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An Epic Weekend

By on Jan 31, 2014 in Fitness | 16 comments

Man I don't even know where to start or how to put last week into words.  All I can say is that I am truly blessed and the longer I live the more I realize everything happens for a reason.  It's crazy how that one decision to start P90X completely changed the path of my life.  I thank god for that every day.  

While this blog is about the amazing time I had last week I want those of you who are just beginning your weight loss journey to remember where I started and think to yourself "why not me".  Three years ago I was 267 lbs and 35% body fat.  Now I'm able to crush a 1.5 hour workout with Tony freaking Horton and run an 8 mile Spartan Race the following day with the most fit people I know.  So why not you?  If I can change my path there is no reason you can't.

 I remember when I started I had this little voice in my head that was always telling me negative things.  Why was I doing that?  If a stranger talked to me the way I was talking to myself I would have kicked that strangers ass.  Everyone does it though.  It's time to stop beating yourself up.  Start believing in yourself.  Start being stronger than your strongest excuse.  Start being an inspiration to your friends and family.  And don't tell me you're too big to be an inspiration.  ANYONE that is trying to better themselves can be an inspiration to someone.  In fact the bigger people I see in the gym trying to better themselves are 100x more inspirational to me than the fit people.  It all starts with that simple decision to just move a little bit more and eat a little bit better than you did yesterday.  Eventually you'll be running races you never thought possible.  


L.A. Here We Come!

January 23rd - I met up with my buddy Carl and flew out of Chicago.  The drive from Champaign to Chicago was horrible.  There were cars and semi's crashed everywhere due to black ice.  I'm pretty sure I didn't get within 100 yards of anyone on the road.  One accident and I would have missed my nonrefundable flight.  Which reminds me, two nights earlier I printed out my itinerary and realized I booked my departing and returning flights for the same day!  I know I'm an idiot. That was a $200 mistake I'm still kicking myself for.  

After catching up with Carl on the plane we landed safely in L.A. 4 hours earlier we boarded the plane in 0 degree weather.  Now we were suddenly walking outside in 75 degree weather with no humidity .  It didn't seem real.  

From there we met up with my friend Bobby and drove to our pimped out hotel.  That's sarcasm by the way LOL.  It was hot pink and I'm told was in the series Dexter.  Moral of the story is never let Beachbody's Top Coach select your hotel ;).  

As the minutes passed our gaggle of characters grew and the laughter became louder and more frequent.  The gang was back together and I was getting really excited!  You have to remember that this is a group of guys that has been by each others side throughout our entire weight loss journey.  It's crazy how close we have become.  

After getting settled in we met up with everyone and headed down to Santa Monica Pier, ate dinner, and took a stroll down to Muscle Beach.  Muscle Beach was pretty cool.  I would love to see it in the daytime.  Even at 9 pm there were people working out and swinging on bars.  

After our stroll on the beach and cracking a few more jokes it was time to get some rest because we were meeting Tony Horton in the morning!  

Tony Horton Workout

January 24th - I have met Tony a few times and even got to briefly chat with him backstage at the MGM last year so you would think my nerves would be okay.  They weren't.  I still get as excited as my kids on Christmas morning.  After all this is the guy that changed my life.  I got to tell him thank you a couple of years ago and showed him my before and after pic.  He wouldn't take any credit though.  He just said "Wow!  That's amazing man!  You put all the work in though so thank yourself".  I thought that was pretty awesome and very humble of him to say.  

Anyway, we all met in the Beachbody workout room.  Tony was already there and instantly started walking up to everyone, shaking their hand, giving out hugs, and introducing himself.  He quickly asked who hadn't bought P90X3 to which my buddy Chad raised his hand and the hazing began LOL.  

After introductions we got our med balls and went to work.  1.5 hours of working out with Tony Horton and my best friends.  I would look around the room and just smile.  I know it may sound silly but if you know how much we have all battled it would make you smile too.  These are friends that started out on their journey around the same time I did.  These are guys that have pushed and motivated me for three years.  These are guys that I have come to know and respect like you can't believe.  At their core they are devoted husbands, fathers, and the best friends a guy could ask for.  We started working out to better our lives and be around for our families.  Three years later we are in the best shape of our lives and we are crushing a live 1.5 hour workout with Tony Horton!  It just doesn't get any better.  

