Before beginning my fitness journey that ultimately led me to CrossFit Anazao, I had led my life with no respect to health and well-being. I worked hard at my job and thought that was enough physical activity. Besides working hard, I also smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and consumed a lot of alcohol. Over a long period of time this degraded my body to the point of a stroke with an underlying heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning my heart was only pumping at around 20%.
This was a rude awakening to say the least. I was prescribed 5 different medications and had to wear a defibrillator vest for 6 months. The vest was just in case my heart stopped working to give the medication time to take affect and improve my ejection fraction (EF). Weighing 220 pounds, severely out of shape, and off from work, I decided to look for some answers. The internet is both a great and scary resource when researching medical conditions such as mine. However, it did teach me how I could mitigate or even cure my affliction.
I went hardcore vegan-vegetarian and gained about 5 more pounds. Then I looked into the keto diet and went strict for 6 months and lost around 40 pounds. That’s when I decided it was time to add exercise into my regimen. During this time my EF slowly started to rise. It stayed at 20-25% for 4 months making me a candidate for an internal defibrillator, but I refused to do it. After 6 months, losing the weight along with a lot of walking, I was off the life vest and my EF was back at 50-55% (normal range).
I joined the local YMCA because I was ready to get after it. After about a year of that routine I found that I was not disciplined enough to do it on my own. I could talk myself out of hard workouts especially with no partner to push me. I was working out but not making any gains to brag about.
While running an errand one day while at work, I stumbled upon CrossFit Anazao. I took a picture of the sign, looked up the website and signed up for the free trial. This has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long, long time. After working out at the Y for a year and then starting CrossFit, I could barely run the 200 meters and definitely not 400 meters without stopping to catch my breath. This was just sad, but I can now!
As far as the weights go I am improving, but man I had a long way to go and still do! The difference is all the coaches and other athletes in the gym. They are all so encouraging and willing to step up and help with not only technique, but also letting me know when to not push too hard. I made the commitment and signed up for the full year really quick and have not regretted it for one moment.
Now I am getting stronger and faster. I am 50 years old, soon to be 51, and can honestly say that I am getting in the best shape of my adult life. Without finding CrossFit Anazao and meeting all of the coaches and members, I really couldn’t say where I would be. I have removed all my medications since starting. I do have more muscle aches and pains, but in a good way.
So I want to say “thank you” to my coaches, Ben, Jeremy, Beth, Chad, John, Lauren & Jordan, along with the other members for making this such a great experience!!!! I look forward to the upcoming challenges and events.