While I’ve always loved sports and exercise, I’ve never been anything close to a high-level athlete, but this has never dissuaded me. Sports has always been a central part of my life.

When I was in middle school, I tried out for football all three years. The first two years, despite weeks of try-outs, I wasn’t even allowed to play since I didn’t meet the minimum weight requirement of 75 pounds. When I was a senior in high school, my history teacher wanted me to wrestle. Not due to spotting a stud athlete, but because I weighed just 125 pounds.

When I joined the Army, I decided to become a paratrooper, but, in all honesty, you don’t need to be a top athlete to walk out the door of plane in flight. Just a little bit nuts.

In my 20’s, I dabbled in softball, basketball, soccer and flag football before trying marathons. In the mid-1980’s, I ran a respectable time of 3 hours and 8 minutes. It seems pretty good until you realize the top runners finished an hour faster.

In my mid 40’s, I took up jujitsu/judo. Likely a stupid idea given that most of my peers were half my age. In 2012, at the age of 53, I was awarded a black belt. Not due to my amazing grappling and judoka abilities, but largely due to my stubborn persistence. I’d stuck with the sport while overcoming two bouts with cancer and handful of significant injuries including a separated shoulder.

When I hung up my gi for the last time, I choose to try CrossFit. Working out 5 to 7 times a week, I was able to have some measured success. Between 2014 and 2017, my ranking on the CrossFit Open improved by more than 200 places and I was able to get onto the podium at local competitions.

Then came 2017 and 2018.

For much of the past two years, I’ve been planning or building what is now Tolland CrossFit. My ‘vacations’ have been spent judging at the CrossFit Games and other competitions. I had surgery to repair an old jujitsu injury and even went through the process of selling my home of 25 years to move closer to our box.

During this time, my fitness has degraded. During the last CrossFit Open, I fell from 7th in the state of Connecticut to 15th. Although I spend countless hours in a gym, my personal fitness has taken a back seat to coaching, marketing, scheduling, back office work and everything else that goes into running a small business.

Beside getting married and becoming a father, taking the leap into opening this CrossFit box has been the best decision of my life. That said, I’ve let my own fitness suffer in the process.

Now that I’m located nearby my gym, I’m plotted a course to turn that around. Set a schedule to ensure I can pay proper attention to my own fitness. It’s humbling to start yet again, but I’m determined to be a ‘rip the shirt off’ guy by the Spring.

The next journey is underway.

Written by

Former blogger, current CrossFit gym owner. Former paratrooper, marathoner, youth sports coach and jujitsu black belt. Hoping to retire soon to write full-time.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store