One year ago, my life changed. Let's take a look at what I was digging myself into BEFORE that split second took me and steered me onto a new path.
You see, I KNEW sports were in my future. I loved everything about them. Especially soccer. I had the time of my life playing in high school.
I knew I loved the sport so much I had to continue playing in college. Which led me down south!
After this was all said and done...I felt empty. I felt as if I had no goals to push towards anymore. So I started to run...
AND one summer, I came home and used a road bike my dad had from college to start biking.
From there, I found my new addiction. And I got my new bike.
Loved everything about training. I loved the feeling of hopping on my bike and escaping the world from any stresses or headaches I was having. I loved working hard not only with the endurance aspect, but also the strength training. It all was a new love of mine!
For two years I trained diligently, learning new ways to strength train, run, and bike. I managed to run races with putting in 10 miles a week. I took pride in how I could translate my resistance workouts into my endurance events!
I guess you could say I was obsessed.....but I learned that's just what they call the dedicated. No one trained harder than me. No one worked harder than me. I knew I wanted to be the best and would have given anything to be there.
Until one day.
A pick-up truck and I collided head on in the berm on a Sunday afternoon. All I remembered was bracing myself after I saw him coming and try to pull my whole body as high as I could so he could hit me low and not above the waist. So I pull up on the bike and went flying into the air and onto his windshield then finally to the ground.
I woke up to a lady holding my hand saying to not let go and to not look down. To this day, I don't know who this lady was or her name because she disappeared as soon as the ambulance arrived. For the following two months, she was in EVERY nightmare I had. I strongly believe she may have been an angel. She just kept telling me I will be okay. I couldn't feel a single thing from my waist down. As soon as my mom and dad came, I saw their expressions from looking at my legs and she started crying. I then had to look. I saw my left knee-cap hanging open outside my knee and I just remembered thinking to myself....
"Well Mike, that's it. You overdid it and God wanted to slow you down." I was almost certain I was paralyzed and began letting my parents expressions get to me as well.
The whole way to the hospital I remember thinking to myself....
if only I had listened
if only I made time for other things in my life
if only I took the time to listen to him and stop taking fitness for granted
Then I got the feeling back into my legs a while later. And I had no major internal injuries. That was a blessing in itself!
It was a torn ACL, MCL, fractured femur, dislocated kneecap, concussion, strained ligaments in my elbows, and a later to be found torn labrum in my shoulder.
BUT I LIVED!
And then the hard part began.
Rehab 3 times a week and FIGHTING. I knew God kept me alive for a reason! And it didn't take me long to realize what it was!
With the help of a friend, I began to realize how much I loved helping others in their journey with fitness. I felt as if I had a connection to each and every person I trained. Sure, I did it before my accident, but never took it as serious as I did after my accident. I LOVED helping others! I enjoyed seeing friends and clients work hard and get results from my very own programming. I helped a friend lose 50+ pounds and counting! I helped another finish her first half marathon in a FANTASTIC time, and others with their very own personal goals!
In a year if pain, sorrow, battling.....I found happiness!
In helping OTHERS!
So much that I spent the whole year reading(something I hate), researching, training, traveling to conferences, and practicing my new ideas on my parents... :)
JUST to be the BEST trainer and coach I can possibly be!
Could you say I am naive?
Possibly, but I knew I wanted to prove others wrong! I wasn't going to let this injury bring me down. Instead, I used it to surround myself with some of the best athletes in the town of Chambersburg, train and coach them....and see them improve!
What could be better than that!!!
Yes, I am still in pain. I can barely get out of bed some days. I limp around for days after I try to run. Sometimes I can barely stand to drive because of how bad my knee hurts.
But I will keep fighting.
Because it's EXACTLY what everyone here is doing for me! I had a friend tell me today....
"I like to run for those who can't. I think of that often, and I definitely do that for you more than you know"
"You keep building people's confidence and helping us achieve, letting us know that our dreams are your goals, and your business is going to be very big"
Boy did that make my heart miss a beat. To think that I am more than a trainer....a coach....but their inspiration!! They fight for me! Just as I would fight for them! I have developed a relationship with EACH and EVERY client I train.
And for me, that's more than I could ever ask for!
So, when your thinking about giving in....throwing in the towel...or just hanging up the shoes for a "little bit"
Nothing easy is never worth fighting for....but the difficult times are what build character and develops the true inner athlete in yourself.
You can't call yourself strong until you face adversity. If it is easy, then EVERYONE would be doing it, right?
So stop taking the easy way out.
When you finally accept the fact that you refuse to fail.....you're seriously gonna fly my friends!
I couldn't be happier with the career I have started! And everyone knows I will continue to fight!
So please, if you are struggling, find pride in every step forward you make! Make an effort to step out of your comfort zone today!
For years I focused solely on exercise and not the benefits of it. I now would give anything to be able to do workouts consistently.
So be the inspiration for me! Start tomorrow. Make a change. You can do it! I believe in you just as you believe in me!
I promise you all I will take whatever it takes now.......
TO BE THE BEST TRAINER AND COACH.
and someday I will put the running shoes back on. the plates back on the barbells, and the clips back on the bike.
But for now,
Never Give Up
If you fall off the wagon, cut your losses. Don't let it weigh on
your mind and hold you back because it's only minor damage that can
be dealt with. The important thing is to get back on track,
Do it now. Whether you're thinking of cleaning out the pantry or
finally starting to exercise, STOP procrastinating and DO IT now!
...then don't let anything stand in your way of getting it. By
setting specific goals along with deadlines you are providing
yourself with a measuring stick.
Most people fail to control themselves, and end up only with
regrets. We trade minutes of pleasure (i.e. fast food) for days,
weeks, months, and years of regret.
Everyday you will be tempted to fall back on old bad habits. To
make a lasting change in your health and appearance you must do
everything you can to resist that. Try adding a new healthy habit
each day to replace an old unhealthy habit.
The best approach is to build your life one positive step at a
time and the way to do this is by taking baby steps to improvement
each and every single day. Be a little better than yesterday.
There are no failures, only good and bad tests.
By hanging around others who want to lose weight, you can leverage
their knowledge, commitment, support, and success to push yourself
harder than you otherwise would be able to.
People will do almost anything to stay in their comfort zones.
If you want to accomplish anything, get out of your comfort zone
and strive to increase order and discipline in your life.
Discipline means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing.
Setting goals and deadlines are the easy roads to discipline.
Planning is the ultimate key to success.
succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can
clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My
choice. My responsibility. Win or lose; only I hold the key to my
Translation - Everyone can succeed and reach their goals. It's a
just a matter of how badly you want it.
"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”
- Napolean Hill
CPT/ Strength & Conditioning Specialist