The Journey started on October 31st 2009. I was close to 285 lbs and about 6 months before I was right at 300 lbs. I was an avid smoker about a pack to a pack and half a day. My mom was going to go back to weight watchers and asked my wife if she wanted to go. She said yes I want to get back on track. The next day we took all of our kids candy, let them keep what they wanted, and took the rest into our jobs to get rid of it. We also went through all of our cabinets and refrigerator to eliminate anything that we knew we couldn’t have. The first two weeks were very hard and took a lot of will power to get through especially when it came to portion control and the types of foods we were eating. I had a bow flex in my garage and started working out on this and running. I remember the first run that I did I barely made it 200 meters and was completely out of breath but over the course of about 4 months I got better and eventually made it to a full mile. About this time I had lost 40 lbs and was feeling very good. Over the next two months I continued to keep losing weight and in April of 2010 I decided it was time to quit smoking. I started using Chantix to help me accomplish this. On July 4th of 2010 I completely quit and haven’t looked back since. This was probably one of my biggest and best accomplishments next to losing the weight. So over the course of the first year I lost 80lbs and quit smoking. My mom had been going to a boot camp in Edwardsville and asked if I wanted to join. I decided to give this a try to get faster and stronger. I enjoyed boot camp very much and continued with this for 3 years. During that time a competed in a few obstacle courses, Master the Met and became an avid runner, which I still love to run now. Eventually about the end of 2014 I felt like needed to start doing something else. I really wanted to start lifting heavy weights but still have the conditioning involved. I had always been interested in Crossfit. Well it took me until March of this year to actually make the change. I started looking for CrossFit Boxes in the area. I explored everyone in Edwardsville and Collinsville and did research on each one. I chose CFE because it had the outdoor running area which I loved. The first foundations class that I attended was nerve racking but when we came out and started it with prayer I was put at ease a little bit. Knowing that we asked God to help us get better felt amazing. That first WOD that night I was like this should be easy, I’m in shape. Wrong!! It kicked my butt and showed me that I have a lot of work to do to get better. I was hooked though from the first foundations class. I was telling my wife at the end of foundations all of this stuff that I have to buy and kept going on about this and that. I love that Crossfit not only challenges you to get better but also to help others get better through encouragement and guidance. You push your fellow teammates to accomplish their goals just like they push you to get yours. I’m very competitive and like to win but CrossFit has also taught me that’s its okayto take your time and build up from the bottom to get bigger, faster, and stronger the proper way. I love CrossFit Edwardsville for the community they have created. All the athletes go in every workout not only to get better but help the athlete next to them get better. It is a great environment that teaches you the fundamentals of lifting and doing it properly Thanks to all the coaches and my fellow CFE team members for helping and accepting me to the CFE community over the past 5 months. I can’t wait to see what the future holds on this journey. Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a chance to build what you really want.