“I’ve always been driven to reach my full potential”
I have always been an athlete. I wrestled and played football up until college, where I picked up rugby. My 12 year rugby career includes two national championships and state, local, and international representative experience. I was also fortunate enough to play in Australia, England, Ireland, Israel, and New Zealand.
In 2006 I retired from competitive rugby. I had just turned 30 and felt I needed to focus on my career and family. Over the next two years my health steadily declined. I was working long hours, getting little sleep, and becoming depressed and irritable. I gained weight and my blood pressure classified me as pre-hypertensive. In early 2008, I started having chest pains. My doctor sent me for X-rays and warned me that I would get worse unless I improved my diet and resumed regular exercise.
My wife met Coach Jeremy while Crossfit Central was moving into their current location and encouraged me to try it. At first I balked. But then I watched a workout. I was instantly drawn to the intensity and brutal simplicity of the movements. I did my first WOD in July- I was trashed physically, but also mentally hooked! I stayed connected to CrossFit Central by volunteering at their challenges and charitable events.
I returned full time to CrossFit Central in February of 2010. I had made great strength and fitness gains, but missed the community and knew I would need their support to continue progressing. I was invited to train at the elite SicFITgarage gym and I’ve been there for 8 solid months.
I learned early on that to be your best you have to surround yourself with the best. Not only are the CrossFit Central coaches the best at what they do, but through CrossFit Central I joined a community of like-minded individuals who propel me toward my goals.
More than anything I joined Crossfit Central because its fun! I’m what Coach Jeremy Theil calls a “Soul Lifter.” I love to train. I started lifting weights in my basement at age 13. In high school I would complete the daily football conditioning program and then repeat it every night at the local gym. I’ve met many people who don’t get my energy, but at CrossFit Central I am surrounded by warriors who love training as much as I do. And I feed off their energy.
At 35 I am stronger and leaner than any other point in my adult life. My blood pressure dropped 30 points. I lost 15 pounds. I am back in the same pants size I wore in high school. Crossfit not only liberated me from the notion that aging necessarily entails physical decline, but also reconnected me with my passion for rugby. This fall I returned to the rugby pitch as a coach for the University of Texas Men’s Rugby club where I plan to make CrossFit a pillar of our physical preparation.
But the result I am the most proud of — and the best testament to my progress — is that eight of my friends have joined Crossfit Central since I started. I always tell people who comment on my physical transformation that it is very small compared to the mental changes I have made. How can I explain to them what it feels like to watch a 50 year old man battle through the grueling Spartan 300 workout and finish just before cutoff time? Or to see a woman in her 40’s practically weep at her first unassisted pull up? Last month I watched a young woman only four months removed from open heart surgery walk on her hands. You can’t be close to these things and NOT be changed by them.
Inspiration is hard to come by in most of our daily lives. I am inspired by the effort and accomplishments of my friends every time I visit Crossfit Central. This inspiration bleeds into every corner of my life. Those who have felt it know exactly what I mean.