Gary_Wall_Jump

// What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?

“Unfortunately, you have slipped into the ‘obese’ category.”

Those words from the doctor stung, a slap of reality in my world of rationalization. At the end of 2011, I was 200-plus pound nearly 60-year-old with a family history of heart disease …. headed down the wrong path once again. A difficult year of working on the road, constant travel to customer sites, 80-hour work weeks, hotels and fast-food restaurants had quickly erased the positive effects of previous training. I had all the excuses down. I was left fat and frustrated. Clothes didn’t fit anymore; walking stairs had somehow become a challenge. A mile training run seemed impossible. And now I was the ”obese” guy in those TV ads asking if the viewer could actually identify the overweight or obese person in the picture. Not just chunky; not just overweight; OBESE.Inside, I knew the doctor was correct. I knew that something needed to be done. I had slipped so far and knew that I had to reverse this pattern. I also needed a kick start to consistency.
And that has been the last months at CrossFit Julia.

So I drag myself out of bed at 5:30am, make the gym for the 6:30am class, trying to get in as many workouts as possible before it’s necessary to travel again for work. I’ve changed my diet and increased my commitment to physical and mental improvement.

That was 27 pounds ago. That was 100 consecutive burpees ago. That was my first pull-up in more than a year ago. That was a recent 10-day work road trip without gaining a pound ago. That was a “thumbs up” on my most recent blood test ago.That was also at least 1,000 unsuccessful double under attempts ago. And 100 failed rope climbs. I’m not there yet by any means, but I finally feel like I’m headed the right direction again.

// What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?

I was so far out of shape that doing even the basic workout exercises was a major physical challenge at first. I am still working on overall conditioning and many skills that are currently beyond my reach. Someday, I WILL conquer the dreaded linked double-under. And I will force myself out of my comfort zone and into higher workout Mods.

Initially, I combined the CrossFit workouts with the South Beach diet, sprinkling in some Paleo eating as well. After the initial weight loss, I went into a period of 3-4 weeks with minimal or no change, despite the high level of effort I put into it. That was quite frustrating. Since then, there have been no “huge” weeks for weight loss, but I have pretty steadily dropped pounds.

I was scared to death when it was necessary for me to go back on the road recently for a 10-day business trip. So afraid of watching the weight pile back on. With the help of road workouts from Julia and paying more attention to diet, I was able to survive without adding any weight … and actually improved my pullup during the period.

// What have been your greatest successes (physically,mentally or emotionally) since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?

I have been able to see continued improvement without major injury. And I have done reasonably well at sticking to my commitment to consistency in the effort to reshape myself. The early-morning workout gives me a head start on my work day, and I feel more energetic, alert and productive as a result. I just feel better.

// How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?

I have applied the same goal-setting techniques that have been employed in the CrossFit challenges to some of my work goals. Specifically, I used these methods to help prepare for a major professional re-certification exam that I needed to complete by mid-year. Sub-dividing the goal into manageable pieces, then working toward that plan helped me successfully through that very challenging period of study and testing.

// What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?

I really enjoy the diversity of CrossFit and the way the WOD’s combine aerobic and strength training in a compressed time frame. There are enough different skills involved that the workouts never really feel repetitive or “stale.” The ability to modify to my current skill level and weight capacity helps limit frustration and also help keep injuries at bay. Sharing the aches, pains, struggles and successes with the coaches and others in the classes is a regular source of inspiration. So many have made such significant improvement.

I purposely do not look at the next day’s workout prior to arriving for class. Prefer the surprise…. and at that point, it’s too late to back out! 🙂
The challenges have been effective at helping set goals and maintain accountability.

// What advice can you give to others?

Start now. And stick with it. The older you get, the more difficult it is to reverse the effects of unhealthy habits and behaviors. Make a change for the better and never look back.