Sixty Days ago, I made the best decision of my life. Not joining, but committing to the Life Time 60-Day Challenge! A little over two years ago my life was shaken up. My grandmother Elaine, who is responsible for shaping me into the man I am today, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That same week I promised myself I was going to take my life to the next level following my personal passion for the sport of basketball. Unfortunately, I tore my ACL, meniscus, and PCL. As a full-time student at the time… I was facing $40,000 of medical debt, 6 months of rehab from surgery, able to earn a $0 income, and amassing $10,000 in credit card debt that I had to take on just to live. All this on top of the $40,000 of educational debt that I was facing just about shattered my soul and spirit, but I told myself if my Grandmother could keep fighting so could I.
After I made a healthy recovery from my surgery I picked up 3 jobs to begin fighting the war against all my debt. After about 6 months of being a full-time student working 3 jobs I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Three hours of sleep a day just to pay off debt and grow other people’s businesses, I couldn’t do it anymore. So, at that point I took a break from school, left my jobs, and started a financial company. I promised myself that after the financial stresses I had to endure due to lack of education, I would learn all I could about finance and do everything in my power to teach as many people as possible about how money works. For about 6 months I did well, then business went VERY south, as was my grandmother’s condition. She was relegated to a nursing home but for her happiness, I decided to move her in with me and I hired a personal nurse to help take care of her. During this 12-month period following my rehab I completely and utterly neglected my health, and combined with life circumstances I went into a terrible depression for quite some time. And honestly just wanted to give up on life. The only thing that kept me going was seeing my grandmother still fighting. Did I mention this woman is a colon cancer and breast cancer survivor? She is an amazing example of perseverance.
Then one day, everything changed… I’ve been a member of Life Time for years but hadn’t gone in a while, until one day I decided to go to and see if I still had any of my old basketball moves left. That’s when I saw the 60-Day Challenge and said to myself, “Maybe this is it, maybe this is the spark I need to turn my life back around!” AND MAN WAS IT!!!! Here I am, 60 days later and I am in the best shape of my life! I have more energy than I’ve ever had. I’ve met so many great business connections through the gym that have helped me get my business back up and running. I’ve gotten promoted at my side job to Sales Manager. I am once again the great basketball player of old on the court, and most importantly I am happy again! The 60-Day Challenge has been such an absolute blessing.
All of this would not be possible without the incredible support of the ENTIRE staff at the Sugarloaf, GA Lifetime Fitness. Everyone from Alex at the front door to Thomas Westbrook, the GM, I made friends with. I had a great personal trainer Josh who pushed and supported me the whole way through, and placed me on an excellent progressive workout routine. I consulted with another personal trainer, Lana to get tips on fixing my diet. I grabbed quick meals from Faloune at the LifeCafe, and delicious protein shakes for those busy days when I just didn’t have time to cook. Then the meal prep class that Life Time offered helped a TON. I worked out 6 days a week morning and evening for 60 days, and thanks to my favorite masseuse, Julia, the LifeSpa, and the amazing hot tub provides, I could take care of my body and recuperate on the 7th day!
When I started the Challenge, I could not even walk up the stairs at my house without being out of breath. Now every single morning I get on the Stairmaster run for 20 minutes, and start my day with a HUGE smile! As I watch my grandmother’s condition worsen with every day it brings tears to my eyes, but as she always told me, “everything has a silver lining”. What I realized was life is precious, be as healthy as you can while you are able to. We were given just one body and it is our responsibility to take care of it! Had it not been for waking up every morning and seeing my grandma still smiling in spite of her daily adversities there is no way I could have stayed consistent with this 60-Day Challenge. I would like to dedicate this, what I call a personal victory, to her.
THANK YOU, Elaine Smith.
Thank You, Life Time. Every morning when I woke up, the first thing I would see was this orange band on my wrist that reads “Get back to you”. That’s exactly what I did.