Small Group Training Coach | Personal Trainer
General Health and Wellness
A couple of years ago, I could not have guessed how much my life could be completely turned upside down. I had finished my third 60day at Life Time Pickerington. I had finally conquered 30ish years of poor nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits. I had gone from well over 30% body fat to 19%, I was the healthiest and happiest I had been in my entire life. With the help of my coach Andrew, I had not only learned about proper nutrition, but also how to train to obtain actual results not previously obtained from other training I’ve done. Even more than that, he had helped me obtain my peak mental and emotion fitness as well! I had learned how to recognize my true potential. I stopped questioning whether I could or couldn’t do something, and started “knowing” that I could do ALL things and will them into existence through productive actions. I was unstoppable. However, at times, life has a funny way of humbling us.
January 2021 is when my progress came to a screeching halt. I went to the dermatologist after noticing a bump on the side of my face. While the biopsy was being completed, I thought to myself, “this is probably just a cyst, they’ll cut it off and that will be that”. The results came back as Carcinoma. I was determined to beat it, so we immediately scheduled surgery.
After three hours of surgery I received some bad news. The cancer was abnormally aggressive and had wrapped itself around the nerves in my face, traveling too far inward for them to continue the operation. I was referred to another surgeon, and during the week of waiting for the second surgery my grandmother passed away. While at the funeral, I received a phone call telling me that the sample from another spot had come back for melanoma. I now had two types of skin cancer at the same time, with an avocado sized hole in my face, at my grandmother’s funeral. This was becoming more than I could bare. The mental strength I had developed was weakening. After 5 more hours of surgery I had fifty stitches across my neck and face, but all the cancer was gone!
Post surgery my body was struggling to handle the trauma it had just gone through. I wasn’t able to turn my head due to the tightness from the skin graft. The cancer had gone so deep into my face that the surgeon had to cut into the muscle. I had no ability to chew. I felt completely mentally, emotional and physically broken.
I decided that I needed to get my old self back. I knew that the only way I was going to accomplish this, was to get back to my home at Life Time Pickerington, I went back to see Andrew. After a long talk about what had happened to me, we developed an action plan. But this wasn’t a run of the mill plan you might find at any gym. Andrew took on the responsibility of being my nutrition and mindset coach. Both of us knew that getting my mind right was paramount to my success both in and out of the gym. Gage was going to be my body composition coach. He and I were going to work on getting my body not only back to being strong and healthy, but surpass where I was previously. Josef was going to be my SGT coach, while also providing Graston Therapy increasing the mobility in my neck and face that had been restricted from scar tissue.
During this 60day Challenge, I have accomplished so much more than I could have hoped for. Thanks to Gage, I was able to shed all the excess weight I had put on over the past year, set new PRs, and become stronger than I was before my surgery! Thanks to Josef, the amount of scar tissue has decreased, some people don’t even notice my scar anymore! He also helped me learn to push myself in group workouts like I hadn’t done previously. Andrew helped me optimize my nutrition regiment so that I could not only achieve the weight loss that I didn’t think was possible, but taught me how proper nutrition can help keep me cancer free.
The biggest thing these guys helped me gain during this 60day was a deeper, more positive mindset. Through the past 60days my coaches have helped me see that I was in control of my body and my mind. I learned the power of a growth mindset, and how having the grit to move through obstacles helps me achieve things I didn’t know were possible. I learned that not giving into intrusive negative thoughts and reframing things into something positive and productive has so much power. Now, I see challenges as something exciting to conquer. Now, I see nutrition as the catalyst to stay healthy, happy and cancer free. Now, I see that cancer didn’t break me, and that I am stronger because of the challenges. Lastly, I’ve learned that any challenges in the future won’t break me, they will only enhance me, I’ll grow because of them. The 60day challenge gave me a goal, the guidance of Andrew, Gage, and Josef gave me my life back!
Thanks to Andrew and the Pickerington team, the experiences over the past few years have inspired me to pursue my own passion work of becoming a trainer to help change the lives of others.