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Gymnastic progressions


Please check out our Friend David’s Journey to fitness

My Health Story

Hi, my name is David Thompson, and my story is one that began at a 215 lb, out of shape, chronically ill, 38 year old husband and father who was pretty close to throwing in the towel on life. The trigger point came on July 3, 2014. I work in the live entertainment/production industry and found myself working a very long day in 100 degree weather, needing to perform the task of uprigger. I climbed steel and built rigging for a sound system to be flown. I climbed up and down and tied off for several hours that day. I was barely able to finish the task and the next day my body was overcome with massive soreness. Enough was enough. Something had to give. I had no idea where the journey would lead, but I wasn’t going to be the guy who couldn’t hang with the riggers. I knew my wife needed a better husband and my kids needed a healthy daddy to play with. My faith background played a pretty big role in how I viewed the stewardship of my body. I had a brief period of depression after losing my mother a few years back and it had popped up a few other times since then.

I immediately started low-carbing. My kids were playing baseball at a nearby field and at some point I walked to the field, jogged a lap around the field and thought I was going to pass out. I couldn’t even jog a lap without feeling completely gassed. A day or so went by and I walked a lap, jogged a lap, walked another lap, jogged one more lap, and walked home. I eventually jogged to the field, walked, jogged, walked …… you get the idea. My wife had watched me lose weight 2 other times in our marriage by doing low carb. I had a good track record at losing weight by this method. It was fairly easy for me to remember what foods were low carb. My wife had been on her own journey of running 5K’s, exercising at the YMCA, and had joined Crossfit Thunder in Huntington, WV about 2 years ago at this point, and had transformed her body to complete babe status (another motivating factor). I used to hear all of the negatives about Crossfit from chiropractors or other fitness people about exercise-related injuries involving Crossfit, but my wife had been going for two years and hadn’t had an injury; in fact, she had greatly improved her fitness and health, so my personal experience with the results of Crossfit were completely different than what I had heard. Everything about me was starting to change. I eliminated several negative behaviors and relationships that were toxic and had become a deterrent to me becoming a better person. I had spent many years being a pretentious, judgmental, religious person and I’m pretty sure that I was an obnoxious, arrogant, jerk. I struggled with humility and pride so much that it had gotten in the way of me caring about what kind of person I had become. In about 6 weeks, I had lost 30 lbs and was starting to jog more frequently. I found a back road close to my house that had some hills. I would park my truck at my brother’s house and eventually built up to jogging the whole 3 miles without taking a break. It was a monumental thing for me. Here is where the health and weight loss thing started to do weird things.

