A Man and His Journey – The Warrior Joe O!

Posted: October 9, 2012 by Admin in Testimonials

It’s about the journey, not the destination – by Joe O, Infragilis Athlete

Jim asked that I write a small piece illustrating my story and why I decided to take on this journey. One week removed from Pensacola, reading Chelsea’s story recently, and reflecting on the past 22 months has caused me to think about many things related to CrossFit Infragilis. I don’t think my story is any more notable than anyone else’s, but simply a bit different; I guess offering the more senior perspective. Twenty-two months ago I walked into Anatomies having received Christmas gift certificates for individual workout sessions. I won’t lie to any of you and tell you that I was overly excited about the undertaking. I tipped the scales at 275 lbs., was on blood pressure medication, and was terribly out of shape. I could not get down to the floor and get up easily; I could not prep for the day without breaking a sweat before leaving the house; I could not walk from my car to my office without stopping to take a rest. What I had accepted about my situation was, “I could not do this alone.”

Joe before joining CrossFit Infragilis

That faithful morning, I first met with Patrick, who mentioned a new trainer who had recently started at the club; he mentioned that the trainer had lost a lot of weight and was starting a new CrossFit and weight loss program at Anatomies, along with Valerie, the resident nutritionist. As he talked on, a great fear swept over my body; nah, just kidding…as it turned out and as most of you know, Jim was one of my graduate students during his graduate training. I wasn’t the least concerned that Jim would “get even” with me for all those supervision feedback sessions that a student experiences during graduate school. In reality, I felt at ease. I knew Jim; I knew what was in his heart; and I knew how he would sculpt my journey. I did know this…I had to put my faith in the change process…I had to let go…

Without belaboring every workout, rep by miserable (wonderful), rep…sorry, Jim…Canda and I met with him twice a week for the first three months. Oh, yea, I forgot to mention that Canda, my wife, gave me the individual workout sessions for that Christmas gift. After the first workout session, I called home to tell her about it. She asked, “Well, how was it?” I believe I said, “IT SUCKED! It sucked so bad that I purchased you some sessions as well. If I’m going to hurt like this, I’m not doing it alone!” Needless, to say this gift was turning out to be the gift that kept on giving!!!! She has yetto thank me for my return gift.

Another “before” picture of Joe, with Canda

After our first three months in the individual sessions (and, I failed to mention that after those first three months, I was taken off the blood pressure meds! My copay alone was half my monthly CrossFit fee!), Jim mentioned that we should join a small group session called Transform, where we met Corvell, Angela, Travis, and others. We stayed with that group for approximately another three months until that faithful day when Jim walked over to me and said, “It’s time for you to move on. I’ll see you in the morning.” It was like being pushed from the nest, and I experienced all the anxiety associated by such a move. Nonetheless, we moved on and the rest is history as they say. But, rest assured, that first day in the 5:30am CrossFit class could not have been worse! I wondered, “My God, what have I done (as I was in the middle of the first rep of Bear Crawls)?!” Little did I know that I would establish relationships with others in the group and across other groups that would truly change my life for the better; little did I know that I would continue to embark on a journey that would change my life in ways that I never expected; little did I know that I would rediscover things about myself that I thought had been lost over the years; little did I know that it would positively influence not only the physical aspects of my life, but all other aspects as well. Little did I know…

Joe killed the Warrior Dash in April

At the outset of this change process, Jim would always say, “It’s about the journey, Joe, not the destination.” I have thought about that since he uttered those words and have attempted to live by that saying, as it keeps me focused. Twenty-two months since the beginning of this journey, I have lost approximately 65 lbs.; I am off my blood pressure medication; I am healthier and stronger than I can remember; and I am focused on seeing where this journey will lead me. But beyond that that has been stated, I never imagined that this experience would allow me to come to know such a cross section of people that could be no less supportive of each other’s journey! I see it each and every workout; I saw it in Pensacola in ways that I never expected, and I continue to see it in our interactions before and after workouts and in those social settings when we get together to go off Paleo just a bit! It’s amazing to me that the support among the group, regardless of what time of the day one chooses to do the WOD, continues and is truly amazing. For all this, I am eternally thankful; I can even now say, “Canda, thanks for the Christmas gift!”

Joe with his team at the Pensacola Beach Brawl

Joe’s journey is far from over (with Ray)

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