Growing up I was never interested in sports or fitness. About the age of 11 I got my first skateboard and rode it aggressively into my early 20’s. In 2008 I was 24 and out of shape. That’s also the year I decided to join the Army and I knew I needed to do something. At the time, I couldn’t run 200 meters without getting winded. I started riding a bike daily, taking a Ju Jitsu class at a studio next to my apartment and got a cheap membership at a local globo gym. I had no idea what I was doing, but by the time I took my initial entry PT test, I passed and knew I could do it. I shipped out to basic training in early 2009 with a Hollywood concept of the military which involved huge muscular men and women who would put me to shame and run me into the ground. Much to my surprise, the initiative I took to get into some kind of shape ahead of time was more than enough to get me through training and even get recognized for my fitness.
My first few years in the Military I still didn’t know much about fitness besides what I learned from Army PT and my own pursuit was still to get that John Rambo look that I thought was average amongst Soldiers. In 2010, I deployed to Afghanistan for the first time. I still didn’t have any real fitness knowledge, but I found a Power Lifting program in a magazine which caught my interest and got me on the barbell daily. At the time, CrossFit was gaining popularity and a few of my friends attempted to get me to try it, but I had no interest.
After returning from the 12-month deployment, during which time I put on 40lbs and was lifting heavier weight than I had ever imagined possible, I went back to daily Army PT, only to find that running was a lot harder than it had been. After nearly failing the 2-mile run on my fitness test, I knew that bench pressing and pounding mass gainer wasn’t going to cut it. I finally caved in and decided to try this CrossFit thing everyone kept telling me about. My first WOD was “The Filthy Fifty”, it took me nearly 45 minutes, I had to Google all the movements beforehand and after it was done I could barely walk out to my car; I was hooked!
From that point, I began incorporating the daily main site workout into my normal routine of biceps/triceps, chest/back etc., etc. Eventually, I stumbled upon a program called “Seal Fit” an intense, nearly two-hour per day WOD which exposed me to all the other various aspects of functional fitness. I stuck with it for about 2 years before finally stepping into an actual box. My first home in CrossFit will always be CrossFit Ansbach, in Ansbach, Germany. The coaches and community quickly took me in and made me feel like I was part of a family. This is where I feel like my fitness journey truly began because I also quickly realized that overtime I had developed a lot of bad habits given my lack of knowledge and my drive towards sheer intensity. The coaching and mentoring I received at CrossFit Ansbach changed my entire view of fitness, programing, and nutrition and drove my love for fitness through the roof.
During my short time, there (The Army brought me to San Antonio, TX in late 2015), My form greatly improved, my body developed rapidly with better posture, mobility, and figure, and I left armed with knowledge. During this time, I also developed a love for the competitive side of the sport and had the opportunity to compete around Europe. It was in Germany that I attended the CrossFit level 1 seminar. Back in the states, Haley and I began talking about opening our own gym. My competitive drive continued, in 2016, I earned my personal training certification from ISSA and a USAW Sports Performance coaching certification. Converse CrossFit was founded in 2017, I went on to obtain my CrossFit Level 2 and the journey continues...