What brought you to the gym? 

What brought me to the gym was my brother’s engagement actually, I’m someone who needs a reason to do something before I commit. I was in a bad place in my life. I had a loving family and a good job, but I hated everything about myself. I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered why? I had been heavy my whole childhood, it was something I just had come to accept. Until New Years Eve of 2015, I was with my girlfriend, brother and his now fiancée and some friends. We were drinking and enjoying ourselves. The next day I took a hard look at the pictures and was disgusted in the way I looked. I was sitting next to my skinny brother and my thinner girlfriend, with my thinner friends and that is all I saw. I knew then and there, sitting back was not acceptable anymore. Feeling sorry for myself was not something I was going to take as a reason for being heavy. For the 1st time in a long time I stepped on a scale and my heart sank to the pit of my stomach as it read 272….. I couldn’t believe I had let myself get here. I looked up all types of gyms and I knew a “planet fitness” wouldn’t work. I knew I needed support and someone to keep me on track. If I went to a generic gym, it wouldn’t work and I would be letting myself down like I had time and time again, like every other failed New Year’s resolution.

What was your first impression of Bellum?

When I came to Bellum, this was my second CrossFit gym. I’d only been doing CrossFit for a couple months when the gym I was attending, 856, had closed. I was terrified I wasn’t going to be able to find somewhere for me to call home and I would fall back into the rabbit hole I had been hiding in all those years. I emailed Bellum to set up a time to go in and check it out. Literally everyone introduced themselves as I walked into the gym and made it feel like I had been there for months. I had never felt so comfortable, from the coaches to the people who work out there. I can’t begin to describe how easy going everyone was and when I didn’t understand or know how to do a movement, they stopped and showed me. They even watched me do it to make sure I wasn’t going to hurt myself.

What are you most proud of?

What am I most proud of… Where do I begin? I have achieved so much this past year from PR’s in the gym, to running two 5k’s, and losing 60 lbs. Running a 5K is huge for me. I would have never in my wildest imagination told you that running a 5k was as big of a deal as it was when I ran the whole entire thing in November. Before the 5k, I signed up for my first CrossFit Competition in October 2016. This pushed my training and focus in improving myself to a level I couldn’t believe I could do.  When I walked into the competition I didn’t know what to expect. Despite the uncertainty, I did know that no matter what was to happen, I was going to push myself as hard as I could and leave everything I had on the floor. When I saw the results at the end, I realized that I was in much better shape than I could have ever imagine. I went up against very good competitors and held my own, which is something I will never forget. Stay humble, but remember, you’re not as far away as your head makes it seem.

What are you working on next?

I am working on getting a few things crossed off my list of workouts. I’m very close to stringing double-unders together. I finally kicked up into a handstand hold, so I am going to work on getting handstand push-ups. I am also working on getting a couple more strict pull-ups in a row so that I can begin practicing my kipping pull-ups. I just registered for the 2017 CrossFit open, and I am very excited to see how well I can hold my own with the workouts. I also for some weird reason am extremely excited to see how much my time has improved on Murph, which is a hero WOD we do every Memorial Day.

Anything else?

I can’t really put my feeling into words, other than I love it here from the coaches, to the people, to the weights. I’ve been getting complemented a lot on how much happier I have become within the last year since I started at Bellum. I feel like no matter what challenges come my way, I have the best group of people behind me and I can only hope that everyone feels the same as I do when they walk in the gym. I try to be there for everyone just like they are there for me.  For anyone reading this, whether you’re looking for somewhere to work out or just curious of my story like I have been of everyone else’s story, I encourage you to work has hard as you can to achieve whatever it is you want. I’ve been pushing for a lot of things and I have only begun to touch what I want.  I am empowered to go harder and critique my focus on exactly what I need to do to get where I’m going.

From your best teammate,

Jake from State Farm

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