They say that success is like a ladder. Untold treasures await those who have what it takes to get to the top. What they don’t mention is that finding the ladder can often be a lifelong quest, let alone being able to reach the first rung once one finds it. Physical fitness is one such achievement that is important to aim for. My whole life I struggled with being overweight, seeing being healthy as something that I was just not destined for. It did not strike me as a problem until I was already an adult, out of shape and set in my ways.
My ascension began where most people’s does, from their lowest point. In late 2018, I made the decision to live and work in Alaska for two years, never having stepped foot there. I fell in love with Alaska’s overwhelming natural beauty but underestimated the extreme conditions that made it so hard to live there. Battling the bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures was tough but nothing compared to being deprived of sunlight, sometimes for weeks. As I prioritized work and my sanity, my physical health declined, leading to me being in the worst shape of my life. As my depression settled in, the pandemic hit, and I longed for the day in late 2020 when I planned on returning to Texas, but not before one final blow. I contracted Covid before I left, and my isolation and depression reached new depths. Thankfully, it was a mild case.
I arrived in Texas weighing the most I ever had, over 255 pounds, feeling the worst I had ever felt. With a deep feeling of gratitude for the lessons I learned away from home, I began feeling optimistic. I started going to school and easing my way into working out at a nearby gym called Life Time. The semesters passed and I was finally getting to a better state. By the beginning of August, I was doing better than where I was the year before and heard that there was a 60day Challenge that could help me achieve my fitness goals. Up until then, I was just casually working out and not following a meal plan, so I decided to do it.
I set my goals as achieving the best possible transformation in physical appearance and pushing the limits of my athletic ability. I went to sign up and met Cedric, a Life Time trainer and incredibly kind human that proved he was dedicated to my success. We sat down on the Sunday afternoon before the challenge began, drawing out the map to my success. He helped me set up the nutrition plan that would ultimately be the key to my results. I chose the physical training that would be both conducive to my goals and accommodate working and going to school full-time. I decided to simultaneously take on one of my life’s greatest goals: running a marathon. 8 weeks would not be enough to train for the race, but I found a 16-week preparation course that coincidentally started the same day as the Fall Flex Challenge. I’ll never forget, when after finishing my assessment and going through my personalized plan, Cedric looked me in the eye and said, “There are no excuses.” That sobering statement struck me because I knew I had two choices: I could get reinforce my lifelong habit of being mediocre or find out the extent of my capabilities. I decided then and there I would commit to giving my all. Every doubt in my mind was answered by Cedric and so the steps of the ladder illuminated. Now all that was left to do was climb.
Life Time demonstrated excellence by way of providing the perfect habitat for my physical aspirations to manifest. Day and night, whenever I needed them, everyone from the attendants to the General Manager were dedicated to helping me succeed. I’d never felt so much support, by a team whose whole operation focused solely on my well-being. I used their facilities almost every day to not only train but rediscover the joy in having fun playing. I quickly fell into a routine, balancing meal preps, school, training and getting enough sleep. The results were inevitable.
The first run in my training plan was three miles and just today I ran over 13 miles, marking the half-way point. I even paced faster than my initial run! I lost over 30 pounds in 60 days and am now in the best physical condition I have ever been in. The results truly set in when multiple strangers approached me in the gym, at school, and at work complimenting me on my transformation.
I feel incredible, but the true reward was the mindset shift I was not expecting. Life Time provided an environment conducive to achieving my goals and developing mental fortitude that will not only allow me to get more results, but also have the endurance to continually set and conquer ambitions on my own, inside and outside of the gym, being thankful for and loving every step along the way. With the help of Life Time, I experienced a paradigm shift: my success is not defined by reaching the top of the ladder, but by learning to fall in love with the process of climbing.
Thanks to the Life Time team for being the catalyst that now lets me look toward the future with intense optimism.