To us a REBORN athlete embodies and portrays what the entire CFRR coaching team believes in as a whole. This is someone that the entire community as a whole looks up to. Not in the way you might be thinking. Being RX and having the fastest “Fran” time are just numbers. To us being truly REBORN is taking what your life was, and literally changing it to what you have always hoped it would be. Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally you are a new person. You see, once you are truly REBORN, the fear of going back to who you once were just doesn’t haunt you like it used to. The new you feels to good, and its just no longer worth it to be afraid of your previous lifestyle. Being in this place takes years of time and consistency. Tons of mistakes and downfalls. Moments where you have your head in your hands and just think you can’t make it, but with full TRUST and FAITH in what #CFRR believes, YOU OVERCOME. That is to us what it means to be #REBORN.
“I’m thankful for my personal struggle, because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” – Marcus
This quote summarizes the last 6 ½ years of my life. Although I didn’t step into CFRR until July 2014, my journey towards the box began on October 3, 2010. That October day was the first time in many years that I did not consume alcohol. I found myself in a Las Vegas emergency room with a busted up face, failing health and in a state of utter shame. I was experiencing alcohol withdraws, suffering from liver damage, jaundice and an enlarged spleen from being an everyday drinker for years. I had pain shooting down both legs due to a bulging disk and spinal stenosis. I wore a CPAP machine each night to control sleep apnea and I was on high blood pressure medicine. At the age of 40, I was obese, tired, withdrawn and it had all finally caught up with me.
Within a week of hitting rock bottom, I sought professional help for my alcohol abuse and spent the next several months in treatment.
I also started to move by simply going for a daily walk. I was 270 pounds and walking was all I could do at the time, plus it helped occupy my mind. Days quickly turned into a month, and that, into several months. Before I knew it, my mind, body and soul started to heal and I completed my outpatient rehab. By the end of 2010, I had lost 20 pounds and the need for blood pressure medicine disappeared. Shortly thereafter, the CPAP machine was eliminated.
2011 was a long year. All I could think about was making it to October 3rd, marking my one year anniversary of being alcohol free! I continued to walk daily and incorporated lifting weights and swimming. Throughout that year I became intrigued with using food as fuel verses simply eating because it tasted good. I began to read food labels and educated myself on living a Paleo lifestyle. I also started writing down goals I wanted to accomplish along with a specific plan on how to achieve them.
2012 & 2013 were successful years as well. My marriage was elevated to new levels, my residential real estate business was expanding, I continued to lose weight and exercise was now my new addiction. In 2014, my sister Ida introduced me to CrossFit. She and her family were stationed in Germany at the time and she would blog about her workouts. Ida would post pictures of her moving through those workouts and used terminology such as WOD’s, EMOM’s and TABATA’s. I became bored with the traditional gym and was inspired to try something new, and she encouraged me to try CrossFit.
In July 2014, I walked into CFRR for the first time. At this point I had lost about 85 pounds on my own and weighed in at 185. When I finished the CFRR Elements classes and joined the group sessions, Coach Kali confronted me with a statement that I reflect on to this day; she said “There is so much more that you’re capable of”. With those simple words and a coach’s intuition, a CrossFit Athlete was “Reborn”. Even after the success I had on my own, a new fire was lit within me. CrossFit was like hitting the reset button and turning back the clock.
I’ve now been at CFRR for 2 ½ years and on a daily basis, I look forward to the mental and physical challenge each workout presents. I attend the early morning classes throughout the week, take 1 PT session a week and join my wife on Saturdays for the Partner Endurance WOD. At one point in my journey, I had lost a total of 101 pounds. I’m now 46 years old and in the best shape of my life at 175 pounds. I’ve not consumed alcohol since the day I quit, 6 ½ years ago. My head is clear and my body is strong, and has recovered as much as possible from prior years of mistreatment.
I’m hopeful that in sharing my journey, I offer encouragement to someone that may be dealing with a difficult situation. I believe that no matter what someone’s situation is or how dark it might appear…it can all be healed. It is not easy to admit our faults or talk about our mistakes but there is so much liberation in doing so. I cannot tell this story without acknowledging the support and love that I received and continue to receive from my friends and family, especially my wife, Kathy “Storm” Garcia and my sister Ida Hanson. If you or someone you know is struggling with a difficult situation, I encourage you or them to seek help. I’ll conclude with words that inspired me many years ago…“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”.