To most people, 285 is simply a number. Most have never given it any actual thought outside of it being after 284 and before 286.
This is Mike’s story:
285. It has a much different meaning to me because During the summer of 2014, the scale tipped up to 285 lbs. It berate me with a cruel, brutal honesty that I was not to ready to face. 285 became the ultimate symbolism of my sloth. This feat was achieved by following a strict daily schedule that consisted of no physical activity, consuming over 6,000 calories a day, and constantly complaining about my weight but making no moves to change it.
Repeat daily for 2 years.
At 26, my blood pressure and cholesterol skyrocketed. Seeing my own feet were a thing of the past because when standing, my oversized belly obscured my view. Hiding from the scale became a daily occurrence and though I knew I needed a change, I didn’t know where to begin. My downward spiral regarding my health continued until I made the move from Denver to Las Vegas. This change of scenery gave me a fresh perspective and renewed a determination to combat my battle with the number 285 and it’s co-conspirator, the scale.
From my past experiences, I knew I needed a class environment in order to motivate me to not give up and to keep pushing forward. There could be no open gym for me if I wanted to stick with it. No treadmills, elliptical or winging it by creating my own routines. I needed the structure. Enter CrossFit Raw Appeal. I went to CFRA during the free week for the first time in February 2015. The decision to attend is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I immediately fell in love. I was inspired by the coaches and the members who seemed intimidatingly strong, happy and healthy.
I thrived on the camaraderie that pushed me during my first workout and continued to push me into showing up the next day, and the day after that. This gym had everything I needed to best the scale and become healthy again.
Before RA, I had never touched a barbell in my life. Initially, I struggled on most of the essential movements and proper techniques. I was in constant fear of rope climbs, jump ropes, and handstand push ups for well over a year, but that fear paled in comparison to my aversion to the scale and the number 285.
As time moved on, I realized my weight wasn’t my main motivation for pulling up to that 5:30 pm class and pushing myself anymore. I became close with the other members and coaches. Even though my real family was on the other side of the country, this place felt like home.
RA has been more than just a gym for the last 2 years. It has given me more than I ever thought could be offered with a monthly membership. I’ve gained best friends, business associates, roommates, networking affiliates, and a competitive spirit I didn’t even know I had. I’ve gained full weekends of parties and social events, and most importantly, family.
My friends that knew me at 285, not only see a physical difference, but a change in attitude and personality. When I walked in for the first time and took my On Ramp courses, the barbell felt heavy and I could not understand the concept of a “Push-Jerk”. I’m glad I didn’t give up and I can only thank my CFRA community for inspiring me to change.
It is because of them that I am no longer afraid of rope climbs, jump rope, and handstand push ups. I am stronger, healthier and happier. It is also because of them that now 100 lbs lighter, at 185, I have won the war with the scale. When I meet up with the scale these days, it’s less like a brutally honest slap in the face and more like the approving embrace of an old friend.