It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood Ruby code and customer support monkey. Sorry, but I’m not writing about any awesome new features today, or anything like that; this is an online meeting of Fatasses Anonymous.
My name is Bill, and I’m a fatass. I will die an early death due to complications arising from obesity.
Well, I used to be. Or, depending on your scale, I still am, but not for much longer. Some backstory:
Throughout high school and college, I was fat. Horribly so. In California you only take 2 years of physical education in high school, and once those were done I didn’t work out at all. I ate too much, I ate the wrong things, and after I reached about 200 pounds I stopped watching and stopped caring, hoping it would just go away someday, wishing for a magic reset button I could hit.
I finished my bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2005, and shortly after got a job working in IT. Not, as I had been hoping, in programming, but sysadmin work, close enough. I worked for a credit reporting agency, and when the crunch really hit in summer 2008, I was cut loose. While looking for a new job, I hung out with some of my former coworkers, who had started their own small business: Badpopcorn, Inc. After a few weeks, they had gotten a new contract, and I had two offers on the table: a six-month contract with Western Digital, or work for Badpopcorn on this “beyond the whiteboard” idea. Of course, I had no idea what this Crossfit thing was; I had gone to a globo gym for a few months, even paid for a personal trainer, but the trainer had no idea what to do with someone as far gone as me. But, if I was going to work on this project, I would have to know what the potential users were dealing with: I would have to meet Helen.
I warmed up, and weighed in before my first WOD: 265 pounds, 5’5″. Not good. This was not going to go well. The trainers at Crossfit Kinnick scaled it back for me: I would run 200 meters, swing a 1/2 pood kettlebell (what the heck was a pood?), and do ring rows instead of pullups. Three times. So, I jogged, mostly walked, 200 meters, swung a kettlebell, and did ring rows, pausing often to catch my breath. Then I walked, nearly crawled, another 200 meters. By the time I got back to the gym, I was feeling lightheaded and dizzy, signs of almost passing out. I stopped and did not finish the workout. Jake, one of the trainers and a Badpopcorn employee, didn’t think I’d be back. He was wrong.
It’s now been 19 months since I started doing Crossfit. I have lost 6 inches from my waistline, 80 pounds of total weight, and gone from wearing size XL and XXL shirts to medium. I went from eating garbage to eating right. I went from being unable to jog 200 meters to finishing a 5k in about half an hour. I went from doing ring-rows to unassisted pull-ups, kipping or strict. Unfortunately no amount of Crossfitting can make me taller; I’ve tried hanging from the pull-up bars, hanging kettlebells from my feet; no dice. I’m not done yet: I still need to drop about 30 pounds, and then I can really start aiming for that 3-minute Fran. In fact, I never will be done: Crossfit is not a habit one breaks easily.
My name is Bill, and I’m a Crossfitter. I will be fitter, stronger, and live longer than any of the 30% of the USA who now live with obesity.
This is me: On the left, December 2008, a couple months after starting. 5’5″, 265 pounds. On the right, March 2010; 185 pounds. not the “after” shot yet, but we’re getting there.