Warrior Spotlight - - Chris Carlson
When you meet somebody for the first time, you can instantly recognize when somebody has character. Something about them just makes everybody else in the room better, and you realize you need to be around this person more. In this weeks Warrior Spotlight, you'll hear from one of TFW-South Metro's hardest working warriors, and "Original 12" students: Chris Carlson.
Chris may not have came to TFW with a ton of physical weight to lose, but as you'll hear in his words, the weight of not living up to his potential was starting to rear its head. Day by day, week by week, and now year by year, Chris decided to put in the work to become a better person. Not only has he transformed his body to be stronger and more capable, his mind and spirit has flourished as well!
I’m just a regular guy, who is getting up there in age, that was looking for something, or someplace, that could help me fight getting old and get me on track. Little did I know, but when I walked into TFW South Metro, my life would be changed. I think to accurately explain just how I have been changed, we need to go back into a short, Readers Digest, history of me.
I was never the “athletic” kid growing up.
I didn’t play sports, with the exception of Pee Wee league baseball, and graduating high school 5’4” tall and tipping the scales at 118 lbs. I didn’t have coaches leaving tryout flyers in my locker. It was not until the year after graduation that I sprouted to my current height. I was never introduced to what it meant to be part of a team, that practice makes perfect or hard work pays off.
Fast forward 10 years. I had graduated from college and the extra pounds followed me to my next chapter in my life. I had never really incorporated much of an exercise routine in my first 30 years, and it was starting to catch up with me. I can’t say that I wasn’t active, I had picked up several hobbies (softball, mountain biking, golf and have always been an avid outdoorsman), but without any guidance, any gains that were made through weekend activities were buried by the mundane work week laziness.
I needed a change!
Over the next 10-12 years, I dabbled at multiple gyms and even tried to trick my mind into believing that I wasn’t as out of shape as I truly was by signing up for events like Tough Mudder. I can’t be completely negative about these things, because if not for one of my short stints at a gym, I most likely would not have met Eric, and I may not be sitting here babbling on and on.
Anyhow, none of those gym experiments would stick and I realized that I was now in my early 40’s and was headed in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be. My body fought me every day, I had no energy and I was just naïve enough to think that it would fix itself.
I didn’t know what commitment was, or what was needed to get pointed down the right road.
February of 2015, I had decided enough was enough. I had kept Eric’s contact information and decided to give him a call. I had always enjoyed Eric’s coaching style and thought that if I was going to make a life change, I needed a coach and a program that worked. After a couple of conversations, I learned about TFW and decided that I would give it a try. I would be one of the first 10 members at this new facility and had nothing to lose. Little did I know what effect that this decision would have on me both physically and mentally.
My first day at TFW South Metro, I walked through the door an undisciplined, un-focused 194 lbs. which just happened to be the heaviest I have ever been. At that time, the “familia” looked much different than it does today in terms of numbers, but I was instantly welcomed and started friendships that have made me a better person. One of the most understated benefits of TFW, for me, are the stark differences in coaching styles between our fearless leaders.
Let’s be honest, some days you need motivation, and some days you just want to do work…it’s refreshing to have both.
Two years later and I'm still “all-in." I am definitely a different individual. I’m not going to dwell on numbers, and even though I could not be happier with the guidance of all the coaches, the changes that I am the proudest of are not physical. Through TFW, I have learned to keep myself accountable and committed towards progressing towards my goals. I have learned to be patient and that changes take time. I have learned that setbacks are just that, and not the end of the world.
I have learned to trust my coaches, no matter how stubborn I seem to be. I have learned that “life” happens and things don’t always go as we plan. I have learned that I have a new bucket list of goals, that I never even knew were interests (let alone possible) just 1 ½ years ago. And finally, I have learned that it is never too late to make a change. I am surrounded by an entire “famila” that motivate me to be a better person, a better husband, and a better father.
With the risk of sounding like an infomercial, I’m 45 years old and in the best shape of my life. My only regret is that I waited so long to make a change. Thank you to “EVERYONE” at the dojo for riding shotgun with me on this exciting journey.