January 1st has always been a profound date for so many people. A date where suddenly we’re given the opportunity to start with a blank slate, when just 1 day prior we felt the weight of the world on our shoulders. Funny how it only takes one day to make a change to last forever – and the irony is not lost that the day can simply be any day of the year, however so many choose January 1st to “toe the line.”
4 years ago, on January 1st, 2018 my life changed as I knew it.
I was always the guy that was up for a great time. I was the guy that would drop what they were doing to go meet you for a drink, or three. When my wife would leave a friendly gathering at 9pm, I was the guy that said, “I’ll catch an Uber home” and walk in the house around 3am, sleep until noon, then gorge on last night’s pizza until I felt better… I was in a dark place.
My good friend and CEO of O2 Recovery Drink, Dave Colina, said it best:
“We’d see each other occasionally and always had a good time. Same old Joe. Always down for a beer. Or two. Or three. Which was great, because I always had a drinking buddy in Joe. But I also wondered how many other people felt that way, and how it was almost certainly jeopardizing his health.”
I can’t recall a single moment or breaking point that brought me to January 1st, 2018. Frankly, I’m glad it wasn’t one thing – it was a lot of things. Looking back, they were little things. I hated shopping, because I hated the way clothes looked on me. I shopped in the Big/Tall section of Macy’s. The trendier clothes weren’t in my size. I remember hating my picture being taken, because I looked like a bloated shell of who I used to be. I hated when my friends did anything remotely athletic like 5k races, hikes, hanging out at a beach with no shirts, and ultimately – yes… Social Media pictures of these things called “WODS.” I remember almost resenting people for being healthy and athletic. I was mad, angry, fed up, embarrassed, and more importantly sad and depressed.
I distinctly remember my boss pulling me aside one day and saying “You are at a fork in the road of where you want the rest of your life to go. Think about what kind of impact and legacy you want to leave… not just for you, but for your kids, it’s not just about you anymore.” Those words hit home.
On January 1st, 2018, I made the conscious decision to NOT go on a diet and NOT “watch what I eat,” but instead – adopt better habits to make a better life.
I heard of this guy named “Jocko” that took pictures of his watch every morning to prove to everyone that he was up early… like some sort of accountability. So, I started waking up “Jocko Willink Early.” It was a way to prove to myself that I can do something hard.
My friend who had continually received jabs and name calling from me over the years for posting “WODs” on his Facebook, now became a sort of life coach to me. I texted him for a month straight trying to prep myself and talk myself into coming in for ONE class to try out this whole “Crossfit Thing.” He knew it was a hard first step and told me “when you’re ready, I’ll be here.” He knew.
One of the hardest and best decisions I’ve ever made, was walking through the doors of my first Crossfit Class in early February 2018.
It was hard. I sweat… a lot. I was out of breath. I remember thinking “Everyone is staring at me.” Me… Me was the person that was holding me back this whole time. That day I did a lot of hard things. I remember 25 calories on the Assault bike, 25 box jumps, and 25 wallballs, for what seemed to be 100 rounds. I was beaten and battered, but not broken. I remember laying on the ground and seeing someone put their hand out to help me up. I had never spoken to this person or introduced myself, but they lent me their hand. I grabbed it and they pulled me up from the ground… this was a rebirth. Things were different now. For the first time since my high school football days, I had someone to suffer with, and someone to drive me further beyond what I had always thought were my limits… I had a community. I had a group of like-minded people to surround myself with, who, like me, continually want better for themselves and their families.
There’s a point when you stop accepting status quo and start investing in yourself. The hardest part is making that choice and (for lack of a better term) jump out of the “perfectly good airplane,” because nothing good grows within a comfort zone. That metaphorical airplane was through the doors of a CrossFit Gym. There were times I would wake up at 3:30am and think of a thousand excuses to not show up, but I never once regretted being there. Every person that ever said how inspiring my journey was to them, I kept their name in my phone. On the tough days I would pull that list up and read through it, because I knew I had people in my corner that were pulling for me. It’s never easy, but always worth it. The community has, and always will, keep me coming back.
In these 4 short years, I’m mentally and physically stronger and healthier than I ever have in my life. I’ve completed 1 Full Marathon, 1 20k Trail Race, 4 “Murphs,” 4 Half-Marathons (1 with a 20lb vest), 1 Chad, and countless 5ks, Turkey Trots, etc. I continually try to push myself to be better than I was yesterday. I’ve had setbacks, injuries, and slumps, but the goal as remained the process. This year I’m proud to say that I’m training for the next step in my fitness journey, A Triathlon.
