Like most, my fitness journey has had its fair share of ups and downs. I grew up as a bigger kid, playing a bunch of different sports, mainly football and baseball. The positions I played in these sports, the offensive line and catcher, lended itself to my size and I was always able to use it to my advantage. The downside is I was always the bigger kid and I always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. But playing these sports also gave me access to weight rooms and lifting equipment that I did not have before. However, as I got a little older, it became clear to me that I did not have the want or skill to play any of these sports in college, but it allowed me to find a passion for fitness and lifting weights. Lifting weights is something that I got pretty good at and I got hooked on the “high” that I always felt after lifting. But once I went to college, I eventually stopped working out because I was no longer involved in any sports or structured activity. This, bad eating and drinking habits, and a lack of of time management led to me gaining weight and I graduated college at just about 300 pounds. Moving back home and no longer being in that environment, I realized how out of hand these habits had gotten and vowed to make a change.
This change came in the form of joining a gym and continuing to train the only way I really knew how, lifting heavy weights like I was back playing football. After doing this for a little while and starting to lose some weight, I stopped making progress and started to become discouraged. This made me want to learn more about fitness and other things that I could do to help me drop more weight. I turned to a friend who was in a similar position as me and we started lifting together. We researched and learned all we could to design our own workouts, mostly involving bodybuilding and powerlifting exercises, but not much cardio. This began paying off and we both began making some great progress on both our body weight goals and the weights we were lifting. Then came the pandemic…
As it did for everyone else, the pandemic really threw a wrench into everyone’s plans. I got laid off from my job and the gyms closed so my progress was halted in their tracks. Just like many others, I started putting together some equipment at home so I could workout there. I was able to continue working out, but I did not have the same intensity. I started to realize that there was something that I could learn from these obstacles and possibly pass on what I learned to someone else. Due to the circumstances, I was able to invest time and get a certification in personal training and use my passion for fitness to help others.
That is when I was paired with Pittsburgh FIT for my internship, where I discovered Crossfit and functional fitness presenting me with another challenge, my own endurance. The group classes have kicked my butt into shape quickly and have found that I actually enjoy doing some cardio now, something that I did not have a great relationship with before. I am now pleased when I get to tell people that I am a personal trainer and that I get to coach group classes. I have very much enjoyed this journey that I am on and all of the things that I have learned that I can teach my clients and I cannot wait to see what else is in store on this up and down journey.
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