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For several years, I rejected the notion of joining a gym or trying to lose weight.  I never thought that I could do it.  I was a baseball player and when I blew out my ankle and the dream died at home plate in Pequannock in May of 1990, I gave up thinking about myself as an athlete.  If I wasn't training for baseball, why train?  As I got older, it got harder and harder to stay in shape or lose weight, but more importantly, it got harder and harder to "moderate".  
I made a decision on January 9, 2015, a Friday night.  I decided to go to CFEH to see what a workout would be like.  Kathy asked and I agreed.  On that Friday night, I made the decision to change my life.
Saturday January 10th's 10am class:  I watched in horror.  It was a circuit and I sat in front of burpee box jump station.  Even as I watched, I thought I was going to throw up!  Then Damien came over and asked me what I thought.  I immediately lied..."I think I would like to do that," I said.
Knowing myself, if I didn't commit right there, I would never be back.  So I agreed to come in for a few one-on-one training sessions that week to learn the techniques.  Those were rough.  I couldn't do 10 push ups on my knees without stopping.  I couldn't do 15 sit ups without a break.  I couldn't do 12 squats without feeling like my legs were jelly.  But I pushed through because I made a decision. It has been a tough, fun, exhilarating few months. Three times a week I go and do things that an old fat guy shouldn't be able to do.   
And on May 24, 2015, I did "The Murph".  I ran a mile, did 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats and then ran another mile in 52+ minutes.   I never thought I could or would be able to do that or most of the things I am doing now. My goal was to lose 40 lbs.  On January 11th, Damien was pretty conservative, saying that 5-7 lbs per month would be reasonable.    That would mean I would achieve the goal at the end of August.  I thought, "F that! I don't want to be 'Fat Dad' again down the shore!" For those trying to lose weight, the most valuable tool for my weight-loss effort was My Journal on Wodify.  I wrote down everything about my eating and drinking habits. Damien read what I was eating and when I was eating on a daily basis for several months.  He kept me accountable but he also gave me great tips and suggestions.  Who knew eating cheese for a snack could lead to excessive wine drinking!  I also relied heavily on Kathy, who helped me change my eating habits over these past few months.  (If you haven't noticed, Damien tends to eat like a body builder! i.e.10-egg omelets)
And on May 21, 2015, the scale said I had lost 40 lbs since January 9.    
The health benefits have been unbelievable.  I've stopped snoring and get a better night's sleep.  I have more energy.  My skin has cleared up.  I truly feel incredible.  Although I still sweat a lot!   But it is workout sweat.  Thanks to Damien, I don't sweat anymore when I brush my teeth. Damien, as we all know, makes us do things that hurt.  For that I say, thank you.  The short term hurt, makes the long term results well worth it.  In the short term, pulling a sled around a parking lot is hard and probably looks friggin' ridiculous to outsiders, particularly animals.  I pictured the cartoon bubble over Marcus' head the other day..."What the hell is Dad making them do now?  Pull a sled in a parking lot?  Where the hell are they going with it?  Why are they coming back with the same damn sled?  They didn't go anywhere and they are sweating and out of breath.  These people are idiots! I need one of them to pet me!"   For the short-term pain and long-term benefits, 'Thank You Coach'.  You have made my decision a lot easier with your support, help, humor and WODs.  You are a special person.  If you weren't you, I would NOT have stuck with this, let alone walk around with an empty beer keg over my head!  
And while Damien makes this all work, I could never have achieved what I have achieved without the men and women I workout with.  There is a level of support and encouragement at CFEH that is unreal.  After a WOD in February, I told Becca that she was "my hero"- actually, I don't think she heard me because I was gasping for air from excessive burpees.  But regardless, I meant it.  We work out together often and she is my hero.  Not because she can kick my ass in a heartbeat but because she continually encouraged me and cheered me on to finish the WODs when 25 pushups on my knees was a virtual impossibility.  Getting my first "like" on a workout from Martha meant the world to me because you made me realize that I am not doing this alone.  I've tried to keep up with Lenny, Rishi, Tony, Drew and others, even though I knew that was not possible and downright stupid.  But you guys gave me the incentive and drive to work out harder and in turn, get results faster.  BTW, I don't try to keep up with Becca because we all know that's just downright moronic to even try.
See, all of you are just as important to my decision as Damien has been and you didn't even know it.   I took it as a compliment that Andy didn't even recognize me three weeks ago because I had lost so much weight!
And at the risk of sounding sappy, I must say thank you to my beautiful wife for helping me to get healthy. She helped me make a huge lifestyle change and I am lighter and in better shape than I have been in years. She never pushed.  She never nagged.  She did, however, give me dirty looks for years as I drank wine from a pint glass and heated up yet another huge plate of pasta at 11pm.  Kathy set a quiet example for me and let me make my decision on my own. I am blessed and so very lucky to have her in my life. Not sure what I did to deserve her.  Of course if I lose too much weight, she might not recognize me and think she is cheating on her fat husband!  I was really skeptical for a long time about CFEH because I was scared.  I was scared to workout and embarrass myself in front of others.  I was scared to try something that might hurt.  But mostly, I was scared to fail.  I don't think I am alone in those feelings.  But I made a decision because I was really tired of being fat and really tired of people complaining that I was taking up most of space in a group photo.
40lbs was the goal- CHECK.  Now the goal is to run a 5k with Coach Julia and the CFEH Running Club.  No sense in stopping now- I drank the proverbial CFEH kool-aid or the Fit-Aid as it is.  But in all seriousness, Thank You all for helping me make this life changing decision become a life altering reality.