By Joshua Winn
Believe it or not, I started training or “exercising” regularly for the first time in my life about six years ago. I was trying out ju-jitsu at this place in Mechanicsville where my brother rolled and, while ultimately not for me, I saw a flier on the wall for this gym that had just starting sharing the space. What was this gym? CrossFit Full Circle, of course. I’m not trying to bury the lead here.
I’ve always been big. Well, that’s a pretty vague term which can be applied to any number of things, so instead I’ll say that I’ve always been tall, broad shouldered, and a bit bulky. Yeah, that sounds better. I’ll steer clear of one-word descriptors in the future. Most people were genuinely surprised when I told them my weight, and as a result I was introduced to the popular phrase “You carry your weight well!” Ummm, thanks?
Regardless of how well I carried my weight, I was constantly dealing with the ramifications of someone who doesn’t take care of themselves: over-eating, low self-esteem, and being completely uncomfortable in my own skin. At this point in my life I was around 270 lbs, four months into being a dad for the first time, and I had just started a new job.
Now, you may or may not know this about me, but I’m a quiet person. Outside of work and other types of mandatory socialization, I keep relatively to myself and a small circle of people. I can absolutely be a “people person” when needed, but it gets tiring after awhile.
For whatever reason, I called the number on that flier and talked to Jason. For the next 3 years I was super active with only occasional breaks in between. There was a somewhat permanent group of people that I trained with (which also fulfilled ‘x’ socialization factor) and at 235 lbs, I was in the best shape of my life.
Wake up, train, work, family, game, sleep. Rinse and repeat. I had a routine, and it was pretty solid.
Then, for whatever reason, the routine exploded. I could cite any number of things. I had a tiny surgery and the doctor people said “don’t lift anything for a month.” Duncan started daycare (and then preschool), and my mornings now involved getting him there before my 30-45 minute commute to work. Work itself exploded (figuratively). The workload grew exponentially but the workforce and deadlines stayed the same. We had another kid (Ellie). And so on and so on. I could pick any one of those I guess, but if I’m being honest I’d have to say that I just stopped caring. Well, that’s an oversimplification. Basically, there are two me’s (in this scenario) that are always struggling for control. The me that loves doing nothing, and the me that loves doing something and smashing goals. Once the routine was extensively broken, that was it.
I tried numerous times to get back into a cycle that worked, but I just couldn’t make it click. The drive was gone. I felt like the gym was different. My regular people had moved on to different places or schedules. It seemed like I didn’t have a place anymore. The past few months however led me to a realization. The gym hadn’t changed. I was looking at it (and my success there) through the eyes of the guy that couldn’t do those things. So I made a choice (again) to not be that guy anymore. I’m tired of dealing with the consequences of his actions and the roller coaster of self-esteem issues he represents.
So I’m back. I still struggle with doing nothing, and maybe I always will. I don’t think I’ll ever completely get rid of that guy, but maybe with consistency I can get better at ignoring him. For the sake of playing to my strengths (pun intended) and doing something predictable, I’m sticking to Barbell for now until I prove I can stay on track. I’m surprised that my strength hasn’t dropped much, but I kick myself whenever endurance is involved. I feel better than I have in a long while though. I miss my old group, but the gym itself is still encouraging and the new people I’ve met have been awesome. Lazy, active, depressed, active. It’s still early on but I think it’s safe to say that I’ve finally come….full circle. That’s completely terrible and I’m sorry.