  My wife hurt, but we were there for each other.  But more importantly, and what has brought me, my wife, and daughter back, the WCF family was there for us.  They continually encouraged us, and have brought us into their circle.  Every day we have hurt, every day we have suffered through a WOD, someone from WCF has been there for me and my family offering us encouragement.  We have come to discover that the Crossfit community is truly a unique group of people who compete with each other to the fullest extent, but they also encourage each other and try to make each other better.

On January 10, 2011, I was 281.6 lbs and off to a new challenge.  I had lost a total of 21 lbs when I first began to Crossfit.  WCF sponsored a “Paleo Challenge.”  My wife and I quickly immersed ourselves into the Paleo way of life, and completely revamped our eating style.  Like anyone learning something new, and sacrificing, we had our struggles.  But over the six week period, we adapted and stayed true to the diet.  I did not cheat.  Throughout the challenge, I was in constant contact with Robert Montanez.  He offered support and guidance.  He offered me a friendship that inspired me to get better and work harder.  At the end of the six week period, I had lost a total of 31.2 lbs and 5.6% body fat.

For a person who had quit on himself physically for years, I could not believe what I had accomplished.  I had dropped to 250.4 lbs.  By March 15, 2011, I was down to 240.6 lbs, dropping another 9.8 lbs.  I have stayed true to my goal.  I have stayed true to the goal of my wife for me to get back in control of my life physically.  I still have another 20 lbs to go to get to my first goal of getting back to 220 lbs, but I will get there.

I can honestly say to myself that I suck at Crossfit.  My times are not good, and I am continually getting my ass kicked.  But as Robert likes to say, “No Excuses.”  We show up to the gym and do our WOD.  We show up to the gym and sacrifice and suffer right along with everyone else at WCF.  I know that we will have our up and downs with Crossfit as time goes on.  But I know that we will get better and stronger.  I know that we will overcome and continue to show up!!

As for myself, I know one thing, Crossfit and WCF has changed my life and my perspective.  I am happy now with myself because I am getting back in control of my life physically and challenging myself.  As I have become happy with myself, my attitude, and eagerness to be a good person and hard worker has increased dramatically.  I feel like I am on the right path.  I look at Crossfit as, “My Journey.”  And I know one thing for sure, I will never quit on myself again!!!

Update from John

I-Inspire_John_UpdateSince I wrote the above, “MyJourney,” I have surpassed every expectation in my own mind and now realize that the best has yet to come.  I continue in the Paleo lifestyle and weigh 197 lbs.  A total of 105 lbs lost.  As much as Crossfit helped me, there is no doubt that it is because of my Paleo lifestyle that this has all happened.  What a great dream come true that I control the outcome.  No one but me!!