WOW! That's all I could say when I saw the email from Channel telling me that I had been nominated as the spotlight athlete. I was really excited, honored and surprised all at once. The surprised part is me doing a 180 from where I was just two years ago. Let me explain my surprise. Growing up I was the kid that played every sport (super competitive) so I was always around athletes or in the gym. I started weightlifting in junior high because my grandfather was big into weights (former Mr. Harlingen). I saw what it did for his physique and I wanted to be just like him. I continued weight lifting throughout the Marine Corps but also infused cardio into my routine. Not by choice mind you, but by force, you either run every day in the Corps or get left behind. Many runs were 6+ miles but usually 3 miles every weekday for 4 years. So at 23 years old (195LBS.) in the Marine Corps I was in the best shape of my life, or was I? ...
Fast forward to 2009, and many surgeries later (both shoulders, both knees - more than once, fractured two vertebrae in my neck and a broken wrist ...etc.). I'm out of shape, stressed from work (all the time) and moving my family (Tracy and our son Chase) here to San Antonio from Keller. I was not very popular in my family for making that move. But it was better for me, less travel, more time at home and my own business. A little time goes by, Tracy, who was not real happy (with Me or SA) finds this group of women (or it was mostly women way back then) that like to work out at Amazen Bootcamp. A very small group initially that grew at an astounding pace. So for 3+ years I listen to Tracy talk about the WOD with Angie, Amy or me if one of them was unavailable. All the time, non-stop 'guess what I did in today's WOD'? Didn't get it back then, but certainly understand now. I was happy for her but at the same time skeptical because I don't know what bootcamp is and think it's probably more of a 'social thing' than a workout. But also frustrated because she keeps asking me to go try it out but I can't because my knee is so far gone after two surgery's that just a simple misstep shoots pain throughout my body. 2012 I decide to get a knee replacement and follow doctors' orders rehabbing the next year. So October 2013 Tracy convinces me to go to one of the Family WODS on a Sunday with our friends Amy and Garon. Now I'll admit that I was way out of shape and probably should have done less weight and gone at a slow pace but that is just not in my nature. I went for it. To my surprise I didn't hurt anything and felt great working out again. Until two days later, I could barely move without hurting, sitting down, forget that, I'll just stand for the next few days. But my better half said, 'you have to go back and work out the soreness', so here we go back to bootcamp 2 days later for another WOD. Only now it's not Family WOD day and it's even more difficult and I'm thinking 'what did I get myself into'? I can't keep up with these women, they are in much better shape than I am and they're running circles around me. And the cute, little, loud blonde instructor with the megaphone, I think is trying to kill me, or motivate me but I cannot distinguish the difference just yet. (Yes, that's Channel). But everyone was so friendly and encouraging (and still is today) that it was easy to keep going back for more WOD's. No matter who was coaching Channel or Alisha then, or Tracy and the coaches now they always found ways to help me modify my WOD to meet my body's needs. So I kept going back and little by little went from 240lbs to 210lbs in about 18 months, participated in my first (not last) CrossFit Open and got back into the best shape for me since my twenties.
I'm feeling pretty good these days at 46 years old, possibly almost like I did back in my twenties (minus the running part), now I just ROW! So thanks to all of you at ABC/IACF who push me and motivate me to better myself. Thanks to my wife Tracy for not giving up after years of asking me to try it. Thank you Channel and Tommy for giving me somewhere to go workout my stress, where it's never boring or routine but it always challenging!
Jiiiiiiiiiimmmm! So deserving of this spotlight! So dang proud of ya you big brat! 😜 I am so glad to have met you and your wifey through this aMAZEn place. You are always workin hard and it shows! Can't believe the before and after pic! Keep workin on those popeye arms, those are THE gun show! 💪❤️
Sheri K 12:11pm
So proud of you Jim. I remember your first days - and the bad knees and shoulders. You've come along way baby since those powerhouse days! It's a please to know and work out with you. You are very deserving of this honor. Congratulations and keep up the good work!!
Tracy Ma 3:12pm
Baby baby ... wowza ~ honestly, those 2 photos side by side blow me away. Mainly, cause you've always been strong and handsome to me... then and now ... you've just reversed time it seems ;) looking as youthful and strong as you ever were! So glad I kept bugging you to come, MORE glad you finally did. What a transformation. My days of lapping you during a WOD are long since past, and I couldn't be more happy. Luv that you got your fit back ... luv that you luv it!!! So cool to be able to do this together. I'm super proud of you ... and what a WOD beast you've become. You are proof people can modify, and work around issues, as well as even strengthen them, while on their journey to whatever their 'fit' looks like. You are fun to workout with and always so good about motivating others along the way, another couple things I luv about you!! WTG!!! IT is awesome to have you as a part of this place and family that is SO special to me ....as it is now to you also!! Now you get it .... :) muah!
So proud of you, Jim! All your hard work and perseverance definitely shows!! I look forward to wodding in your honor and I know it'll be good, but will you please lead the class in an 'ab' workout afterwards?!?! ;) for old times sake?!
Janette W 9:30pm
Congratulations Jim!! I loved reading your testimony and looking forward to WODing with ya'll in your honor💪🏽!!!!!
Nancy M 8:36am
I am so proud of you Jim. We all remember that first week of not being able to sit down. You have been through so much adversity with your body but proved there is always a way to get where you want to be. Congratulations
Monique P 7:07pm
Congratulations Jim. You're such a great motivator yourself. I hate to miss the WOD but I'm sure we'll be doing it soon again :)