Chris Powell: My Training Inspiration

822xImage: ABC

Chris Powell is known around the world as a weight loss guru, transforming not only body image, but the way people feel about themselves as well. Every summer, ABC’s hit show Extreme Weight Loss comes back, and I find myself inspired, not that I could lose more weight or eat healthier, but that I could help others, and even if I was half as good as Powell, lives would be changed for the better.

I’ve talked about my inspiration before, needing to get fit for races, preparation for miles that I haven’t even thought of in six or seven months, but when it comes to Chris Powell, the inspiration comes from a different place.

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I know that the picture is blurry, but that is an 11 or 12 year old version of me, at a solid 150 lbs, give or take. At my heaviest I weighed in right around the 180-190 range, and stood a whopping 5’2″, and that is why I find comfort in watching Chris Powell, knowing that he is able to help those people that continually live in the discomfort and agony that I at one time knew.

In relation to the show, I’d sit, summer after summer, telling my family that I could do that if I just had the education for it, but Public Relations isn’t a job at a gym. After putting in so much time to get an education that you think you need, or want, it’s easy to trap yourself into the mentality of searching for the perfect job at the perfect startup or firm, but every time you see your source of inspiration, you think about how you could be doing that if you hadn’t invested so much into your formal education.

But that’s when Paige came through for me again, deciding to invest in me and pushing me to further myself.

One day on a Randall’s Island run, what we consider our long runs mainly because they’re outside, she turned to me and told me to take some of our leftover wedding money, find the right certification process and get personal trainer certified.

Because of how fast I can write, she wasn’t concerned about me picking up freelance writing jobs, but knows that I exceed when it comes to working hands-on and with other people; for me to work at a desk all day would wear on me, and she recognizes that. Instead of letting another year go by, full of me saying what I could probably do, she’s called me on it, telling me to go for it, and instead of talking about it, to prove that I can make it happen.

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So that’s what I’m doing. Thanks to Chris Powell’s inspiration, and a firm push from Paige, I am now plowing through functional anatomy and biomechanics in pursuit of becoming a certified personal trainer.

Using Equinox as my gauge, I came across the National Council on Strength & Fitness, NCSF, and ordered my study materials to knock it out.

As I said at the beginning, Chris Powell is an inspiration to people around the globe to pursue a healthier version of themselves, and maybe it’s the combination of Paige’s encouragement and my inner fat kid, but I’m taking his attitude to heart and making this happen.

Whether it’s “thinspiration” or “body confidence” there’s no excuse to not be healthy, and there’s no excuse to not be better. For that, I’ll thank Chris Powell for encouraging so many to be better versions of themselves.

Seriously Serious: Reality Hit Me

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There are 48 days until my wedding.

Today is also the first day of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.

As I said in Vive le Tour: A Beautiful Change, cycling is a newly discovered dream that I want to pursue to push my endurance; my wedding, however, won’t only be a dream for much longer. In addition, Paige has been in the gym six days a week for the last two or three weeks to prepare for this wedding, as I slouched around on the couch and ate when I could.

So, here I am with this post.

Last week was full of a strange depression, maybe even “man”stration who knows, that made me feel like the slouch around option was the best option. Today though, I realized the Pro Challenge starting and that if I wanted to one day be taken serious, I needed to get serious about myself.

What did that mean? For once I was the first one ready for the gym. Before we left, I made a last minute decision to grab a sweatshirt to make the most out of it, and then as we started our treadmills I looked at Paige for the confirmation of 4… Wanting to know if it would be a 5k or 4-mile day. She gave me the nod, and I decided that it would be a 5-mile day for me, mainly because my pride kicked in and couldn’t let her run as far as I was going to.

Then it clicked.

We’re both working on improving our speed, since we have stupid 20 minute rules on our treadmills, and I realized that the plan could be simple as long as I was consistent like her.

The plan is this:

  • 5-mile Monday
  • 10k-Tuesday
  • Halfway Humpday
  • 10k-Thursday
  • 5-mile Friday
  • Suck-It-Up Saturday

Our gym is closed on Sundays, so it works out perfect as a rest day; I mean heck, even God had a rest day.

The only thing missing from the schedule is any outside training like weight lifting or toning sessions, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do them anyway. For us, Halfway Humpday is a 5k day which leaves plenty of time to get in abs and arms workouts while we’re at the gym, and we bought a kettle bell weight that we generally pick up and work with at night while we’re watching TV or just hanging out. The weight is also perfect for Suck-It-Up Saturday which is meant to be the major push of the week.

I’ll touch on it later, but that’s the key to being better. You may have found something that works for you, but if you don’t push beyond that comfort zone you’ll never reach your fitness potential. You can go farther and last longer, just stop complaining and do it.

Finally, a piece of advice I was recently given by a friend. He said to me, “Get married, that’s your first priority. Then worry about everything else.”

I may never become a professional cyclist, may never own my own business, but I am getting married, and it has to be priority number one. With that assurance, the gym will be our second home as we make sure we look good for our wedding, and the benefits that come after that, will only make the work now that much more worth while.

Take care, and keep on keeping on.
-Jeff