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Mikey's Amazing CrossFit Journey:Two Years In

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Mikey’s Amazing CrossFit Journey – Two Years In

So, I celebrated my two year CrossFit anniversary this month. What has happened in those 2 years? To dramatically understate the answer to this question --- A LOT.

October 7th, 2013 a 59-year old fat guy decided to give CrossFit a try after 30 plus years of being the “Couch Potato Poster Child”. Five months into the journey, I wrote a blog on the CrossFit Assateague webpage detailing my transformation. As I said in this original blog, CrossFit (specifically CrossFit Assateague) changed my life. One look at the before and after pictures in that first post says more than words ever could. Now, two years into this experience I wanted to update anyone interested in what I have accomplished and where I am today.

TWO YEARS LATER

I still work out 3-4 times a week. It’s hard, and life gets in the way regularly, but working out is a priority and an important part of my existence. I have mostly managed to maintain my weight. I have gained a few pounds but I honestly think most of it is muscle gain and not fat creeping back in. Am I the “Incredible Hulk” without the green tinge? Not even close, and that’s okay. I look pretty good (considering what I have to work with), have kept most of the weight off, and most importantly, I feel great.

I am amazed at the strength gains I have made and what I am capable of now compared to two years ago. My strength is so far beyond what I thought possible and ever hoped for. I went from hardly being able to lift anything, to consistently lifting heavier and heavier weights. I now occasionally sneak in a Men’s RX during my workouts. I have repeatedly PRed every lift we perform, except overhead squats. Overhead squats are not natural and should never be attempted by anyone, especially 61 year-old guys with mobility issues (perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek here).

I am also excited with my aerobic gains. I suck at anything requiring more than a resting heart-rate and normal breathing, but compared to where I was – WOW! A few week ago, I ran a “Tough-Mudder.” What amazes me most about this accomplishment is not that I finished (something I thought impossible two years ago), but that I ran it without any extra preparation. All I did to prepare for this race was go to CrossFit and do the regular workouts ---no extra running, no extra strength training, nothing extra. That alone says all you really need to know about CrossFit’s effectiveness.

MIKEY’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

I listed some goals in my original blog that I hoped to accomplish. I am not trying to brag, but I have been busy and have gone way beyond my wildest expectations two years ago. Here’s my list:

Thanksgiving 2013 – Toys for Tots 5K Run. Actually, it was slightly less than 5K, but we did burpees, lunges, push-ups, etc. at 12 different stations along the race. My first attempt at anything remotely strenuous in 30 years. I finished last and was super excited to even finish.

December 2013- 5K Reindeer Run

May 2014 – My first Mud run. Savage Race- A 6-mile obstacle course to celebrate my 60th birthday.

Thanksgiving 2014 – Another Toys for Tots run

December 2014 – Another 5K Reindeer Run (I cut over 4-minutes off my previous time)

March 2015 – CrossFit Open competitor

April 2015 – Festivus Games Competitor

May 2015 – My second Savage Mud Run (6-miles)

Fathers Day 2015- A 9-mile Spartan Race ran in Boston with my Daughter.

October 2015- A 10- mile “Tough Mudder” race ran in Westbrook, ME. This was the realization of a goal I once thought impossible. I completed what I call the “Mud Run Trifecta”. In one summer, I finished a 6-mile Savage Race, a 9-mile Spartan Race; and a 10-mile Tough Mudder Race. I ran All of these with my Daughter (and my #1 Cheerleader), Michelle.

November 2015 – Registered to compete in the “Masters and Teens” regional CrossFit competition.

December 2015- Scheduled to run my third Reindeer Run 5K.

2016 – I plan on doing as much as I can as often as I can. So far - ESAC (Feb); The Open (March); Festivus Games (April); Savage Race (May); VA Spartan (Jun or Jul); ESAC (Aug); Savage Race (Oct);

Perspective is an interesting thing. When I wrote my blog 19 months ago, I was hoping to run a 6-mile Savage Race. Now, I think of this 6-mile race as a “fun-run” to do a couple times a year with friends.

