How 2012 Changed My Life

This post was simply going to be called “2012 in Review”.  Simple, effective, boring as hell.  On December 30th though, CrossFit HQ (@CrossFit on Twitter) posted this question to the masses:



Now, twitter only allows you to use 140 characters to get your point across and anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I’m wordy…how could I sum this answer up in 140 characters?

Quite simply, I’m not sure I could, so I’m taking my initial title idea and their question and making this post about how 2012 changed my life.

A little over 1 year ago I decided that in order to achieve success I would have to put myself, my goals, and my intentions out for the world to see.  This initially was intended simply for a few aunts and uncles, my coach, and my best friend to read and keep me accountable.  Without accountability, we can easily lose our focus and drive and I know myself well enough to know that I’m a people pleaser.  If someone is expecting something from me, I will move mountains to not let them down.

Well, through this CrossFit and blogging journey I can say one thing. Everything has changed. For starters, I weighed 305lbs on this date last year, today I’m at 252–down 53lbs in a year.  Add in that in February 2011 I weighed 340lbs, that’s 88lbs gone…I’ve lost over half of my coach…One thing I’ve learned though and finally let sink in though is that it’s not all in the number.  I know I could have lost more than 53lbs in a year with diet alone, millions of people have done it, but in losing 53lbs, how much muscle did I pack on?  I know for a fact that my body fat percentage has gone from well over 30% to approximately 20%.

As for my 2012 and what CrossFit has meant to this year, it’s nothing short of amazing to reflect on.  I remember very early on when I started this blog, I started posting videos by some dude named Jason Khalipa and Jon Gilson from Again Faster.  Truthfully, I had absolutely no clue at all about who they were in CrossFit, they just had some great instructional videos on YouTube.  I emailed both of them asking permission to use their videos on this blog and they both graciously allowed me to do so.  Fast forward a few months and I learn why people were so amazed when I said “so I emailed Jason Khalipa and he’s going to let me use his videos on my blog”…back then it was cool, now I just grin.  The 2008 CrossFit Games Champion and my favourite CrossFit athlete took 2 minutes out of his day to read my email, reply, wish me luck, and offer support in my journey.  How freaking cool is that!?  I’ve bought more stuff from Again Faster than I care to share with my wife, but they supported me so why wouldn’t I support them?

The blog helped me attain a position on the Canada West Media Team through the 2012 Games season as well, and if I thought I knew what I was getting into, I was wrong.  I’ve been able to talk to and interview some of Canada’s best and am lucky enough to count the likes of Angie Pye, Mike Eberts, Mike Warkentin, Dan Rogers, Heather Gillespie, Jason Tillsley, and Dave Kitchen amongst people I consider my friends.  That wouldn’t have happened without the opportunity I was given.  I had only been in CrossFit a few short months when I took that position, I was so naive and out of the loop I almost felt bad interviewing these people because I was so far below them.  Now, with more WODs, interviews, and knowledge under my belt I can only hope that I have this opportunity again to volunteer within this community.  Hell, I got to meet The Dave Castro and Greg freakin Glassman at Regionals!

me and castro
Myself and CrossFit Director of Training Dave Castro. I weigh about 295lbs in this pic.


















With the amazing coaches that I have access to, it was only a matter of time before I started to gain the confidence in myself that they already had.  As I have found with the athletes I coach now, coaches are usually a better judge of how much more you are capable of than you are yourself. The proof of this was in entering and finishing my first ever CrossFit competition, the 2012 Bridge City Beat Down in Saskatoon.  I finished last but I also PR’d my 5 rep power clean, did my first toes to bar and my first unassisted pull-up, which somehow turned into 18 of them.  That’s what CrossFit does.

Having convinced my best friend R-Star to drink the kool-aid has also helped immensely because as so many athletes say “to be better, you need to train with people who are better than you, who can push you”. Every time we work out, he beats me, I think I’ve beat him on one WOD since he joined but I always work harder when he’s there.  The men at CrossFit 403 have really stepped up their game too and now it’s almost impossible to not have a guy pushing me in every WOD.  I used to say it’s not about competing with the guy next to you, it’s about competing with yourself, but when you start to realize what you may be capable of, I at least need someone pushing me further, to get where I am capable of going.  With the crew that has become the CrossFit 403 family, we are all capable of whatever we want to accomplish.  I’ve even stated out loud that I want to be on a team at Regionals one day simply to say I was good enough to represent this group of amazing people.

I have also learned what it means to be a coach, though I still learn every day.  When I mentioned quietly that I wanted to do my CrossFit L1 cert this past summer it was just a thought in the back of my head.  The next thing I know I’m doing deadlifts with Cherie Chan, front squats with Jason MacDonald, and presses with Dave Kitchen.  Now I get to take the skills I learned from my amazing L1 Seminar Staff and work hard every day to pass these skills on to everyone around me who cares to listen.

There’s so much more I could write but I need to wrap this up…so “How has CrossFit changed [my] life?”

Instead of video games, I have thrusters.  Instead of slurpees, I have protein shakes. Instead of watching my dogs play, I run alongside them. Instead of laying on the floor, I’m doing mobility.  Instead of distant dreams, I have real goals.  And the biggest thing–Instead of doing it alone, I’ve got an amazing community support structure all around me that pushes me to set higher standards in everything I do.  From inspirational blog posts and tweets from Web Smith, Kevin Daigle and Lisbeth Darsh, to words of encouragement from Shana Alverson and Angie Pye, to the daily lessons from Coach Crip and every other coach I have, CrossFit has changed everything.  EVERYTHING.

Oh yeah…and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, lighter and stronger than I’ve been in 10 years, and confident in my daily life.  If your idea of fitness is strictly physical, you’re doing it wrong.

November 2010 at Pearl Harbour, approximately in the 330-340lb range.











Today, December 31 2012…approximately 25 months later.  Just walked in the door after finishing the Hero WOD Loredo.
















Now it’s your turn.  It’s that time of year when everyone TALKS about changing something in the new year—stop talking, just do it.

If not now, when?

3 thoughts on “How 2012 Changed My Life

  1. Hey Josh! What a great story. It’s been 7 years since I became part of this CrossFit world and I never fail to get goosebumps when I read stuff like this. Good on ya!

    If you make it to Carson next summer make sure to find me–you’re the kinda guy I need to know!



    1. It’s in the works, I really hope to find a way to make it to Carson this year. I’ll definitely find a way to track ya down! Thanks for the support.


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