Here’s my Story - CrossFitting with a hint of Paleo
The Starting Point - At the encouragement of my close friends and my CrossFit family, I have decided to Journal my life beginning when I adopted Crossfit as a lifestyle. My hope in doing this is to provide, whoever is willing to read and listen to my story and blog, some insight, guidance and wisdom from all that I have experienced, endured and achieved over the past 3 years while “Crossfitting with a hint of Paleo”. While it hasn’t all been a cake walk by any means, I’m hoping that through my struggles, failures and triumphs I can provide some guidance and help to those that want it. I hope with my past experience and daily journaling posts of my paleo meals, CrossFit workouts, struggles, (epic failures as my son calls them), thoughts, links and information that my experiences will be blended with yours; together, we with CrossFit and the Paleo lifestyle will achieve a balanced, high level of Life!
A Little History - While I won’t go into all the details of my distant past, I will provide a quick summary of my life. I’m a basic, average, busy, guy 44years young, weighing 156 pounds soaking wet, and standing about 6′ tall. These stats are current and reflective of my past and current Crossfit work ethic and Paleo lifestyle. I consider myself very fit at this point in my life. I work hard to balance time with family, friends, work, physical fitness and life in general. I have been married for 21 years to my wonderful wife Lynay. I have two children, my daughter Taylor 14 and my son Shane 10 All 3 are the complete joy of my life. I work hard to be a good husband, great friend and daddy, although at times I haven’t been the best at any of these. I have a passion for my family, my faith, my friends, my work and my CrossFit and this is where my Life Journal Begins! I hope you enjoy this journey and come along with me for the ride. Your input into my blog posts will be welcomed and crucial to both our success.
My Journey - In my early years, I was very active and considered myself to be a relatively fit guy. I played water polo and swam competitively in high school, which provided me with a pretty slim physique. After my highschool and college party was over, my physical fitness level diminished, nearly evaporating like most. Basically, I did what most do, which is to maintain the eating and decrease the activity. With marriage, kids, and work, I was left with little time to exercise. So for decades, yes decades, I basically plodded through life losing a few pounds here and there, but mostly picking up more pounds than I lost.
Flash forward to about 2004 - I weighed in at 195 pounds. I know for some, this seems light or not overweight, but for me, I felt horrible and it was the first turning point I experienced. I had now moved up from a 31 waist to a 34 and there seemed to be no stopping my upward weight climb and waist expansion. Then I was introduced to a chemical stimulant, ephedrine. Legalized speed as my family called it. I quickly shed the weight through hour-long local gym workouts, working through tons of cardio and some weights. In the summer of 2006, I had shed most of the weight and was able to maintain my weight around the 180lb level. About this time, Monster style “caffeine stimulant” drinks hit the market and ephedrine and become a banned chemical stimulant by the FDA. I tried some of the other “diet” or metabo booster pills, but nothing compared to what I had achieved with ephedrine and my crazy cardio blaster workouts. Stay with me here, there is a reason for laying out my chemical stimulant madness. With ephedrine gone, I turned to low carb Monster type drinks, consuming sometimes 3 per day. While this helped keep my energy level up, the crashes were at times hard to endure and my weight maintenance became more difficult. Side note: On my drives to the river (about 3.5 hours drive time) I would consume 2 large coffees and 2 monster drinks without a thought. I’m still surprised today that I didn’t blow my heart right out of my chest! Actually, I consider myself very fortunate not to have stroked out, all kidding aside. All this time, I was playing with fire, and placing my life at risk, serious risk and didn’t really even realize it. In January of 2008 I began experiencing some chest pain. Brushing it off at first as heart burn or indigestion, the pain magnified at night when lying in bed. Soon I was experiencing the same chest pains and pressure while at work or during family outings. The pain became pretty uncomfortable for me even though I was still exercising regularly. At the urging of my wife, and feeling like I was gonna die, I made an appointment with my doctor. In March of 2008 I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and placed on 10 mg of lisinopril . Immediately the Monster drinks and stimulant pills became banned substances for me! It was difficult to understand, as I was working out 4 times a week at my local gym doing my crazy cardio workouts and eating well. So with the diagnosis, I became stimulant free, but now was medicated for my high blood pressure.
The SILVER Lining - Yes there is one! In 2008 a very good friend of mine, Kevin Penner, began coaxing me to do these crazy workouts on Saturdays in a local park. From the first crazy workout, carrying sand bags, doing push ups, sit ups and running, I loved it! The high intensity and functional movements were right up my alley. With our local gym frowning on us as we began working through the early stages of implementing CrossFit WODs, in their facility; they finally had seen enough, and booted us out. We never looked back or returned to a regular gym again, landing what would become CrossFit by BodyFit smack dab in the middle of Kevin’s garage. At the time, I really hadn’t realized what I had gotten into, or that Crossfit and the Paleo Diet would help save my life! With my high blood pressure diagnosis a new reality for me, I began a 3 year journey that, in a nut shell, has helped me lower my bodyfat to7.5%, my weight to 155 lbs, and my blood pressure while at the same time substantially increasing my stamina, endurance, strength and muscle.
My Story is very simple – CrossFit with a hint of Paleo as I like to call it, has provided me a fantastic vehicle, allowing me to achieve balance, better health, elite fitness and live a much fuller life! Please check out “My Paleo Eats” page where I describe my paleo lifestyle in detail and am journaling my daily food choices.