CrossFit continues to be an amazing ride.


 

Egg Muffin Cups

Posted on October 29, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We can't always make eggs and bacon in the morning for breakfast.... who has time for that? Most of us are lucky to get out the door with a cup of coffee in our hands! What if we made our eggs in bacon in advance and took to work with us every day? Wouldn't that be awesome! Well here's your chance!!! You can do these easily on a Sunday, pre-package them in zip lock bags and grab and go on a daily basis! See video and recipe below! Just a side note: to heat before eating, microwave for 30 seconds and they'll be ready to go, or eat cold! ENJOY!!!

 

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Paleo Egg Muffins with bacon, mushrooms and spinach

 

(Makes 8 )

Ingredients

 

9 Eggs

2 cups of Spinach (fresh)

1 cup of mushrooms (freshly sliced)

1/2 pound of bacon (or more per your desire)

1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt

 

Directions:

1. Cook bacon to desired wellness

2. Chop mushrooms, then saute' in a teaspoon of bacon fat or olive oil until golden brown

3. Tear spinach leaves and saute' in a teaspoon of bacon fat or olive oil

4. Crack eggs in a large mixing bowl, add mushrooms and spinach and about a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt, mix well

5. Fill pre-greased muffin pans 2/3 full of egg mixture

6. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until egg is cooked all the way through

7. Let cool and enjoy


Pumpkin Protein Muffins- Just in time for fall!!!

Posted on October 5, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

OK, so we're trying something new!  A video blog with a featured recipe!  

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Here is the link where I got the recipe from and the original recipe is in this link.

http://www.livehealtheasy.com/2013/09/pumpkin-protein-muffins-and-diy.html


Here's my recipe, the way I made them on this video:

Ingredients (makes about 12 muffins)

1 1/4 cup 100% pumpkin puree (I used the organic kind from a can)

1 cup vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup arrowroot starch

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

1 egg 

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup dark chocolate 60% (or more) Caoco chips

Directions

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add in pumpkin puree. Mix well until smooth, then pour into a well-greased cupcake tin or any other baking tray. Bake at around 350 15 minutes or until cooked through center (place toothpic in center of muffin, you want toothepick to come out clean).




Featured Athlete: Dawn Scher

Posted on May 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

"Dawn is always an inspiration to myself and all the other athletes around her. She can find the positive in any situation. She's humble, dedicated, and works hard always! I have watched her blossom in so many ways just in the past year, and I can't wait to see her continued improvements as she continues to train consistently. We have many strong women in our box but Dawn takes the cake, physically and mental ly. I am lucky to call her my friend, and to train aside her."-Coach Watts

 

What brought you to CF?

 

My childhood friend, Crissy Williams, had posted about CF a few times on facebook in 2009. When I looked it up I thought it and all the people were CRAZY. But over six months I kept coming back to it - wondering. One day I was at my daughter's swim lesson in Ocean Pines and saw two women facing away from me standing with such strength in their bodies that I thought "they crossfit." I approached one lady and said "excuse me" intending to ask "do you crossfit?" When she turned around she had on a Crossfit Ocean City tee-shirt! I laughed and told her the above story. She introduced herself as one of the local owners, Kelley Rakow, and encouraged me to call sometime soon. It still took me over a week to call and come in for the intro visit, but that was the start.

 

What KEPT you coming back?

 

Crossfit is the MOST consistently positive place and group of people I've ever been around. Learning new skills and rediscovering old joys (handstands!) has been so much fun! Difficult and challenging, but fun!

 

What keeps you motivated?

 

Over the past five years I have had different motivations. Initially it was really about body shape. Now it is about feeling strong, confident and capable. Plus the infusion of positive energy with the physical boost improves my day EVERY DAY!

 

 

What would you tell someone who told you they needed to get in shape before starting Crossfit?

 

The joke I always say is "round is a shape," but seriously I was NOT fit when I started. When I started in June 2010 I thought I would die from the heat, humidity and exertion. But everything can be scaled and the trainers are careful to scale for what we CAN do. The camaraderie is for encouragement not competition. The positive encouragement will support you getting in shape more than anything else.

