“Life is all about seizing opportunities when they’re presented to you. I feel so fortunate to have done so 6 months ago. I was in a really low spot in December, 2012 suffering from numerous injuries from triathlon training. To top it all off I hurt my back and was basically immobile and unable to do much of anything at all. Emotionally and physically I was struggling big time…..I went from completing my 3rd Ironman triathlon in June, 2012 to feeling totally broken down. I felt as though I was sliding backwards and I didn’t like it.
At this point I had 2 options….feel sorry for myself and continue sliding backwards OR make some decisions and choose a path to make things better. Life is full of obstacles and road blocks, but the key is learning how to deal with them, learn from them and move forward. I reminded myself of what I had rebounded from before….watching my Dad pass away at age 62 after a battle with cancer, getting totally screwed around by a big corporation after giving them my heart and soul for 17 years, and losing close to 80 pounds between 2000 and 2006 after battling my weight most of my life.
Once I got the ok from my doctor and chiropractor to resume some training, as long as I was cautious, I decided it was time to make some big changes. As a trainer and triathlon coach, I always tell people to do what makes them happy and never be afraid to strive to achieve their dreams and goals. Although I was signed up to do another Ironman in a few months, all my injuries made me realize that doing another Ironman wasn’t going to make me happy. I sat down and evaluated what would really make me happy and I remembered the one thing that’s always eluded me. No matter how much I accomplished, I still wasn’t 100% happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror. When I was young and overweight I would dream of looking in the mirror and saying….”man you look good!” Although I was proud of my Ironman finishes, I would look at my pictures and think, “you can look better than that.” It didn’t matter what others thought….it mattered what I thought and how I felt.
Enter Trench Fitness….I met Neil and Erika when the fitness business that my buddy and I run was looking for space to rent. We ran our bootcamps out of Trench and I always liked what I saw in the groups and individuals that Neil and Erika trained while we were there. Since I’ve always loved being pushed by a coach and trainer, I decided to approach Neil about the possibility of training me. I wrote my email to Neil and hoped that he would notice my enthusiasm and desire to give 100% commitment to be the best that I can be…no bullshit. I read over the email a few times and wasn’t sure if I should send it. A part of me was a bit embarrassed and apprehensive…..a trainer (going through some rough times) approaching another trainer for help?….what was Neil going to think? I left the email and decided to think about it before I sent it. The next morning I woke up and thought….what would I advise the people I coach and train to do?? There’s nothing wrong with seeking help from others….so I said F*#K IT! I’m sending it! ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS I’VE EVER MADE!
Training with Neil the last 6 months have been unbelievable. Right from the start, I could see Neil was going to match my enthusiasm when we trained. That was super important to me….when you’re committed to a process and your mentor/coach/trainer’s enthusiasm doesn’t parallel yours, then you have a huge disconnect and the trainer/athlete team will ultimately fail.
As each week went by I felt my confidence growing all the time. Neil would ensure that we were at the right nutrition and strength training levels, and adjust them when necessary. As I started noticing changes in my body, I became more and more engaged in the process. I was able to stick to the plan, without fail, through trips to California, Texas and Hawaii. The more challenges I was faced with, the more I was able to figure out how to deal with them. Things such as booking hotel rooms with kitchenettes to prepare your own food instead of eating out all the time, packing certain foods with you for the trip, ensuring I always had good foods to choose from, and finding the nearest gym became the norm. The more prepared I was, the more in control I felt, and the more success I had. The chance of failure or setbacks was never really a concern. The feeling of coming back from a vacation and stepping on the scale to see a drop in weight was so powerful.
There have been obstacles along the way, but I didn’t let them derail me. I dealt with them and moved forward. One thing you learn in life is that not everyone is going to agree with everything you do. Each time I encountered this, I would remind myself that what I think, and what I see in the mirror is what matters. Hearing comments like “you’re starving yourself” or “what are you eating?!” or “you’re working out this late?” would go in one ear and out the other.
A transformation is so much more than physical. You have to believe in what you are achieving and find a way to be satisfied and content. Neil constantly emphasized that you have to believe in the process…it’s ok to want to be better all the time…as long as you’re happy with what you’ve accomplished, the rest will come with hard work and committment.
Working with Trench Fitness has been life changing….. After Neil took my transformation picture, I went home and looked in the mirror…. and for the first time in my life said “man you look good.” I couldn’t believe how powerful that was. I now have new goals and visions that I never could have imagined. I can’t say enough about Neil and Erika and the amazing job they do with their clients. They truly care about each and every one of their clients and are movers and shakers in the fitness world. They genuinely have a desire to change the world one person at a time, and I’m so fortunate to have met them. Their servant leadership and ability to set a great example is what sets them apart from everyone else.”
Dreams really can be achieved…
- Commit to the process 100%…give it your best!
- Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish
- Surround yourself with positive people. People come and go in your life…hang on to those that believe in you, support you, and want what’s best for you.
- Be consistent and the results will come
- Embrace change and challenges. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be so rewarding
- Inspire others to do great things with what you have learned and achieved