First, let me say that it is truly an honor to be the athlete of the month.  It is a privilege to come into Loop and be a part of such a great group of people.

My fitness journey started when I was 29 years old (now 42).  I was in my home office working on my computer.  To this day, I still recall the catalyst for my life change.  My wife and I stopped by Panda Express for some high quality Chinese fast food (orange chicken) and rushed home so I could get hard at work learning to write some new software.

About halfway through the night having sat in front of the computer for hours, I began to feel a little bit dizzy.  Shortly thereafter, I started to break into a sweat.  The light headedness continued and I attempted to stand up.  At that point, I distinctly remember feeling like I was about to fall flat on my face.  Yep.  Almost passed out.  Not knowing what was going on, I sat down, rode the wave and eventually it subsided.  Realizing something was clearly wrong, I scheduled an appointment to the doctor to figure out what had happened.  I went to the doctor, explained what happened and listened to his recommendation.  Enter the diabetic test.   Gratefully, it was not, but the doctor did tell me that if things did not change, that would be my fate.  At that time I was weighing in at somewhere around 285 pounds.

Immediately, I began to exercise.  The first goal was to get to the point where I could run 15 minutes straight.  So, night after night, I started with small chunks of running 30 seconds at a time followed by walking for two minutes.  30 seconds became one minute, then, two, then 5, then eventually 15 minutes straight.   That alone took me about three months.  However, big dudes and running do not mix well (at least I thought), so I switched over to riding bikes.  Over the course of a year and a half I went from riding 8-10 miles a day to riding centuries and bike tours though.

All of this let up to my participation in Crossfit just over two years ago and fell in love.  I love the community.  I love observing people strive for excellence.  I love being at the gym and seeing people do amazing things that they themselves never thought possible.  I love having the best workout partner in the world (Joe).  Personal growth and self-realization are natural things that happen inside the walls of these gyms and I love to be a part of it.  My hope is that folks appreciate the process of getting better and find a safe place to take risks and grow along the way.  If I were to say two things to someone starting crossfit, it would be this. First, crossfit it is hard, but anyone can do it.  Second, through small personal victories, it can change your entire perspective on what is possible both inside and outside the walls of the gym.  Thank you to my crossfit family.  You help me be a better person and I hope that I can do the same.

Lastly, here is a pic of the most important people in my life.  Love you Joe, Mercy, London, and Jen.  I am nothing without you!