Before joining CFRL what was your biggest struggle? What were your biggest frustrations?
Before joining CRFL I never had a plan. I would ‘go to the gym’ and I would ‘go for a run’ but there was no real measurement or progress report. I did not keep any records when I was working out with a trainer and I was barely lifting weights. When I was running regularly, I could chart times and distances, but I was competing with myself. My biggest frustration was that I was weak. I knew I was weak. My wife was very supportive and always encouraged me to run but at the same time she was struggling to get me to lift weights.
How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life? What did you feel like before joining CFRL?
My weight has been my biggest struggle. As you can see from the pictures below, I am a man of extremes when it comes to my weight. I was living near ground zero during 9/11 and I found massive comfort in food, eventually ballooning up to 290 pounds. I could not walk five blocks through the city without massive shin pain. I ended up having weight loss surgery and as you can see from the second picture, once again I got extreme, extremely skinny, ultimately settling in around 150 pounds and thinking and feeling like a champ! Despite this false sense of wellness, my nutrition was awful. I drank too much, and for the two years prior to joining CFRL I did zero fitness.
What was it about CFRL that made you join?
Honesty. I have a very active bullshit detector. I am a typical skeptical NY’er. My bullshit detector was dormant during any conversation I had with Charly prior to committing after my trial. I kept waiting for ‘the catch’, or some reason to NOT join. CFRL is as genuine as can be. I committed myself to the program and Charly equally committed to me.
What made you stay with us? What do you enjoy the most about CFRL?
I saw enough change during my trial that I figured it might work. Spoiler Alert: It does. But more importantly, I was having fun. CrossFit, for me, has for had a stigma that it would be a bit too aggressive for my tastes. Man was I was wrong! I love the aggressive workouts. I enjoy being pushed on a daily basis. I love to see how much my mind is shortchanging my body’s actual capabilities.
I have a deep respect and admiration for every single member of the gym. I thought for sure I would be a major drag as a new guy, at 5am, these athletes are not there to play around. I was wrong. I was never treated like a new guy or made to feel I was slowing a class down. The quality of coaching I received from my workout partners is what I enjoy most. The community CFRL has become is one of encouragement, motivation and some great banter, to put it lightly. I have fun!
How did our program help you? How is Life different for you now?
My life is scheduled around my fitness. When I started this journey, it was all about what it would take to get up for a 5am class. Now my entire life revolves around my class schedule. My diet revolves around my class schedule.
In the months leading up to joining CFRL I had a health scare, which turned out fine, but really rocked me. My friend Ben said to “Its great you are ok and it is great that you are thin, but you need to get healthy because someday you may need your body to be strong so it can fight for you”.
I effectively had my weight loss surgery reversed. I started working with Dani on my nutrition. I have added about 30 pounds onto my frame, I get more sleep than ever and I am eating more than ever.
Were there any specific goals that you reached that you are particularly proud of? How did it make you feel?
I now understand ‘skinny-fat’. For me it was all about what was happening on the outside with zero consideration being given to what was happening to my insides. I have a newfound love for taking care of my body. I have a newfound self-respect for my well-being. My health has improved in more ways that I can list. As I sit here today, I cannot imagine a world in which I am not physically active and watching what I eat. This has been a lifelong issue for me. CFRL set me up for success, not only in fitness, but also in overcoming a lifetime poor relationship with food.
I hope to have the same impact on a new member’s experience the way I was impacted by the generosity that was afforded me from the moment I walked in that door for the very first time.
What would you tell someone interested in joining CFRL?
For someone looking for a change…just trust the process. Charly’s programming is amazing, detailed and has completely transformed by body. The majority of my time is spent being coached by Charly but that is because I am a morning person. I will sign up for any class with any coach, they are all amazing!
Is there anything personal you would like to add?
What makes the CrossFit experience whole is the bond that is formed with classmates and other members. Each day we all experience something “awful” that only the members of our gym could understand. We are all there for the same reason. It is as positive and motivating a setting one could ever put together.
The picture of me holding the baby is my daughter Peri, who is now a CFRL member. She too was hooked after one class. The last picture was from last week’s 20.1 Open.