 

 

Favorite barbell move?

 

Deadlift - short legs are perfect for dead-lifting and with the right form (angry gorilla - tight core) you can lift lots of weight!

 

 

Favorite CF memory?

 

Too many to pick just one! Ask me about "shuffle, shuffle, breath" because it kept me going early on. Some other great memories are the first time I finished an entire WOD without the trainer cutting my rounds, my first CF total when I shoulder pressed 84 lbs, doing the CF open this year for my first time and getting one unassisted pull up, the time a deer darted in front of me in the dark on one of our early morning runs, and the sunrise for the 5:30 class, our secret joy.

 

 

Last words from Dawn:

 

"CF may not be for everyone but everyone should try it. Yes, it is challenging, but it is also fun! The results can be amazing and as long as you listen to your body and your coaches it is extremely safe. Thank you to all my trainers since 2010: Kelley, Steve, Anne. Lorie, Erik, Lora, Frank, Brian, Sandra and especially MICHELLE and BETSY!"


 


Featured Athlete: Melissa Ann

Posted on January 1, 2015 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Featured Athlete: Melissa Ann

 

This girl has become the beauty beast of the box! She has dropped an insane amount of weight while building the strength of an ox! She constantly has a positive attitude and attacks the most grueling WOD's without even a stutter. She is continuously moving up in weights and rounds, and down in bands and times!

 

We are sad to have to say goodbye to this amazing athlete and friend who is leaving us to start her new chapter and career in Baltimore. Melissa, we wish you nothing but the best, and look forward to hearing about your success at your new job and your continuous gains in the box.

 

Melissa's Story:

 

I have been on a life changing journey since September of 2009. I had a lot of messy habits and was living a life I wasn't proud of. I began to correct my bad habits by quitting the use of all mood and mind altering substances. Through this process I began taking better care of myself mentally, emotionally & spiritually... They say bring your body and your mind will follow... Well my story is quite the opposite. I had to find my mind and my body began to follow! Food had been a crutch for me (and still can be), and I had been struggling with my weight for many years. At my heaviest I was 242lbs, it wasn't until July of 2012 that I really had enough of poor health and was contemplating gastric bypass. Fortunately I told myself that I really had to give it my ultimate best shot before any surgery. My sister told me about couch to 5k, and I had just been out of work for back pain, my knees were retaining fluid and I felt terrible, all the time! I jokingly told my sister that I would run a 5k before I turned 30! At this time I was 238 lbs, coming up on my 28th birthday and in no shape to run. She told me that I could do it and that I could accomplish it in just a short three months! So I gave it my best shot! She also told me about a book called "Healing Back Pain; The Mind Body Connection", so I downloaded the book and the couch to 5k app and got to work.

 

I started running July of 2012 and ran my first 5k in Syracuse, NY in October 2012. I have since completed several more and then finished 2012 out with a 10K! By July of 2013 I ran 1.23 mi@ 9:50 min/mile and weighed 174 lbs!!!!!! What a difference a year can make! It was also about this time that I hit a huge plateau! My goal was to get to 165 lbs... the lowest weight I can remember ever being, back at 16 years old! I just couldn't get that last 10 lbs off! So I started looking for new ways to not only start building muscle but continue to lose fat and that's when I found Crossfit.

 

I first joined Crossfit in August of 2013. I did a full month of an introduction/ fundamentals class three days a week at Swagler's Strength & Performance in Auburn, NY. It was my first taste of heavy lifting and cardio combined. I then accepted a position in Ocean City, Maryland, moved to the area, continued running and started searching for a local Crossfit box.

