Mike Came to us in what we would call fairly good shape. That is to say he didn’t appear to be unhealthy. A true story of just because you look healthy doesn’t mean you are healthy. While the physical transformation is what is most obvious the mental transformation is far more profound. Take a read through Mike’s story. Thanks for sharing!
In January of 2016, I was in Anaheim, CA at Disneyland for a week – my employer’s yearly convention. Everyday I was over-eating at breakfast & lunch buffets and snacking on rich party food all day. For dinner, I drank a bunch of draft beers and ate Rice Krispy treats in the shape of Mickey Mouse…lots of both, because it was all free in the Club Room at the Disneyland Hotel.
At the end of the trip, I rode my bike from San Clemente to San Diego for fitness and fun. That was two more days of eating and drinking too much. I felt bad the whole time. My hotel restaurant meal in San Diego was 3 Manhattans, two heavy appetizers – foie gras, and sweetbreads, a rib-eye steak, and creme caramel for desert. When I got in bed, I felt lousy. My throat was burned by stomach acid rolling up. Acid reflux was a regular condition for me. Though quitting drinking and changing my diet was too much to consider. The joints of my foot hurt bad, too. I thought I had gout.
I was 45 years old and going down the drain. When I got back to Baltimore, I made an appointment with my doctor, to discuss my potential gout and my stomach acid problem. At that appointment in March 2016, I learned that I was 159 pounds. That’s 14 pounds heavier than my normal wight of 145. Gaining 7 pounds a year was a bad trend. The doctor said she didn’t think I had gout – I know that I did. Though, she said that I need to change my diet and quit drinking so I don’t get throat cancer from the acid reflux burning my esophagus. Also, I had a beer belly. I ignored the doctor’s advice and changed nothing.
May, 2016, my friend Matt Green asked me to join 410 CrossFit with him to provide him moral support, so we joined. I had no idea what CrossFit was. I feared hurting myself or getting rhabdo. First class was ridiculously hard, and I felt really sore for the first couple of months. Matt said that he perceived that there were real friendships going on there, I wasn’t sure of that. In a short time, I began to get fit. The barbell was heavy enough. Then I used the plywood plates for a while. Mike D made a big impression on me because he always destroyed the workouts. Like me, he wasn’t in his 20’s or 30’s. I strived to lift 95 pounds, so that I could drop the bar, like Mike.
Over time I have physically improved in many ways – 95 pound barbell is no problem. 410 CrossFit has become extremely important to my mental and emotional health. November, 2016, I quit drinking alcohol. It was inhibiting my progress. Since then, my acid reflux has naturally subsided, I feel great all the time, I want to sleep by 10:15pm, I don’t eat like King Henry VIII anymore, and the part about CrossFit friendships and community, it is true and real. I did my first muscle up with Coach G’s advice. Coach Gary forbade me from doing single under’s in the workouts this past Spring, because he knows I can do better, and he wants me to do better. Coach Sam has made my squats so much better by close inspection and advice. I hope I’m on a long learning curve and it takes me the rest of my life to get all the skills and strength I can get.
410 CrossFit is the first or second best thing ever to have happened to me. I go there most every weekday at 7am and 9am Saturdays. Hardwork, Humility, Empathy, Kindness – these ideals are really what we do there. When I am at my best, I have internalized these ideals. When I’m not at my best, I have the striving. When Gary says, “I believe in you.,” he does.
Gratefully, Michael Klena