Rick's Lifestyle Change - When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us”
When I decided to let you guys in on my journey, the pain, the joy, the achievement and everything along the way, the plan was that I’d break it down chronologically from the 33olbs that I started my journey at down to my final goal of getting under 200 lbs. As we all know things change, we experience things that alter the way we think, and the route that we ultimately decide to take. So eventually I’d like to venture back to the part of the story explaining how I became very stagnant at 250lbs and showed no progress for six months and what I did to overcome that but right now I’d like to jump ahead to something that happened this past June, not coincidentally the same week of my last post, that threw me for a loop and off-kilter and changed the way I looked at everything.
Everything at Plyofit was going amazing for me, now remember this is a year after hitting my goal of 250 and I am on the scales at 191lbs at this point. I had already made the decision that I wanted my future to include something fitness related so Carlos graciously let me intern in the gym so I was also running workouts for other clients and just helping out in any way possible. Most days when I would intern I was waking up around 4 am so I could get in the gym by 5 am and knock out my workout before spending some time helping out other clients and soaking in as much as possible until I had to get ready for my actual job. I hit my stride, I was really tired most of the time but I enjoyed interning so much more than my actual job and I needed my actual job because it is what paid the bills so I kept up with both as best I could. I was really nervous Interning because even though I had formed relationships with a lot of the other clients at Plyo I didn’t know how they would react to this guy who didn’t know much at all trying to help guide them. When Carlos came to me and said he would be leaving town for two weeks and he would like to see if I could help keep the gym open while he was gone I freaked out. So many thoughts went through my head like would anyone even let me run their workouts on my own, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I don’t know if I can manage full days here and at work, what if I accidentally burn this place down? My head was screaming at me to just say no, tell him you can’t, tell him you’re not ready, shit just tell him anything that isn’t the word yes. Standing there with Carlos I just looked at him and said, “Hell yeah, I’ll do it”. Technically I didn’t say the word, yes, but it was a serious facepalm moment.
I had time to get ready for what was going to probably be the most nerve-wracking two weeks of my life, so we worked out a plan and he laid everything out for me that I would need to be successful. Luckily it wouldn’t just be me either, I had Nick (another client turned intern) to be there so I knew I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. The days were upon us and when I say I was terrified it’s an understatement to the highest degree. I was up at 4 am (just know when I say 4 am I mean that’s when the first of my seventeen alarms started) to meet the 5 am clients, I had been in here running or helping with the early birds for a while so it was business as usual. Carlos sent me the workouts for each client so I knew exactly what needed to be done. Then people trickled in throughout the day until it was time to close up the gym. I knew I was in for a long two weeks after the end of that very first day but for the most part, I had a blast. The remaining days were going fairly smooth, we had the occasional drop by without a heads up so I had to wing it and make my own workout but all in all we were doing great. Flash forward to the last day of the two weeks and when I tell you I was tired I mean I had nothing left in the tank. I had not only kept the gym open for sessions Monday through Saturday getting up at 4 AM I was still working from 12:30 pm – 11 pm at my day job.
My last day running the gym was an eventful day to say the least, Plyofit was still standing and nobody had quit the gym so I had already counted those two weeks as a win. I told Carlos that day that I couldn’t keep it open later than 10 am because I needed to be at work early that day so I could get out earlier. I told him if anybody came in any later than 9:15 I would have to turn them away because there would be no way we would be done in time. I am sitting there in an empty gym and its 9:20, I hop up and get ready to start closing up shop when I hear the door, now let me remind you at this point I am very sleep deprived and I have another long day at work ahead of me so when I tell you I am annoyed it’s not for any other reason than sleep deprivation. I turn around ready to give whoever this is the boot and when I look I see one of the ladies who has been with me almost every day of these two weeks and forever has this big smile plastered on her face, I swear any thought I had of kicking her out was gone almost immediately. She walked up to me and asked if she still had time and of course I nodded and we went to work. Through every workout she was smiling and moving and busting her ass, I ended up mad at myself for feeling the way I did when she walked in, when we finished I felt even more like a jerk when she looked at me and said, “Thank you, you have come in here every day and you encourage me and push me and I’ve read your blog posts and I see what you have done and it makes me feel like I can do it too”. I was speechless, first of all again I felt like the worst person in the world because I was about two seconds away from asking her to leave, second it just reaffirmed everything I had known for months now, that this is what I wanted to do and even two months later I hold on to that conversation. She left and I closed up shop feeling accomplished and happy, a great way to end a rough two weeks.
Later that night after work I got a phone call from a friend who was a little distraught, I was so tired but I offered to go visit and spend some time in San Marcos with her. Trouble with her living in San Marcos is my truck is an old beat up ford that probably couldn’t make the drive so I reached out to my dad about borrowing his truck for the evening which he agreed to on the condition that I have it back by the time he wakes up for work at 4 am. I agreed and off I was. Fast forward to 3 am and off I was on my way home determined to get my old man’s truck to him before he had to go to work. Honestly, the smart thing would have been to just stay in San Marcos but I didn’t make the smart decision, at this point, I had been awake for almost 23 straight hours following a two-week span of very little sleep and halfway home I fell asleep at the wheel and drove in to a cement blockade. I don’t remember much except that I was going really fast, hitting that blockade really hard, and my left side being thrown into the door. I thank god that nobody was in the car with me, nobody was near me on the road, me and that the tire that was ripped off of the truck and flew over the median into oncoming traffic also didn’t do any damage. I walked away from the accident with no major injuries just a really sore body. Most of the damage was done to my psyche, it would be a while before I recovered.
The physical injuries kept me out of the gym for about a week but even if I walked away from the accident unscathed I probably would have just stayed away, the mental aspect led me back down a road of eating away my sorrows, I was so mad at myself for causing the accident and everything that followed it. Over the next couple weeks when I say I slacked off its another one of those major understatements. I felt like I didn’t have it anymore when I did make my way into the gym it felt like I was starting all over again. I knew I had to just battle through though, I knew I had worked way too hard, but most importantly I knew I had eyes on me. I had eyes on me watching what I do, I knew what me slowing down would mean to someone who looked at me as a roadmap to reaching their own goals. When I talk to people about the process I always make it a point to lead with the setbacks we all inevitably go through, we all experience things that make us want to quit, but how you react to that and fight through it will determine how far you go in the end. If I really wanted to do this for the rest of my life and try to lead and inspire how could I do that if I just up and quit. I thought back to the conversation I had with the client with the forever smile, the words that I think back to often “Thank you, you have come in here every day and you encourage me and push me and I’ve read your blog posts and I see what you have done and it makes me feel like I can do it too” Those words are meaningless if I just stop trying.
Slowly but surely I made my way back, I stopped eating everything and anything I could find again and I was back in the gym six days a week doing everything I could to reach my goals. A bad thing happened but there was some positive that came out of it, falling asleep at the wheel led me to finally wake up. You see my entire life I have been a dreamer with big ideas but no follow through. I always wanted to do big things I was just never going to make a plan and actually accomplish anything. The accident made me realize that life is way too short to just sit around dreaming. So I drew up a plan. This coming spring I’ll be attending classes at Northwest Vista to start working towards my degree. As I do that I am also preparing to take my exams and get my personal trainers certifications. The plan is to now spend the rest of my life doing what I fell in love with and share the joy of achieving your goals with others. What felt like the worst thing that ever happened to me could be what put me directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to me and for that, I will be forever thankful.