 

I chose CFA because I love the Assateague area and worked very close by, I thought it'd be a good place check out. So I met up with Betsy and she showed me the box, It was absolutely beautiful!!! What a view to work out to!!! Betsy also explained to me that she kept the classes smaller and that was definitely important to me as it certianly allows for the coaches to focus more directly with each athlete! I finally joined CFA in March of 2014, and I loved it right away! I had already gained 10-15 lbs back but began focusing more on working out and less on what number was on the scale. I still fluctuate between 180/185 lbs but my body has more shape and definition than ever before. I have gained so much strength since starting at CFA. I recently have been able to RX several WOD's and it feels amazing! I have set many goals for myself and recently ran a 1/2 marathon for my 30th birthday!! Now that was a huge accomplishment for me!

 

During my time at CFA I have made great friends! When I talk about WODs, gatherings or events I literally refer to CFA as 'my Crossfit family'. The coaches and members are so friendly and welcoming. We have healthy competition with just the right amount of encouragement! With the smaller groups the coaches are able to provide 1:1 training throughout most of the class. And sometimes it is literally 1:1 training! The socializing helps to learning to incorporate healthy living habits, planning, clean/paleo eating, skill setting and a much better idea of a work out worthwhile.

 

I will really miss the camaraderie! Surprisingly enough, working out with such loving, caring, strong women was the best part! I've always worked out with men and that doesn't always make me feel very lady like! Seeing the effort and persistence from the female coaches was very inspiring and motivating. Don’t get me wrong now, my male coach has done well insisting that I push myself, sharing his food and donating his gear! It is all very helpful for reaching new PRs and really seeing what I am capable of! I will never forget my experiences and the personal growth I have taken from CFA! I will absolutely return for frequent visits!

 

I would tell any new members just starting out to come as often as possible! Consistency gets results and to eat clean as much as possible! And just a fore warning don't move anything when Coach Brian is coaching!! He's got a very thought out plan for every WOD (for speed & safety) & sets it all up!

 

My most memorable CF moment is when I was first introduced to box jumps, I thought for sure that jumping from the ground up was never going to happen for me! But I started slowly by using just a few weight plates and followed the correct form. Within that same class I did my first box jump & threw my arms up in excitement as if I had just climbed Mount Everest!!!

 

My most memorable CFA moment has got to be when Coach Sandra came up behind Shelly O. and myself during a run. It startled us both and we definitely laughed! But then the real moment was her explaining the technique to help improve her own performance. That really showed that not only was Coach Sandra more than willing to run with us but that anyone can do anything it if its explained with encouragement and care. Was a real heart dinger there!

 

First order of business when I move is to find a new box, although I know there isn't going to be another one quite like CFA I still must continue to train somewhere!

 

As actual CF goals go I'm aiming for Rx all the way!!! I know it's a huge goal that includes getting my weight down, using smaller/ no bands and trying my absolute best all the time! I just want to follow the lead of my coaches because I know there lies great results.

 

I want to be able to be as Paleo and self-disciplined as Coach Betsy, more form focused (not clock focused) as Coach Sandra, I want to "get out of my head" like Coach Watts always tells me and continue to try to do the WOD as close to Rx as I can (the less modification the better) right Coach Brian!!??

 

To all my coaches and athletes at CFA, thank you for the last ten months! It was definitely the best part of my Ocean City experience!!! Thank you for recognizing my progress and strength when I forget to recognize it in myself. It was a great honor to be nominated as athlete of the month and to be asked to share my story and experience. I hope to return to show you all further changes and growth in the future! Especially at the April competition in Baltimore!

 

-Progress not perfection

 

 


Featured Athlete: George-Anne Garg

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Congrats to our athlete of the month, George-Ann Garg!


George-Ann came to us over a year ago and has recently had to take some time off to welcome the newest member of their family! George-Ann is the mother of now three beautiful girls with her newest, Priya Garg being born on 8/23/14 and weighing in at a whopping 6lbs. 5 oz. We are so proud of her continued dedication to not just her health and wellness but that of her new beautiful bundle of joy! We can't wait till she's back in action with us after her maternity leave!!!

Here is George-Anne's story.

