Being raised by a single mother I never knew what it was like to have a father but I knew that now that I was given the opportunity I wanted to be a real good one. I remember reading an article that instantly triggered my desire to get up and start transforming my life. The article pointed out that most adults’ memories of their parents were established when they were 5 to 10 years of age. I began to wonder how my own children would remember me. I didn’t want to be remembered as a typical house dad carrying excess weight, watching their kids being coached by others while sitting in the stands waiting for the game to end so they can go have pizza with the team. My mother is a very active fit woman and I wanted to be just like her. My mother is my hero. She never sat on the sidelines. She actively participated in any recreational activity I was involved in as often as she possibly could. I knew that if I wanted to follow in her footsteps, I was going to need to make a change.I started following programs such as P90X and Insanity, completing them many times over, however, I was working out about 6 days a week and had yet to establish any kind of diet, or, as I prefer to call it now, “lifestyle”. There came a point where I managed to drop my weight to about 200 pounds but I wasn’t getting the results one would expect from a 6 day a week work out regiment. As my kids grew older, I had less and less time to work out and so I became unmotivated. I started looking into dieting and came across a book by accident called “The Paleo Solution”. I hate reading, and to this day I can’t believe I read the whole thing without it being in comic book format, but this book turned out to be the key that opened the floodgate. I quickly became fascinated with nutrition and exercise. I started hearing about CrossFit and finally decided to look it up. I found a couple of gyms and decided to try one out.
My first visit to a CrossFit gym was not a match made in heaven but it was the start of a very beautiful friendship. I remember walking into this gym thinking, “No big deal. I did P90X multiple times… how bad can this be?” I stretched. I warmed up. I perform a scaled version of Cindy. What happened next, you ask? My first and ONLY pukie to date! Wow, I thought, what just happened? I went home that night and found myself embarrassed, humbled and flat out kicked in the ass. I decided to go back for round 2 but this time I searched for a gym that was closer to my house and found myself at what was then a “Fight Club” style gym known as CrossFit Tustin. Esthetically this gym was nowhere close to the gym I had been to the week prior. I arrived for my free trial and realized I was the only one seeking CrossFit training on this particular day, 2 days before Christmas and “someone” (JT) had forgotten to acknowledge my online registration. Lucky for me there was someone there who improvised and gave me the most epic introduction to CrossFit ever (thank you, Mr.Tuffy).
I realized I had made a big mistake by researching CrossFit because I knew I was instantly hooked. For the next couple of months all I could do was think about CrossFit…oh and feed my kids, of course. At the gym I found myself surrounded by a very interesting and diverse group of people. Before CrossFit I usually worked out by myself, so this was definitely new ground for me.
CrossFit was, and still is, very difficult for me. I found myself incredibly frustrated trying to learn certain movements, gain good form and keep up. I was getting used to seeing my name at the bottom of the list, but none of that really mattered to me because I was having lots of fun and constantly learning. I knew the only way my name was going to go up on that list was to keep on working harder. I started incorporating 2 days of CrossFit per week and kept with my paleo diet. I was enjoying my new found love without even realizing the best was yet to come! I made CrossFit my sole workout focus and slowly worked my way to more visits and started noticing that I was getting better in all aspects of fitness and I was not killing myself with a 6 day a week workout. I suddenly had more time and energy to devote to my life, self and family.
Another pleasant surprise was the great group of people I met during training. You see, I was there with one goal in mind, and it didn’t include socializing and seeking friendships. I had no time to invest in friends and was content with the friends I already had. After some time I started to notice that the pain and suffering we were all going through was building an incredible bond between us. Only another CrossFit participant would know that there is just no way to explain the efforts and work and determination we put into training. I am proud to say that I have made friends I truly care for as much as I care about the friends I’ve known for 15+ years. You, my CrossFit friends, are “high quality”, I love you guys.
I am very proud and shocked at the incredible things I have been able to accomplish due to CrossFit, both physically and mentally. CrossFit has made me a better person, and I love sharing that type of vibe and openness with all of our members. I do constantly have to juggle the cost of CrossFit, but I manage to make adjustments in my life elsewhere to accommodate the expense. Last but definitely not least, I have my wife to thank for putting up with all my CrossFit needs and wants (like my “need” to own Reeboks in every color available…just kidding!).
Like they say in my all-time favorite movie, Fight Club:
“I came to [CrossFit Tustin] a WOD of cookie dough and now I am carved out of wood”.