I am a pretty reserved guy by nature. I don’t deal in hyperboles. But CrossFit Maximus has truly changed my life.
Life has a way of sneaking up on you. Starting at the age of 25, my wife and I had three kids in a span of four years. I changed jobs, adding an hour of commuting time and spent all day at my desk or in meetings. I didn’t eat well. When I got home my time was consumed with the kids. Somewhere along the way I let my gym membership expire.
After years of putting it off, I went for a physical. My doctor gave me a hard time about my weight and a prescription for cholesterol medication. I wasn’t even 30. I shrugged it off and figured I’d make some changes eventually. I’d slowly climbed to around 285 pounds, but I’m 6’5” and thought I carried it fairly well. Then I went back to the doctor in February 2009 and stepped on the scale. It read 318.
It was finally time to change. Under the guidance of a trainer friend, I started eating better and working out on my own at home and dropped 30 pounds fairly quickly. By the winter I was starting to get bored with working out on my own. I made it through the holidays without regaining much weight, but I recognized that I was in danger of backsliding. My wife had participated in a couple of Kathy’s bootcamps and encouraged me to try the post-holidays Resolution Boot camp.
Mason February '09
Kathy’s bootcamp was a terrific intro to the CrossFit philosophy and an experience I’d recommend to anyone who wants to ramp up their fitness quickly. I started bootcamp in the high 280s, but by the end of the three weeks I had lost six pounds and was seeing significant improvements in my strength and aerobic capacity. I was still nervous about taking on actual CrossFit WODs, but Kathy and the other coaches encouraged me to give it a shot. The black sweatshirts, the cultlike devotion the members expressed on the website, the fact that everyone there seemed to already be in great shape, the general badassery – it was a little intimidating. I started CrossFit proper in late February/early March using the thickest pullup bands and had to heavily modify most of the workouts. My goals were modest: complete every workout I attempted, drop 10-20 more pounds, keep from hurting myself. There were a lot of days when I struggled just to finish a WOD, yet nobody judged me. In fact, the other members were always supportive and encouraging.
I decided I wasn’t competing against anyone but myself, and I began to enjoy that challenge. The addition of the 7:30 WOD this summer was a key turning point for me. I rearranged my work schedule so I could hit the morning class and spend more time with my family in the evenings. The 7:30 classes were always small – in fact, there were a lot of days where it was just Jordan and me — and with his help I started to focus on strength, form, and mobility in addition to just surviving each day’s workout.
Mason pre-Boot Camp
Around the same time I participated in the Paleo Challenge. I had lost almost 20 pounds in the five months since the start of bootcamp, but I was still packing more weight than I needed to in the workouts. The competitive aspect (there was money at stake), the accountability and the support that Kelli and Seth built into the challenge really helped me be successful. I think my most exciting CrossFit moment came after about two weeks of the Paleo Challenge, when I was able to complete the first unassisted pullup of my life. By the end of the challenge I had dropped another 16 pounds and was feeling better about my workouts than ever.
Since then I have continued to stick with a fairly strict paleo diet. At some point I quit worrying about the scale, which is how I knew I was getting where I needed to be. I’m nowhere near the level of some of the athletes at CFM, but I’m no longer always the last person to finish the WOD or the slowest time on the board. And I recently did knock out 10 straight pullups for the first time. I feel like an athlete again for the first time since I gave up organized basketball after my freshman year in college.
I’ll turn 33 next month, and I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve lost more than sixty pounds since starting that bootcamp in January. I’m smaller now than when I started college in 1995. The frequency with which people I’ve known for years walk right past without recognizing me and the number of times I’m asked what the secrets are to my weight loss are becoming almost embarrassing. My suit size has gone from a 52 at my heaviest to a 44, and my waist from a 44 to a 34-35. Much more importantly than any of the numbers, I have the energy to keep up with my kids. Looking back at pictures of myself now, I’m amazed at how unhealthy I had gotten by the time my wife pushed me into making serious lifestyle changes. I really owe her and all the folks at CFM more than I can say for helping me take back my life.
Mason today...Great Job!
We love to get testimonies like this from our members, it reminds us that all the hard work that our members do, doesn’t go unnoticed. We would love to spotlight you and your progress at CFM, so please send us your testimonies and we will spotlight your progress too!