I started at Crossfit at CrossFit Assateague in August of 2013. I was looking for a structured way to work out and have accountability. I had attended a class with a friend and thought to myself, "this is the structure that I need". The first workout was the initial assessment and I was shocked by the warm up alone. The biggest surprise for me was my lack of endurance, a box jump was even difficult! I was determined to make this a lifetime commitment. At first, my goal was to finish and keep up with the workouts, and after a few months, this became possible. Then, I became pregnant. What a surprise blessing, and this motivated me to make fitness a priority for the health of the baby. The fact that this pregnancy was going so well, kept me coming back. I felt more fit, than I had felt in a long time.

My favorite lift is the push press, and my favorite WOD includes any with squats and pull ups.

 

If someone asked me about crossfit, and wanted to know if it might be the right choice for them, I would ask them if they needed structure to work out, and enjoy a constant variation at every workout.

Having a committed coach, watching over and training me to fit where I am in life has made this an incredible year for me. I can't thank Betsy Meyers enough for encouraging me and supporting me through the happiest, yet challenging time in my life. I am looking forward to getting back!


 

June's Athlete of the Month: Shelly Och Callahan

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)


"One of the original CrossFit Assateague members. Shelly attacks each WOD with intensity and integrity never compromising form. Outside of the WOD she is the most compassionate loving person you will ever meet."- Coach Betsy

That pretty much sums up our Shelly! This girl is full of spunk and we can't get enough of her! Fabulous hair stylist by day, wife and mother to a beautiful little girl, our Shelly wears many hats (and they're always fabulous).

 

What brought you to CFA? "I was in a rut with my routine, and I heard Betsy talking about opening a Crossfit box... Hmmm... this was always something I wanted to try and here it was being handed to me on a silver platter. I was very lucky to get in on the ground level."

Favorite Lift? "I enjoy learning and conquering new challenges so I do not discriminate on the lifts."

Favorite workout? "Any of the Hero WODs are my favorite and by far the most rewarding, and quite frankly any WOD is great as long as you have a great team supporting you, and clearly we do at CFA."

What's your favorite toy in the box? "Boxes for box jumps"

Favorite Paleo Dish: Mexican Sweet Potatoes stuffed with ground turkey taco meat, veggies, and Greek yogurt

Biggest Challenge since you started: "Getting my eating in order. I wasted almost 8 months of Crossfit by not eating clean"

Biggest Accomplishment at CrossFit? : "Seeing how far I've come in such a short period of time."

Shelly is an inspiration in the box, and we are blessed to have her in our lives at CFA.  Keep up the amazing work Shelly, can't wait to continue to watch you grow.  Hard work and dedication pay off everytime.

 


 

May's Athlete(s) of the Month- Andrew & Hayley Blizzard

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 


Andrew and Hayley joined CrossFit Assateague just two short months ago, and they are in full swing, drinking the CrossFit Koolaid.

This beautiful couple has been married for four and half years, they have three beautiful little girls at home ages five and younger. Andrew has his own landscaping business while Hayley holds a full time job, but they have made it a priority to work out together.

Q: What brought you both to CrossFit Assateague?

Hayley: "Andy had been wanting to get a gym membership together for a long time, he started looking at YouTube videos about Crossfit, and I happen to work with Sandra, (a CrossFit Trainer at CrossFit Assateague), so I asked her about it and we decided to give it a go."

Q: What made you join as a couple instead of choosing your own individual hobby time?

Hayley: "Motivation! We are pretty competitive so it keeps us going to try and beat each other's times and/or reps. Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition."

Q: Had you tried other workout methods before?

Hayley: "I had gotten a gym membership about three years ago. All I would do was either walk on the tread mill or elliptical and maybe do a Zumba class here and there. I saw no results because my self motivation sucks, so I just stopped going."

Andrew: "I too joined the local gym, but I didn't like it. I also had basic training for national guard."

Q: Why do you personally feel CrossFit is a better fit for you than other fitness programs?

Hayley: "My self motivation sucks. I need someone to tell me what to do and push me to actually do it! I feel like Crossfit is a family and everyone is keeping each other motivated and encouraged!"

Andrew: " For me, it's an effective work out that I don't have to think about, I show up and it's already well thought out."

