A few weeks ago, I began soliciting stories from the PAX of F3 Greenwood to show how F3 has impacted their lives. My thought was that I would chat with the guy to get a feel for his story, then sit down and interview him before writing up a nice puff piece about he went from #SadClown to #HIM.
The first person I thought of was JudgeHairy. What a story he has! It is quite an impressive sight to post with the good judge and watch him put out 110 percent effort from the disclaimer to the BoM. How do you give less than your best when you post at the same workout with this guy? You don’t.
So I hit up JudgeHairy for a time to sit down for an interview. Through life’s never-ending series of interruptions we never found a time to sit down and chat in depth. Then I got an email one day from the judge telling his story in his own words. I considered turning it into an interview style piece, but after reading through it, I don;t think that’s fair. So, here, in his own words, is JudgeHairy.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to post this. The picture above represents one of my greatest successes, but also, my biggest failure. At the beginning of 2015, I was very unhealthy and unhappy. I had let my weight balloon up to 365 pounds, and I could hardly walk up a flight of stairs without feeling short of breath.
I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I’ve done every diet out there at one time or another. Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Atkins, etc. I would join a gym and work out for a while, making some progress, but after losing some weight, sometimes as much as 40 – 50 pounds, I would give up and go back to my old habits. I had more or less convinced myself that this was just “how I am” and that nothing was ever going to change.
As I headed into 2015, I started thinking about time. I looked at how much my son had grown in the past 7 1/2 years. He was changing from little boy to older child. That got me thinking about how fast time had seemed to go by over the past few years, as the non-stop hamster wheel of marriage, family, career, and other obligations just seemed to go faster and faster with each passing year. I realized that the past 15-16 years had seemed to go by in a flash! That led to another realization, that the next 16 years was going to go by just as quickly. That would mean that I would turn 60 in the blink of an eye…and there are no 300+ pound 60 year olds.
So, I started praying for an answer. For the first time, I stopped trying to find my own “fix”, and asked God to solve this problem for me. That was in January, 2015. I started doing a few of the things that I’d tried before to lose weight, but still not serious.
Then, in May, my friend Bryan McCall (F3 Meatloaf), told me about this men’s workout group that was meeting at the county rec center, and told me to come sometime to check it out.
So on the 71st anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2015, I got up that Saturday and went to the old Civic Center site, and decided I would give it a try. I did not have a clue what I was getting into! Our Q of the day, Fracture, with the help of Clipboard and Mayhem put on what I later found out was known as a “Snotwoggler” in F3! We did bear crawls, crab walks, carried telephone poles, and did more push-ups (merkins), than I’d ever done in my entire life! Of course, I was convinced it was my last day on earth for the entire hour, but I remember several of the other men (pax) who were there coming back for me at different times and telling me to just keep moving, and that I could make it! (Thanks Flossy, Mulligan, Meatloaf and Capri). It especially helped when both Fracture and Capri would yell out, “Don’t worry, you’ll pass out before you die!” At the end, we circled up and I got the dubious nickname of “Judge Hairy.”
The next day, I couldn’t walk, nor could I lift my arms over my head. I hurt worse than I did when I amputated a finger years earlier! At the same time, it made me think about how out of shape I was, and how badly I needed to be more like those other guys who were working out. So I went back, and have kept going. A month or so later, I started going to the running groups too, where I continue to occupy the “sweeper” position as the permanent “six” on all runs.
I am still no one’s idea of an athlete. I’m slow, do more than half my merkins on my knees, and have yet to complete a proper form burpee at any workout. However, I have lost 67 pounds, dropped 2 shirt sizes and 3 pant sizes, completed 2 official 5k runs, and improved my overall strength, stamina, and fitness. More importantly, I’ve found a group of supportive men, who are not only helping me get healthy, they’re teaching me how real men lead, at home, at work, at church, and in the community. I look around when I post, and see in men like Meatloaf, Flossy, Juggernaut, Kobayashi, Duggar, Fabio, Judge Judy, Friar Tuck, Litebrite, Polly, and many others, the kind of husband and father my family deserves.
Proverbs 27:17 is part of the mantra of F3, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There’s not a doubt in my mind that F3 has been the answer to my January prayer. (I have to admit, I never expected bear crawls, merkins, man makers, and burpees at 5:30am to be the answer to anyone’s prayer!)
The number on the scale shows that I’ve gotten sharper, but there’s no question I still have a long way to go. In fact, I would say I’m just getting started. As we head into 2016, I’m looking forward to continuing to #getbetter every time I post. I’ll also challenge everyone who thinks they can’t get healthy or lose weight, to just put down the Cheetos, get off the couch, and get moving! If you need someone to run, walk, or crawl with you, just send me a message and I’ll go with you. I promise, if I can, you can. Let 2016 be the year you sharpen your blade, and get better.