Hi, I’m Eric. I’m the owner and currently the only trainer at Guidestone Fitness. I find it pretty difficult to write about myself, so this may seem a bit choppy and awkward. This is my story.
I’m not all that different from a lot of people. I never had any kind of athletic aspirations; I was more of a desk-job kind of guy. I enjoyed cycling, but otherwise, was pretty sedentary. My whole life I’ve struggled with weight, but in 2007, it suddenly occurred to me. I was overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy with myself and I had the power to change it. I had struggled with chronic injuries, pain, fatigue, and was faced with rising blood pressure and generally declining health, and was far too young to settle for a low quality of life. It was then that I decided on, not a diet or a temporary weight loss, but a lifestyle change. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was an important one.
My transformation began slowly. Starting with diet alone, I was able to shed 20lbs of weight within the first year. Once I realized how well that worked, my confidence was boosted, and I wanted to set a goal that I had previously thought was impossible. Inspired by my mother, who passed in 2006 after a long illness, I decided to work toward completing a triathlon in September of 2009, in her honor.
Having never been much of a swimmer or a runner (at all, ever. I hated running, and swimming,) and still struggling with weight, this was ambitious, to say the least. Working with an athletic trainer, training went exceptionally well through 2008 until the spring of 2009 when an injury and subsequent surgery sidelined me. The surgery, though simple, set me back just far enough that I couldn’t compete.
At this point, I had lost nearly 40 pounds and was starting to see the health benefits, as I found out that most of my health issues had been reversed. Despite not being able to complete the triathlon in 2009, there was plenty to be proud of, but I still had that nagging desire to do what I had set out to do.
By the spring of 2010, I was a changed man. Through a comprehensive diet reform (I’ll post more about what I did and where I am now in a later post)and strict exercise program, I was now 60 pounds lighter than my starting weight and in better shape than ever. I had been able to complete my first ever running 5k, was swimming several thousand meters per week, and regularly was training for 2 and 3 hours at a time in preparation for a Sprint distance triathlon in June, a week after the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing. There was nothing standing in my way of completing my first triathlon. I completed that in 1:51:19. Slow, but completed.
Throughout 2010, 2011, and into 2012, I’ve been competing in a weekly bicycle Time Trial race run by one of my local cycling groups and completed another triathlon in 2011 (in 1:47:04, still slow, but faster, despite a shift away from triathlon specific training.) Although injury has now forced me to focus solely on running and cycling, I still have a passion for multi-sport competitions and am looking forward to competing in a local biathlon series in 2013.
So that’s who I am, where I came from, and why I do what I do. I can look back and honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am without having worked with a trainer, and wanted to be able to provide that support and assistance for as many people as possible. I feel as though a lot of people have stories very similar to mine, and there’s no reason, as long as the desire is there, that they can’t make the changes that I’ve made.
Oh, and what do I look like now? This is me from July 31st, 2012, wearing the same Team Wendy jersey as above. Its a bit looser now. Ignore my scowl… I was just trying to get a photo in my poorly lit (and quite messy) storage room.