Q: What were your thoughts after your very first WOD (workout of the day)?

Hayley: "We were both soooo amazed at how nice and welcoming everyone was! Everyone was encouraging and kind. And then there was the pain... Oh the pain."

Andrew: "Ouch, but the pain is only temporary"

Q: What keeps you coming back?

Hayley: "We love it! Everyone there is so awesome, and we love the results that we are already starting to see."

Andrew: "We both thoroughly enjoy it."

Q. Favorite CF move (don't fight over burpees!):

Hayley: "Kettle bell swings. My thighs are one of my "problem areas" and after doing 85 kettle bell swings the other day, man did my inner thighs hurt!"

Andrew: "I love Toes to Bar, and had no idea I was so good at it!"

Q: Do you see CF as a part of your life forever?

Hayley: "I definitely see us doing CrossFit forever! We're addicted to it."

Q: Do you have any goals with your CrossFit journey?

Hayley: "To get better at each workout. If I improve even a little at each workout then I'm happy."

Andrew: "My main goal is to continue to get stronger"

Q. With three kids, Andrews business, and your full time job, how do you make time for CrossFit?

Hayley: "The times of the classes actually work pretty good with our schedules where we can either fit it in before or after work. During the week we go by ourselves while the other is watching the girls and on Saturdays my mom watches them so we can both go."

Q: What would you say to someone who's never stepped into a CF box and is contemplating if CF is the right choice for them?

Hayley: "I would tell them to give it a try at least once! If someone like me who has very little strength can do it then anyone can! You never know if it's for you until you try."

 


 

Featured Athlete of the Month- Mike Poulin

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (2)

Every individual that walks through the doors of a CrossFit box has many emotions, they all have a story, they all come from a different place in their life, and they all have a reason they are there.  We see most athletes at boxes will range in age from 20-mid 40's.  You don't see many 50 or older at CrossFit.  We would love to show you that you can do it at any age.  For those of you in this age bracket questioning if you could do this, please read Mike's Story.

MIKEY’S AMAZING CROSSFIT JOURNEY


Let’s see, how do I begin to tell you about this incredible path I am currently on? Perhaps beginning with a brief history lesson will start this story out best.

THE VERY, VERY, VERY EARLY YEARS

In high school I was a star athlete. I excelled in both football and track. In spite of my small size (138 lbs. my senior year), I was all-state in football. I also was State Champion in the pole vault, setting a new state record. I was incredibly strong for my size- one example- I use to do gymnasium height rope climbs repeatedly with my feet over my head, wrapped around the rope, using only my arms to lift myself. I am only telling you this to say that I do have something to work with.

SINCE THE EARLY YEARS.

Once I graduated, I just stopped working out. I lived a party-hardy life-style and did not workout at all. I also started smoking. In the military, if you smoked, you got to take “smoke-breaks”. If you didn’t smoke, you got less breaks. So I started smoking (I like breaks). I smoked off and on (mostly on) for 30+ years. I never smoked a lot and I’d quit for a year or so every now and then, but I never really stopped. The only work outs I ever did were 12-ounce recliner curls (and I got really good at them). I relied on my amazing metabolism to keep me fit and trim --- it didn’t work. Once I retired from the Air Force, I started gaining weight. 175 to 180; 180 to 185; etc. etc. etc. until I maxed out at 206. About 2000, I decided to do something about my weight and started a workout program on my own. I went to the gym at lunch every day. I did well, I lost weight and got motivated and started to also watch my diet. I started long distance hiking. I’d do an 8-9 mile hike every Saturday morning. I was also doing 2-3 day section hikes on the Appalachian Trail regularly. I lost 30 pounds and was feeling great.

