Progress Thus Far and How I Got to This Point

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30 pounds down since I started this journey. I am late to the party with the blog, a good friend of mine, (who wants me to let you know he is a bleeding heart liberal :)), gave me the idea and helped me set the website up to track this journey and use it to help people just yesterday. He has spoken to me about it before but I took no action. We are here now. There is the explanation of why I am already down 30 pounds before even starting this blog. I still have a ton of weight I am trying to shed off, my mini goal is to get to 210, long term goal is to be between 180-190.

5 months ago, while walking to the mailbox, I got winded and had to stop and take a break before returning to the house. 10 years of smoking and drinking everyday 7 days a week had finally caught up to me. It was time to get my behind back in the gym! For the first time in what seemed like forever I seen my body for what it was; broken down, over weight, and what I felt was ugly. It was as if there was a spell cast on me where I couldn’t see myself, where I didn’t notice how hard it was for me to get up off the floor, where I couldn’t hear how making a statement would rob me of my oxygen and get winded talking, how trimming my toe nails was near impossible because my gut got in the way and I would almost pass out trying to cut my toe nails before I ran out of breath. Enough was enough.

The next day I went and signed up to a local gym and came ready to work. It was clear immediately how much strength had left me. I had no memory of ever being that weak, EVER! It was a struggle to do 10 reps with a bare bar on the bench press! I got real self conscious, real quick. All I could think about was everyone was looking at me, laughing, whispering. What were they saying? I really wanted to pack up and move out. Go back home and think up a different way to get back in shape. Maybe buy some weights for the garage, then I remembered how that works out for almost every person who buys a weight bench. A storage rack the gets in the way and clutters up the garage until you give it away to someone who will use it the exact same. Long story short I buckled down and decided to tell my self the oldest truth in physical fitness. NO ONE STARTED THE PATH TO FITNESS ALREADY IN THEIR PEAK PHYSICAL CONDITION! Everyone in that gym I was worried about judging and laughing at me, got to where they are at by putting in hard work and time.

I’m going to give you another secret about the gym most people who don’t go don’t know. 99 OUT OF 100 PEOPLE IN THE GYM ARE FAR MORE SUPPORTIVE THAN YOU THINK! The regulars in the gym will start to see your face everyday and sooner than later you will be an unspoken comrade. The folks at the gym will start sharing tips, tricks, answer questions you may have, and spot you when needed. It doesn’t matter if you look like a super hero or an overweight new guy. If some one is a jerk to anyone in the gym, trust me, you are not the only one in there that thinks they should go.

I finished that first week and was more sore than I had ever been in my life, and I have been on 10-15 mile ruck marches with 80lbs of gear on my back! It was nearly impossible to get out of bed. Every move I made sent pain through every inch of my soul. Another problem was I really didn’t know what I was doing. The first two or three months I just kind of drifted around the gym doing different exercises and not working like groups.  Any way you toss the dice I was still doing something to move toward a healthy and longer life. The thing about getting fit, just like any other activity, the more time you invest and dedication away from the actual activity, the more knowledge you gain. Spending time away from the gym, reading exercise blogs, magazines, books, and following fitness models on social media; it wasn’t long before I had a plan. Getting better everyday, I realized the progress was happening really slow. It was getting frustrating. That’s when I started looking into diets to help aid the progress. I started looking into professional body builder diets. I was looking to grow muscle rather than just slim down. As a guy who at one point of my life was a juggernaut and could pick up and slam anyone I could get my hands on, I wanted my raw power back.

I actually started lifting again 8 months ago but I didn’t get serious until about May 2016. By mid April I realized I wasn’t losing the weight I wanted to fast enough, and my cardio was still in shambles. Something was missing. I was scrolling through my feed on social media and I seen a post from my old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, reaching out for semi private lessons available starting in May. A light bulb went off immediately. This was the sign  I was looking for, what had been missing from my workout regime. I reached out to my old coach and enlisted in the morning classes. It was time to start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu again.

On that day in May I was nervous. I hadn’t been on the mat in over 10 years. The guys I was white belts with were now black belts. I was in a garage with more experienced strangers, and no skills to bring to the table. My coach introduced me to everyone and explained to me that one of the gentlemen there was the owner of another local school, and I could go and work with his team at night for additional training. I took him up on that offer. The class went great and I was educated really quickly how out of shape I still was. I couldn’t finish a 3 minute roll (rolling is BJJ’s version of live sparing.), without getting completely winded. I sat out the next two rolls. My coach assured me that it was ok, that it only gets better. Now I can do 3 rolls back to back at 5 minutes each before I have to take a break.

My first night at the new school was the same thing, I was in a room full of strangers and I had nothing but a butt to kick to bring to the table. Everyone was extremely nice which helped ease the butterflies in my stomach. Same thing happened, I pooped out early. I now go to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 5 to 8 classes a week and lift 4 days a week. It is a ton of work and time, but the old me would take that time drinking, smoking, and destroying my body. I look at it like a win. Since May I have dropped 30 pounds, I am fitting into old clothes I got to big for, and having to buy smaller belts. Like I said before I have a long way to go to achieve my goal, but I am moving in that direction every day. Small progress is still progress!

All the events listed above are what led me here. My posts on social media about my progress where getting huge responses, and eventually tons of private messages asking for advice, telling me how I have motivated them, and people wanting to train with me. This was noticed by a close friend of mine who has the know how when it comes to computers. He reached out to me and motivated me to get this site and blog up and running. I am eternally grateful to each and everyone who is a part of this journey. My love for them is limitless. As this grows and reaches more people, I truly hope my journey motivates people to make the change they want in their life. I greatly appreciate you reading this story of how I got to this point. Thank you kindly.

 

JMc

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3 thoughts on “Progress Thus Far and How I Got to This Point

  1. This is truly inspirational! A lot of what you said hit home hard with me tonight when we talked. Before I got into BJJ I felt a lot of what you felt. Good luck on this journey bro. From one veteran to another you’ve got my support!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly Aaron! It is truly an honor to be your friend. The talk we had tonight was the best talk I had in a long time. Not often do I get to speak with someone who has stomped the same grounds as I have. I am grateful for that!

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    2. Thank you Aaron! It means the world to me. Tonight’s conversation was the best one I have had in a long time. Its not often I get to speak with someone who has lived the same stomping grounds I have. Thank you for checking it out!

      Like

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