I had battled allergies, along with chronic and exercise induced asthma since my childhood. I can never remember a time where I was able to get over a cold without it ending up as some respiratory infection where I would have to go see a doctor and get an anti-biotic. When I was younger, I had a collapsed lung and two strands of pneumonia which led to my diagnosis of asthma. Every year since I was in high school, I would get sick and have to get on some meds to get over it. I had also struggled with serious back injuries about every year to 18 months due to me not knowing how to properly lift weight. I either didn’t listen to people who tried to tell me, or was too naive to care; but for whatever reason, I would find myself injuring my lower back while lifting something heavy in an awkward position. Stress, diet, lack of exercise, depression, poor sleep – I pretty much sucked at it all. During one of my attempts at running 3 miles without stopping, I coughed up some blood and I was concerned, so I asked one of my doctor friends at Church about it. His first question was if I had ever had any chronic illnesses like asthma. He also reminded me that I got pretty sick last year. Ha! Yes! I did get pretty sick last year. I was the 10th person in the county diagnosed with the flu and the 1st person to get pneumonia and the flu at the same time. It was hard for me to remember because I got sick like that every year, so it wasn’t a big deal. He said that the increased stress on my lungs and a bout of congestion was probably the cause. I asked him what I could do to try to defeat some bad genetics and constant dependence on anti-biotics to get over a cold. He recommended some vitamin C, so sometime when the fall season came around; I started 1000mg of C every morning. I had gone 3 weeks without losing any weight and I couldn’t figure out why. I had been hanging around a friend that had a gluten allergy so severe he couldn’t tolerate any at all. He recommended the book Grain Brain and told me his story. I started to question everything I had been taught about the American diet. Those crazy people that talked about the US food supply being bad for us were starting to make sense. I knew I had to gain more knowledge about food and how to break my weight loss plateau. My wife suggested that I go talk to one of her Crossfit coaches (Jeremy Mullins) who had his masters in nutrition and had co-authored a book with one of our friends from Church who was a dietician. He had just opened up a coffee shop in town and I thought I’d walk in and see what it was about. I didn’t introduce myself, quietly ordered a coffee, and had the courage to ask the huge, scary looking, tatted up guy behind the counter if he had ever heard of the book Grain Brain. Within seconds he grabbed a notebook and started dropping knowledge on my like I had never heard before. This guy actually took the time to teach me with a gentle approach. It was a meeting that I will never forget. I had to have more knowledge. I went back the next day and introduced myself as Amy’s husband and met some of the other scary looking health nuts (some of the most genuinely awesome people I’ve ever met). I’ve never been more wrong about a group of people in my life. It seemed as everyone I met were genuinely caring people who were interested in hearing my story and offering unbiased opinions on what I could do to help tweak my weight loss and fitness. I knew there was something special about these people. They were in to helping others achieve their goals. Those were the type of people I needed to be around. I started attending some free lectures of Jer’s . I quietly took notes and applied what I learned and the fat just kept coming off. A Planet Fitness had opened up by my office and was offering new memberships at 9 bucks a month. I was concerned for the fall temp changes quickly approaching and running outside would be more challenging, so I signed up and started using the treadmill just about every day. I continued my weight loss and treadmill improvements for a month or so. I felt pretty good on a treadmill so Amy registered me for the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving day. I knew I could do 3.1 miles in about 30 minutes on a treadmill which was about 2 minutes under Amy’s 5K times. I told her that she was gonna shave 2 minutes off here 5K time. Ha. I actually pushed her to do that. BTW, she had just came off of her first half marathon. Yeah, my wife is pretty incredible. I thought I was ready for Crossfit. I remembered Amy saying that if you were going to work out at your hardest, you’d have to make a noise every now and then. I thought about Crossfit, but remembered what my wife went through her first month of joining. She basically couldn’t walk stairs for a few weeks because of how sore she was. She warned me that I would need to schedule 2 weeks of low physical labor at work. Ha! I believed her. The coffee shop friends were always asking me when I was going to come to Crossfit and I eventually mentioned to Jer that I thought I was ready. He soon followed with a, “Good. See you tomorrow at 5am”. Wait, what? Did you say 5am? December 2, 2014 was a Tuesday that I will never forget. I did 7 push-ups and thought I was going to die. I told Jer that I stare at weights, not work out with them. No, I was serious. Other than messing around with a bench press just enough to realize I hated it (one time about 15 years ago), I had never worked with weights. My 5 year old had gotten a stomach bug and was up all night throwing up. I didn’t think a thing about it and woke up at 4am to be at Crossfit at 5am. I felt weird on the ride in, but being the newb, didn’t want to show weakness. Ha! I ended up throwing up with the bar over my head. I was at the front of everybody and ran past everyone to the bathroom in the middle of my second WOD. I didn’t know what was wrong with me yet and hadn’t connected the dots to realize I had a stomach bug. I honestly thought the workout was the reason I threw up, because so many people came up to me and told me their story of when the threw up at Crossfit. Holy cow man! This is normal? Yes. People throw up at Crossfit. Adding intensity to a workout takes an adjustment. Again, just like the coffee shop, I’ve met some of the most amazing, driven, encouraging, people in my entire life. I couldn’t get enough. It was hard to turn my steering wheel in my truck, walk stairs, climb a ladder, shampoo my hair, sit up from my bed, but I was addicted. I had drunk the cool-aid and wanted more. I’m now down 65lbs and in the shape of my life. I have rekindled my passion for mountain biking and anything outdoors with my family. I can’t get enough out of life. I want it all. Everything about me is different. I haven’t had a headache since July. I haven’t had more than a day or two of congestion, much less need to go to the Dr. for an anti-biotic.

For the past 12 years, I’ve done a live event in Greensboro, NC from Dec 26 through Jan 1. I’ve came back every single year from this event fatigued and down with a nasty cold that always requires me to get an anti-biotic. Not this year! I feel like a champion and want to share my story with anyone who may be questioning if they can drop some weight and get in shape. You can have excuses or results, but not both. Trust me, I’ve made excuses and I thank God for His grace.

David Thompson

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