I’m 45 years old, a happily married husband and father of three boys who are the loves of my life!! I own a couple businesses and I’m also a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for over 6 years.
My sports background starts from JV & Varsity football, basketball and track. I played tennis and golf in college then Rugby.
Rugby was my life!! I was a founding father to the Rugby Football Doggs @ Winona State University in Minnesota. Then went on to play rugby for the better part of 17 years with stops @ Lincoln Park (Chicago) Rugby Football Club, Atlanta Renegades, Oconomowoc (Milwaukee) Griffins, and the Denver Harlequins. Additionally I played on select side All Star teams (all-state) for Georgia and Wisconsin.
Throughout my sports career I ate and drank (and drank daily) what I wanted and never really had weight issues as my playing weight was normally 205-210 lbs. After playing rugby for so long, my body was pretty much shot. I was the guy for the last 2-3 years of playing that would have my shoulder(s) dislocate every game. It was very routine to have someone pop one of them back into socket while on the field. I also had chronic lower back pain with bulging lumbar disks and very degenerative disks. Having lower back pain and shoulder pain was just part of my day to day life. I always thought it was the price I had to pay for playing rugby for so hard and so long. Hell, the last 3 years of my rugby career I had developed a nice addiction to pain killers (Vicodin and oxycodone). I’d take 2-3 during practice, before games, after games and for sure 2-3 after matches while partying. I used to say I’m getting “my Brett Favre on” meaning kettle one vodka, miller high life and pills.
Upon hanging up my rugby boots, I shot up in weight to around 240-275 lbs. at my heaviest. I have a very, very bad sweet tooth and a chocolate craving. Needless to say I acquired a huge pot belly and was simply fat and chubby, size 40 waist.
I hit bottom, went to rehab and cleaned up. This is a whole other story in itself, but know that my true life angel is my gorgeous wife Andrea who was by my side during the really ugly times (who is starting on ramp soon!). In sobriety, I tried to pump iron (curls and bench), biked, ran miles and miles, but never stuck with anything. Nothing worked. I ran a lot, but it just hurt my lower back and I'd be on the shelf again.
Flash forward. One of my best buddies had been talking for a few years about Crossfit. He and his wife are into it in Denver and he said I should check it out it if it ever comes to our town. Around Sept of 2012 Crossfit Edwardsville opened its location with a big Crossfit sign. I signed up.
Cocky, I arrived to the orientation class and I went hard. Too hard! 400 meter run, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 pushups and 10 pull ups. I could not finish. I could not do one pull up. I sprinted the 400, hit the wall and damn near puked. Needless to say I was in bed for two days after the class and did not start on-ramp until the following week. My ego was in check and I knew it was no joke and going to be hard work.
Once I got my first taste of the WODs, the support, the fellowship, the family environment with great one on one coaching, and how I felt after a Crossfit Workout, I was hooked. Additionally, I let the coaches know about my past athletic life and beaten up body that I could not lift too much weight. The coaches explained that it is all scaled and it’s more important to have correct form and proper functional movement than it is to lift a bunch of weight. I confessed that I had never done a squat, clean or dead lift ever in my life. So this was all brand new to me.
I am very blessed to have two great coaches, who took me under their wings. Coach Greg Skelly and Coach Scott Telford are great people and teachers. They pressured, in a positive way, for me to dig into CFE competitor’s training a few months before the 2013 open and provided more direct coaching. I improved, PRs happened almost daily, and all my WOD times and bench mark times went through the roof. I started to not only focus on my performance, but really dialed in my rest and nutrition and continued to see gains, nutrition being the key
So to close, this year for the open, I ended up somewhere around the top 50 of our region and finished top 10 of all athletes at CFE. I’ve dropped from a size 40 to a 32, and weigh 190 lbs. @ 6’2”. The best thing is I feel GREAT. My shoulder pain and my bulging disk and lower back chronic pain are gone. By developing strength and mobility I feel fully rehabbed. This stuff works!! My Crossfit motto is “you can do everything better, STRONGER!” And I’m living proof of that!! Crossfit Edwardsville has changed by life!!