After the workout Tony sat us down and gave us an uncensored pep talk like only Tony can.  It's obvious that he loves what he does and that he is extremely passionate about it.  You can't help but want to run out and cure obesity after 5 minutes with him.  Tony just has that it factor.  

  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Practicing our Rabbit with Tony Horton
  • The Rabbit with Tony Horton
  • Tony Horton & Lance Lyell
  • Meeting Tony Horton
  • Tony Horton
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout
  • Tony Horton Workout

Beachbody Headquarters Tour

After working out with Tony we got a tour of Beachbody Headquarters.  I was actually shocked that the building wasn't bigger.  I just expected something more grand.  Even the entrance was pretty boring.  The interior of the building didn't disappoint though.  The atmosphere was very relaxed and everyone seemed really happy to be working there.  With a free unlimited Shakeology bar who wouldn't right?  It was fascinating to finally see the ins and outs of a company I truly love and 100% believe in.  

  • Beachbody Lobby
  • Beachbody Surfboard
  • Shakeology Wall
  • Shakeology Bar
  • Michael Neimand
  • Beachbody Building
  • Noel and I outside of Beachbody
  • Beachbody stairwell
  • Beachbody workspace

The Spartan Race 

January 25th - I remember a time when I made a 5K a goal of mine and quit.  I was pretty disappointed in myself but that was before all the weight loss.  I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't let that happen again.  Since making that promise to myself three years ago not only have I now completed a 5K but also a 3.1 mile Warrior Dash, a Half Marathon, a 12 mile Tough Mudder, a 9 mile Tough Mudder, and this weekend an 8 mile Super Spartan!  Yep anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

This race was obviously very special to me because of the guys I was running with.  Like I said earlier, they have been by my side since I started trying to lose weight.  We were all in the very first Beachbody Challenge group together.  Even before Beachbody had Challenge groups.  Since that first challenge group we really have become family.  In fact every vacation I took last year was with members of this group.  

So what did I think of the Spartan?  It was the best mud run I have competed in.  Don't get me wrong both Tough Mudders I ran have a special place in my heart.  The emotion of completing the first one is something I can't explain but will never forget.  I'm really glad my buddy Chad talked me into it because mud runs were something I never wanted to do LOL. 

My 2nd Tough Mudder also holds a special place in my heart because it was with many members of TD Nation.  It was pretty cool to run with guys and girls that I have coached and watched transform.  We even had one team member that lost 130 lbs compete and finish. Some guys even broke down when we completed that race.  That's how emotional these things can be. It was definitely an amazing day.  

So while both were great the amount of mud was just obnoxious.  The Spartan Race seemed very organized with the exception of running out of water at one of the stations.  It also had a lot more obstacles that were geared toward strength.  I love the fact that if you don't complete an obstacle you have a 30 burpee penalty.  The SoCal location didn't hurt my pure enjoyment.  The scenery was beautiful.  Even when climbing mountain after mountain haha.  

What's amazing to me is at age 37 I ran a grueling Spartan Race with nothing more than Beachbody programs as my training routine.  That says a lot about the world class workouts Beachbody puts out.  We would run up to an obstacle and assume it was hard just by watching everyone struggle.  Then all of us would crush it.  Beachbody programs flat out work.

So how did I do?  My goal was to complete every obstacle like I did in my 1st Tough Mudder but it didn't happen.  I missed 4 obstacles.  My hand slipped off the climbing wall, I fell off the balance posts, I missed the spear throw by inches (nailed it my 2nd time), and made it about 3/4 up the climbing rope before letting it get to my head.  The water at the bottom was pretty shallow and I was afraid I would slip and kill myself.  I don't know if I could have made it but I wasn't about to come that far and brake an ankle.  So in addition to the 8+ miles we ran I did 120 burpees in penalties and another 40 burpees at the end of the race to get an additional medal.  Some of the wimps in our group passed on the 40 burpees but I won't name names :).  I'm pissed I missed 3 of those 4 obstacles.  They were easy and I'm sure I could do them if given another chance.  Not sure about the climbing rope though.  That was tough.  

My conditioning was great.  I had no problem with the strength obstacles (except the climbing rope) and I was at the front of the pack the entire race.  I could have ran much faster but a few of us would run to an obstacle then wait for the others to catch up.  That was fine by me.  It's not like I was going to set any records haha.  My big worry going into the race was calf cramps.  I have got them in every race I have done and was sure it would happen here.  To my surprise it didn't.  My legs felt great and I think doing Body Beast Build Legs twice a week had a lot to do with that.  

