What happens if you play a country song backward?
You get your job back, your wife back, and your dog back.
Going into the 60-Day Challenge, my country song was still playing forward.
I had a great job in a great city with great money and friends and a growing career. And they downsized me.
I had met the woman of my dreams, and we did everything we could to make it work. And it didn’t work.
And not one, but TWO dogs died in my arms within 9 months of each other.
So here I found myself about to turn 46 years old, having moved back home to North Carolina, having gone through moves and career changes and relationships and diet and exercise, and everything possible to be a good man and have a good life… and I was looking at starting over from scratch.
Well, they say desperate times call for desperate measures, so when I heard from management here at Life Time, I decided to get over my skepticism and cynicism and give it a shot.
But I wasn’t about to do it alone. I figured if I was going to do it as a trainer, I needed the support of my clients and friends to put the pressure on me to do it right.
See, I never do anything at 90%. If I was going to lose body fat, I was going to go ALL-IN. And thanks to the Life Time ALPHA program, I already had a team around me with that same mindset. So I set my goal to make the biggest transformation possible and see what is possible. And since the focus of ALPHA is to not just be lean, but healthy and strong and functional, I decided I would also train to set an American record in the deadlift at the same time!
At the start, I was feeling mediocre. I wasn’t eating smart. I certainly wasn’t following the Precision Nutrition program that I’m certified to coach and that I coach all my clients in. And while I was training, I certainly wasn’t making changes and adjustments and challenging myself in new ways. I was in a rut. Emotionally, physically, and mentally; I was just repeating the same old same old… and seeing results that were the same old same old.
So I dug deep into my nutrition knowledge and came up with a plan. I used the Life Time D.TOX program to make sure I cleaned up my diet and focused on healthy, nutritious foods and eliminated the stuff that my body doesn’t like. I got my supplements right with Life Time Whey Protein for lean mass, and StrengthStack for energy and recovery from workouts. And I focused my ALPHA training on strength and technique to get the most out of every training session.
If you’ve ever trained for something hard, whether it’s a race, a sport, a play or performance, or just hard study, you know the drill. Some days it’s fun, but most days it’s a GRIND. But one of the great things about the 60-Day Challenge is, it’s a short enough time to stick it out, but long enough to see real change and develop great habits for a lifetime.
On the days I was dragging, I leaned on the community here. I asked for help. I talked to fellow trainers and asked for advice and just kept working, even on days when the scale wouldn’t budge and the weights wouldn’t move. But because I had a team around me that was doing the same thing, I knew I would not quit. I simply reached a level where as much as I wanted to win the competition, it was the process and what I was learning along the way that really mattered.
Fast forward. I had my last competition of the year at the end of the 60-Day Challenge. I told the judges to load the bar with 635 pounds, an American record for my age and weight. Basically I had committed, so I had no choice but to succeed. And as I stepped up to the bar I thought about all the hard work, the pain, the struggle…not just in my training, but also in my life. A friend told me once that pain is real and unavoidable, but how we respond to it determines what kind of life we live. So I took all of those feelings and doubts and worry and put them into everything I had to pull that bar off the floor.
Five seconds later, 3 white lights went up on the board, and this broken-down old man had himself a record.
And as much as I was satisfied with the process, I’m not gonna lie. The result felt pretty good. :)
Now I’m at the end of this journey. I’ve got my record. I’ve lost 25 pounds and cut my body fat by over 70%. My clients all did an amazing job and transformed not just for now, but also for life.
And that country song is playing in reverse.
I’ve got a great job with friends and an amazing community here at Life Time.
The woman of my dreams and I not only reconnected, but are also engaged and blissfully happy planning not just our dream wedding on the beach, but our dream life together.
And I adopted a wonderful new dog named Chloe who reminds me every day just how lucky we both are to have a home.
I found my home and my dreams at Life Time. And it is my sincerest hope that the same happens for you.