Physical and psychological transformation are what have defined Michael's journey with exercise. Naturally slender and a balanced eater, body composition improvements have been a peripheral benefit compared to the gains he's made in strength and confidence.
A long distance runner in his early teen years, Michael's ambitions to improve his times and running skills were abruptly cut short by a life-altering perforated gastric ulcer that claimed more than half of his stomach. He went from being at the top of his game to being laid flat in a hospital with months of recovery to follow.
Raised in a cautious household, the links between his overexertion in cross-country to his ulcer were quickly made, and his interest in exercise became replaced by fear and anger. Add to this the side effects from losing part of his stomach . . . including kidney stones and a dumping of excess food that his stomach sometimes can't process . . . and he has had to make peace with a way of life that includes frequent discomfort and extreme pain.
As events in our lives can do, however, his traumatic experience created a silver lining of becoming a highly sensitive and empathic man. An incredible listener, thoughtful thinker, and skilled conversationalist, Michael is a welcomed guest to any gathering.
His exercise journey as an adult began two-and-a-half years ago when he followed me to a CrossFit box in the area. He saw the incredible results that I'd experienced, both physical and psychological, and wanted the same for himself. Fast forward to now, and he is a completely improved version of himself.
The strength and high intensity workouts found in the CrossFit/functional fitness world have benefitted him. He has:
- reduced his daily stress
- built and maintained his strength
- developed a strong engine that keeps him moving through short intense workouts as well as the long aerobic ones
- increased his confidence while taking on the challenges at work
- maintained better balance between work and home
Michael's story is one of the transformative power of exercise to rewire the brain. Instead of fear and trepidation being his association with personal power and exercise, he is now a more active participant in his health and life . . . and makes choices from a position of strength and bravery.
He is not one of my clients.
Michael is my husband.
Regardless, he loves it when I program his workouts or teach him new mobility exercises. Likewise, he values the personal touch that I give to each client, and sees the limitations of trying to apply a one size fits all approach to fitness.
Less than three years ago I would implore him to get to the gym . . . to no avail.
Now, he comes home, helps get the kids in bed, and heads out to our garage gym for a solid and challenging workout. It's all him . . . his strength, his courage, his confidence, his joy. It's the stuff life is made of.
-Coach (and wife) Rebecca