All in all I was better conditioned for this race than any other race I have ran.  With each year that goes by I know how to better train to get the most out of my athletically challenged body LOL.  

The obstacles were great but the highlight of the race was watching my friend Carl overcome his hatred of running, fear of heights, and fear of water.  He doesn't know how to swim yet he walked across a lake in neck high water and dove under water to get under a board.  It was awesome when he came up on the other side and threw his hands up in victory!  

That's what these races symbolize.  Overcoming your fears and doing things you once thought impossible.  Taking your body to the breaking point and having the mental toughness to push through and conquer anything.  Do it with a group of brothers and it means that much more!  

  • Spartan Entrance
  • SoCal Spartan Race
  • Spartan elevation map
  • Wayne Wyatt Lance Lyell
  • Spartan Race
  • Spartan Start
  • Spartan Start
  • Spartan Obstacles
  • Spartan Obstacles
  • Spartan Start
  • Spartan obstacles
  • Spartan obstacles
  • Tough surviving
  • Spartan Race
  • Tough climbing the wall
  • Spartan obstacles
  • More running
  • Hills and more hills
  • Spartan Spear Throw
  • Spartan Spear Throw
  • Spartan Obstacle
  • Wayne emerging from the water
  • Carl conquers his fear!
  • Giving Carl some love
  • Spartan Obstacle
  • Spartan Obstacle
  • Super Spartan!
  • Spartan Finishers!

Crew Shenanigans

After conquering the Spartan Race we had a Mexican Fiesta.  After all we had been training like mad men and I hadn't had a single cheat meal since Christmas.  It was awesome to relax, have a few beers, recap the events of the week, celebrate a birthday, and just enjoy each others company.  

It's scary to think about where I would be had I not picked up P90X.  Where would I be had I not reached out to Wayne and asked for help?  Where would I be had I not decided to step out of my comfort zone and join the Asylum Challenge Group?  That one decision led me to a better healthier life.  A life surrounded by like minded people.  A life with a totally new career.  A life I never thought possible.  

It's trips like these that make me step back and thank god for everything I have been blessed with.  It's trips like these that make me realize I have a responsibility to pay it forward.  I have a responsibility to show people who struggle with weight that it's not hopeless.  I have a responsibility to show people that anyone can change their path if they want it bad enough.  Three years ago I wanted it and with the help of my brothers in The Crew I achieved it.  Life has never been better!  

    16 Comments

  1. This is awesome brother! So happy for you and all your success!

    Chevonne Walters

    January 31, 2014

  2. Excellent post bro!! These memories will last a lifetime! Love you bro, and it’s a blessing to be able to call you a friend! Spartan Beast is next! :)

    Carl J

    January 31, 2014

    • Love you too man! I think I may be retired. Of course I said that last time haha

      admin

      January 31, 2014

  3. I am so honored to know you. That is a weekend I will NEVER forget! You are awesome Double!

    Shawn Swisher

    January 31, 2014

    • No you’re awesome Swish….boop

      admin

      January 31, 2014

  4. Love that review my brother!!! That was definitely the most epic weekend ever!!

    Wayne

    January 31, 2014

    • Couldn’t have done it with out your help over the years Wayne. Thanks for everything you do bro

      admin

      January 31, 2014

  5. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing! Your such a good guy that has the heart to help people. So inspiring!

    Cory

    January 31, 2014

  6. Best of times with you man. There was no easy I was doing burpees after passing every obstacle :-) why start doing burpees at the end if the race? Boop! Had a blast!

    David J

    January 31, 2014

    • Back at ya! I bet that’s a birthday weekend you’ll never forget haha

      admin

      January 31, 2014

  7. I absolutely loved reading this! Especially enjoyed how “Tough” was fearless and had an amazing race. Keep Inspiring fellas!

    Larry S

    January 31, 2014

    • Thanks bro! We need to run one together!

      admin

      January 31, 2014

  8. Most epic weekend ever! Glad I could spend it with the Crew!

    Bobby B

    January 31, 2014

    • I miss you already Bobby! boop

      admin

      January 31, 2014

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