New Beginnings

It’s been about a year or so since I was told, “You’d make a great trainer” by my former coach and personal trainer.

In that time, I’ve secured a certification as a nutrition coach and personal trainer, started my own virtual coaching platform, joined forces with my former trainer as an assistant coach on his platform, and, as of this week, I’m officially a personal trainer at a local health club here in the Portland, Oregon metro area.

This is *surreal* to me.

About five years ago, I was not the man I am today.

In fact, I was about seventy pounds heavier, a heavy smoker, and every-night drinker. I was spiraling, at best, trying to manage my stressful public transit job, a relationship that was wavering around in the wind, and not quite sure what to make of myself. I’d had a shitty doctor’s visit, with the warning that I needed to shape up, or get on the pills I’d need to keep my blood pressure, cholesterol, and such all in alignment with the living.

I was a mess. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was running away from my past traumas, trying to drown out the ever-increasing anxiety about the state of my life, and the way my past kept knocking at my door. I was determined to out run all of it, and in the end, had blown out my knee in the process.

When I turned 40, I made a choice. I chose to defy the statistics, and lean into something my doctor had been telling me, off-hand, for a while.

Eat right and Exercise.

And that’s what I did.

And when that started to work, when I started to feel control over my body, my choices, my world, I started to flex the same skill in other areas of my life.

I got some help with my mental health. I faced down my fears of being on meds, of needing therapy, of having to say out loud the things that were scaring me, keeping me up at night, and all the rest. I found lovers who saw me through the fog of my anxiety and alcohol abuse, and told me that I was worth of love and affection.

Now, as I start on this next new journey in my life, I’ve peeled away the people who have been resistant to my new-found use of the word “no.” I’m starting to value myself, my time, and my energy, in a brand new way.

I’ve stepped away from my job in public transit, a job where my anxiety was crushing me, the pressures on me to perform at 100% every day were mounting, and where a deep lack of respect for my humanhood was a constant daily challenge.

I’ve taken on the challenge of helping others find their inner drive, spark, and motivation. I’ve decided that helping others achieve their goals is a big enough passion of mine, that I can dedicate my life and livelihood to it.

I get to teach, something I’ve been born to do, in a way that also incorporates showing others how to love themselves a little bit more, how to make good, small choices daily that will have long-lasting impacts on their overall wellbeing, and how to show up for themselves first. I am leading not only through knowledge and expertise, but by example, as I’m also an open book to anyone who cares to know more.

There’s so much more ahead for me in this next, new journey, and I can’t wait to share it. Day by day, I will be improving my life and the lives of those around me in fundamental ways that I don’t even know how to measure as of yet.

This is me. This is my life now.

I could not be more proud of myself.

Taking It Further

In the last few months, I’ve made the start on a new journey for myself. I’ve decided to become a certified Nutrition Coach and certified Personal Trainer.

The idea was lit for me by my former fitness coach, Jason, who runs a large online fitness group situation, and has taught me all of the fundamentals of body recomposition, strength, and nutrition. He and I parted ways as coach/client back at the start of this year, but I don’t think our connection is broken. In fact, after further emails with him, he suggested I should become a peer, and in fact, that’s what I’m trying to do.

As of earlier last week, I finished up my Nutrition Coach certification through Precision Nutrition.

See? It’s Official!

I have another six chapters to complete my NASM Personal Trainer certification, but that’s well underway. I know I can do this.

Doing all of this refocus on my skills and abilities at the gym, and turning those skills into something that could make me money, has been a huge learning curve and massive leap of faith. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but there will be, if all goes well, a change in my whole life, once I get these certifications under my belt and start working with actual clients to do actual coach/client interactions.

I cannot wait, to be honest. I simply cannot wait.

In the meantime, I’m also stepping up my own game at the gym.

I’ve recalibrated my calories and macros to set me up for recomposition and growth. I’m hitting personal records and busting through them again. I can feel the power and strength I’m growing in my flesh. I

Coincidentally, I’ve also given up alcohol, remain smoke free, and am making deep progress with my mental health as well.

Stay tuned. Daddy’s turning a new page, it seems.

Body Consideration

I’ve been a thick man most of my life. I’ve got a stout body, with thick thighs and broad shoulders, and have almost always been heavier than I should be. There were those brief and fleeting years of being near my perfect-weight (for the BMI chart, at least), where I had gotten so thin from running/starving myself/avoiding my mental health demons, but that never lasted. Not like my current weight/size has.

Currently, I’m sitting between 190 and 200 lbs. I still have about a 32” waist, and my damned 31/32” inseam, and still at 5’9”, where I’ve been for about a year and a half.

Right now, I’m debating my direction with my fitness. I am torn between two physiques. One involves me doing a deep-dive into cardio, into really limiting my calories (and carbs) to lean out again, to shrink, to show the muscle curves under my flesh a bit more. It’s a familiar chase for me – I’ve done that sort of routine and regime a number of times, with some success.

On Mount Hood, sitting at around 175lbs, thinner without starvation, but no gym, only cardio and bodyweight workouts during COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, 2020

But there’s this newer, more powerful version of me, sitting here, writing this out. I’m sipping my morning coffee, about twenty pounds heavier than I was two years ago, and wondering if this is where I want to be. Since the gyms reopened after being shuttered to help slow the spread of COVID-19, I made a choice to grow. Really, really GROW. I wanted to put on as much muscle as I could, instead of chasing ”thin” and, for a time, that’s felt really good. I still enjoy it, really. I enjoy adding more weight to the bar, more reps to the circuit, and all of that. But that growth has come at a weird cost. I am running smack-dab into some old emotions, still, about the size of my body and my acceptance among others. I guess maybe I need to adjust who those ”others” might be. I’m still figuring it all out for myself.

Thicker, stronger, 195lbs, muscle growth across chest, back and legs, eating a bit more to foster the growth, April 2022

As I stand now, these arms have powerful hugs. This chest is strong and firm. My shoulders are powerful and defined, as is my upper back. I have legs that can move and press over 600lbs multiple times. I can do things I’ve never been able to do before. If this is Dad-Bod, then I’m embracing it with my full force.