Coach MC approached me today and asked if I would put together a few thoughts in a couple of paragraphs describing my fitness journey over the last few years. I’d much rather hear someone else’s story than tell my own. My story really isn’t that interesting, I’m just working on being better today than I was yesterday.
Our family joined Team Fitness in 2010 when I first started riding with the GT for KT Best Buddies road cycling team. GT for KT (Greenberg Traurig for Katie Streeter) was first organized 14 years ago by our team Capitan Mark Berthiaume. Our team is comprised of 75 members from all walks of life who have collectively been able to raise 1 million dollars for Best Buddies over the last 14 years. Best Buddies is an international nonprofit organization founded by Anthony Shriver. The funds raised by Best Buddies are used to create and provide programs in our local schools and business’ that benefit people with intellectual disabilities. My wife Joanie joined the team 2 years ago, this year we completed the 50 mile ride together. We joined the Best Buddies team to be able in some way give back and help other people and families that every day face far greater challenges than we may ever know.
In 2009 I was working out sporadically and traveling extensively for work and not eating well at all. As a result my body weight rose to almost 40 pound heavier that I am today, needless to say I tired easily, had joint pain and often suffered for indigestion. I thought to myself, it’s time to do things differently, I need to make health and fitness a priority (No kidding) I had always been active prior to this and wanted to get back to the way I felt when I was consistently working out. High School level gymnastics (Rings, High Bar and P-Bars), College Club Hockey, earning a Brown Belt in Kyokoshin Karate were all things that I done in the past prior being a middle aged over weight guy. I wanted to get back to feeling energetic and strong. My first 3 ½ years at Team Fitness were comprised of 70% cardio conditioning and 30% strength training (Traditional weight training 3 days a week) . During this time I was able to reduce my body weight by almost 30 pounds and competed in 2 Sprint Triathlons. The only drawback was that I was losing my overall strength and not making gains. A year and a half ago was my first experience with Cross Fit, I dabbled for about four months and learned the basic movements and “box” vocabulary. Spring time rolled around last year and I dedicated myself to preparing for Best Buddies ride and stopped strength training. When I returned to the box in September I had to start all over again, I vowed not to make that mistake again. 2015 was my first beginners Cross Fit Competition (Festivus), I placed last in the men’s division (all ages) but completed each of the three WOD’s that day in the allotted time, it was a great experience. In preparing for this year’s Best Buddies ride we did not have a lot of time to get in many training rides prior the event. What I did notice this year is that it did not take me very long to get my “Road Legs” back. I attribute this to the combination of spinning and keeping up with my CrossFit WOD each week. This type of cross training has really worked well for me and a huge impact on my overall fitness level. The other change that we had made (Joanie and I) was the way we were eating. Cutting out dairy, white potato, pasta and now grains out of our diet has made a significant impact on our energy, endurance, clarity and overall strength. This dietary change has allowed me drop my body weight by 6 % and Body Fat percentage by 3.5% all while maintain my cardio base and continuing to make strength gains.
Coach MC had asked me how I thought CrossFit had changed me, the first thought or words that came to mind when she asked that question was “Centered and Grounded” I’m more likely to take on a challenge with an attitude of “let’s work through this and figure it out” verses “oh great, here comes another situation to deal with” CF Franklin is great community comprised of awesome group of people coming together to work on being better today than they were yesterday. I would encourage everyone to give it a try.