Regardless of whether its January 1st or any other day of the year, consciously make the choice to want better for yourself, because you deserve it. Because the greatest investment you’ll ever make, is in yourself.
And, when you do see that new athlete come through the doors, know that it was probably one of the hardest decisions they’ve ever made. So be quick to give a pat on the back, a fist bump, and let them know they are welcomed. You could be the name in someone’s phone that keeps them coming in that next day… and quite frankly, it could possibly save their life – It did mine.
In Continued Health,
I started at Shred in December of 2018 and have completed 219 programmed workouts. Prior to starting at Shred I worked out twice a week with my personal trainer just focusing on Olympic lifting. At that point I had fallen out of love with working out. I was unmotivated and not focusing on my health and fitness. I was making poor food choices for lunch and dinner and was eating fast food for lunch three to four times per week. Yikes!
I have always had natural athletic ability and felt I was letting it waste away. In December I signed up for my two-week free trial and haven’t looked back. Eight months of hard work and determination helped me fall back in love with fitness and push myself to live a healthy lifestyle. When I first started at Shred, I had no goals other than to show up with an open mind, work hard and come back the next day and do that all over again. Little did I know that I would end up losing 40 lbs. in just six months. Now 219 workouts later, I am determined to keep pushing myself and focus on my fitness and health every day. I am looking forward to finishing the 2019 year with more determination than ever before.
While I had to do all the “hard work” none of this would be possible without the Coaches at Shred CrossFit. Without the encouragement and coaching from them I wouldn’t be this far along in my fitness journey. It’s rare to find a gym where all six of the coaches are willing to jump through hoops to help you accomplish your goals. I also want to give a shout out to the community at Shred. The community is so welcoming, and I truly feel that Shred is like a second family. Whether we are in the gym or hanging out, I am always surrounded by the best people.
Thank you Shred CrossFit for everything!
My transformation journey kicked off with Shred Crossfit on January 14th 2020. It was on this day that I took a body composition scan and noticed how unhealthy my body had been both physically and mentally up until that point. My weight was 143 pounds at 5’3 and truthfully I had
spent my entire life starving myself to lose weight.
This was also the day that Shred Crossfit started a nutrition challenge, where I learned to properly fuel my body for each WOD. I no longer starved myself and noticed an increase in energy, better moods and I was PRing all of my lifts! I never thought that as a mother of two (both delivered by c-section), that I would be able to be in the best shape of my life.
Since January 14th 2020, I have gone from 143 pounds and 31.5% body fat to 121 pounds and 18% body fat (August 10th 2020). The numbers speak for themselves but what they don’t do a great job of showing is how I am now able to have energy to play all day with my kids or that I have regained confidence that I have never in my life had before!
Each day progress is still being made but Shred Crossfit has shown me that in order to get results like this, first you have to just show up! – Arielle S.
I’m truly energized and glad to share space on this page. I started Shred back in mid February 2019 that’s when my two week trial has started Of course it was little rough in the beginning as I had zero experience with CrossFit. But, then I made my mind and told my self “it’s not too late and I can do it”. Once I started going regularly to shred and started seeing changes in my Fitness Levels that is the point at which I concluded that I’ve settled on the best choice so far in the year 2019. It’s been around 6 months now and I’ve lost 22lbs I am 183lbs now.”I feel so damn proud & good when I say I lost 22lbs😎”. Perfect diet and good training at Shred helped me in getting better.
In addition to this, shred CrossFit community is very friendly and welcoming. They support and encourage you through out your workouts. I was frightened when I joined, because when I glanced around, individuals were professionals in their workouts but shredders out there understood that I was new and I was learning things and they helped me out which is great for a beginner and eventually I felt comfortable going to shred and I still do. This community also gives you a great motivation to push yourself in getting better and it’s not only about getting better in fitness levels it is also about the good confidence which builds up when you are in a positive motivating community like Shred.
As, I had zero CrossFit experience earlier joining shred, Coaches always observed me closely and evaluated my workouts to help me get better. They keep motivating you everyday in your workouts and I couldn’t have asked more than that. I thank every one of the mentors at shred heart fully. They are rely good at what they do. The best thing is you can always walk up to any coach with questions and concerns and they are right there to help you out. I always discussed my nutrition with Coach Marcus and he looked at my food log for a week and suggested me how to improve my nutrition which is a really good help and it is pretty difficult to find elsewhere these days.
Moving Forward, I will continue to put my hard work and efforts in making my self proud and Shred as well!!
Proud to be a part of Shred CrossFit Community and proud to be called as shredder.
Thanks for all the support and encouragement at Shred!! A big shout out to all the Coaches!!
Cheers to all the shredders!!😎😎 “