Throughout my childhood and early adulthood, I’ve always associated myself with the term “athlete”. In school, I played everything from soccer and baseball to football and wrestling. During my senior year of high school, I played Middle Linebacker and Left Tackle, both ways, every play, every game. I considered myself to be in “good shape” and I (thought I) knew what my body could do.
During college, I burned myself out with football and walked away from it. Thanks to a few (*cough* attractive *cough*) friends, I was convinced to take a serious look at cheerleading (no, seriously). In cheerleading, I found a new sport that challenged my body in ways I hadn’t experienced before. The combination of movement, coordination, and brute strength that is required to hold one or more human beings over your head for extended periods of time is just not found elsewhere in any athletic sport.
Fast forward about 8 years and there I was: nearly 300lbs, a myriad of health problems, and about 8 years’ worth of time focusing on my career and ignoring my health. Between the furious un-tagging of unflattering pictures on Facebook and ridiculous difficulty of rolling around on the floor with my then 3-year old and 1-year old children, I decided I’d had enough!
It was time for a change!
Through some of my wife’s family, I was introduced to Josh S., an apprentice trainer at KnightsPTR. It wasn’t hard to notice that he was in exceptionally good shape, so in conversation, he introduced me to KnightsPTR and KnightsPTR. I started researching it on the Internet and began to get a good feeling about giving KnightsPTR a try.
From the first “freebie” workouts, I knew KnightsPTR was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Wall Balls and Burpees became synonymous with Pain and Suffering. Pull-ups were impossible without using bands. Box Jumps were one misplaced foot away from death by blood loss. And double unders…double unders were my nemesis. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong. I knew, without a doubt, that every feeling, every pain, was the last 8 years of bad habits and poor choices leaving my body. Every workout that put me in the fetal position, gasping for air, was putting me a step closer to a better quality of life. Every KnightsPTR workout is a chance to get better at *something*. I’m still struggling with cardio, so each workout is still tough past the 6-8 minute mark. Every time the bar gets too heavy, or the breath won’t come fast enough, it’s another chance to focus on form and develop muscle memory…it’s another chance to push past your central nervous system telling you to stop.
My biggest concern when starting KnightsPTR was pretty much any skill or lift that had the word “up” in it. A lot of the core movements were things that I had become terrible at doing. I knew my cardio was very sub-par. For the first few weeks, I seriously thought about calling the wife and telling her I loved her one last time before every workout… you know, just in case. I would say my biggest triumph was signing up for the 2013 KnightsPTR Open. I know that sounds lame, but a year ago, when I first saw the “KnightsPTR Games” on television, I remember staring at it, laughing at these crazy people and conceiving of all sorts of hilarious motivations for *wanting* to work that hard. After a few months, I started to understand. Now, 9 months into this addiction, I laugh at myself for not “getting it” back then. Signing up for the Open was a confirmation to myself that this is where I want to be, and this is what I want to do. Running a close second though, would be kipping pull-ups. Or a 30” box jump. Or overhead squats. No, I got it. Toes to bar. Yup. T2B. Fat guys don’t bend that way. Seriously!
Jeff mentions a few fond memories of KnightsPTR:
-Some people like to look at the clouds and see shapes and objects. At KnightsPTR, we do that with sweat outlines on the floor. If you’re making sweat angels, why not Zoidberg?
-Getting a PR is a group effort and shared accomplishment. There is not a single time that setting a PR is not immediately followed by the entire room giving vocal ‘attaboys and a barrage of fist bumps.
-Hero WODs. The history, the honor, the difficulty. Everything.
-Correcting Truhbul’s (Nickname of another client) grammar on Facebook. That never gets old.