AND THEN

I got sick. I had no energy and stopped working out. My joints swelled up. I felt like crap all the time; zero motivation. My neck hurt, my ankles hurt; my elbows hurt, my everything hurt; but my knees were the worst. I would lie in bed at night in complete agony because my joints were killing me. I went to numerous doctors and they were no help. Finally, three years into this agony, I found a doctor who correctly diagnosed my illness. Yes, you guessed it--- Lyme’s Disease. At my worst, I had difficulty walking up stairs. Luckily, I responded really well to high dosages of antibiotics (many do not). It took about 4 years and a reoccurrence before I finally got this disease under control. For 4 years, I was just unable to work out. For another 5-6 years, I used Lyme’s Disease as an excuse not to work out. My weight went back to 206. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I also still had joint pain constantly but I figured it was something I had to live with. I figured it was residual damage from my disease.

MY EPITHANY

Last fall, I went to a Warrior Dash. No, I did not compete. My rationale was how could an old, fat guy run a 5K with obstacles. There was no way. I was a cheerleader, a spectator resigned to my fate - my lot in life. I’m not sure why, but something about this race got my juices flowing. I think it was seeing how much fun my daughter Michelle and her gang had. I quietly asked Michelle if she thought I could possibly do this race next October if I prepared all year for it. Of course, my daughter said “Well Ya”. So I made a promise to her (and to myself) that I would at least give it a try.

FIVE MONTHS LATER

I was at least smart enough to go see a doctor before doing something really stupid like work out. After all, I was a 59 year old fat guy who was so out of shape. Yup, the Doc confirmed it- I was still way over weight with high blood pressure and joint pains. I asked her if I could work out and she said “I wish you would”. So like any scared, careful, doubting 59 year old, I went to CrossFit Assateague. On October 7th I gave it a try. I know Coach Betsy took one look at me and said “Lord, what have I gotten myself into this time.” And yes, I was pretty pathetic. I could not run, I could not lift, I could not do anything. Betsy had to invent scaling low enough to get me going. But I started and even came back a few times. Every day, I got a little stronger; I could run a little farther, lift a little more, take fewer breaks. My improvement was dramatic and quick. It was a combination of both working out and completely changing my eating habits. I lost nine pounds my first month, and eight my second month. Since then I have steadily lost, but at a slower rate. This is with both Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mix. On Thanksgiving Day (1 ½ months into my new lifestyle) I ran the Ocean Pines Toys for Tots Turkey Trot. I was supposed to run it with my daughter and a couple of other fellow CrossFitters but they all bailed for one reason or another. I showed up anyway, alone and scared that I would utterly fail and embarrass myself. I finished!!! I was dead last, but I finished. I was stoked; I was hoping to run a 5K next October and here it was 11 months early and I did a 5K (with burpees thrown in just for fun). One month later, I ran another 5K in Berlin. This time some other CrossFitters actually showed up. Anyway, my goal of running a 5K next October has been slightly modified. Now, my next goal is to run a 6-mile Savage Run as a 60th birthday celebration this May, and I look forward to doing this with my son and daughter and my CrossFit family.

Since October, I have lost 27 pounds, my blood pressure is lower than it has been in 20 years, my joint pain has completely (and I mean completely) gone away, and my strength and stamina have improved beyond my wildest expectations. I have muscles where I never expected to see them again, and have lost fat where I never thought possible. I wear compression shirts for the first time ever because I CAN, without looking ridiculous (at least I don’t think I look ridiculous and that’s all that matters). I work out four times a week and look forward to each session. I am still slow, I still take breaks, and I lift light, but I feel I am consistent and am willing to do the work.

SEVEN MONTHS FROM NOW

I still have long term goals, albeit revised. On my one year CrossFit anniversary I hope to be down another 15 pounds. I really want to increase my weight-training (did I mention the Incredible Hulk minus the green tinge) and perhaps (I say again, perhaps) do a “Tough Mudder”.

THANK YOU’S

Betsy - for tolerating me and my wise-ass ways. And for your amazing coaching and encouragement.

Michelle – for your belief and encouragement.

My Fellow CrossFitters – for your friendship, support and encouragement. You all make it fun.

My Wife- for your Love and support.

It’s been an amazing five month ride. I am soooooo looking forward to continuing this journey.

 


2014 Fitness Goals?

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (1)


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