It was yet another 16 hour day, feverishly editing to do the impossible & deliver on a break-neck deadline.  The client was more than happy to keep ordering in, from this greasy place, that greasy place, Want a bagel?  Sure!  There's butter and cream cheese in the fridge.  Want some Coke?  There's every soda known to man in the fridge.   Coffee?  Got a never-ending stream of it–– we'll mainline it for ya.  All just to keep me at the desk, propelled forward, ever forward, toward delivery, toward conclusion.  

Toward yet another day of my health and wellness declining.

I began to notice, around those days, 5 years ago, that my shirts weren't fitting.  That I was downing antacids like popcorn.  That heartburn was a way of life.  That I couldn't pick up my toddler daughter and carry her for long distances.  I got exhausted heading up the subway steps.  It seems the only thing I could handle was sitting there, imprisoned in the edit chair.

One day I was working with a producer/actress/model with whom I had great rapport.  And I mentioned that I just wasn't feeling like me anymore.  Greasy, depressed–– my shirts weren't fitting anymore, each the widening of my belt, notch after notch, was something I just tried to ignore.

But then I got on the scale and saw to my horror:  200 LBS.   

I had never in my life been that heavy; I was shocked.  I realized in a glistening moment how little I had cared about what I put on my plate.  How little I had cared about getting more exercise than getting up to go to the bathroom or walk to and from work each day.

But now I had a wife.  Now I had a daughter.   And unless I took rash action, I would be abandoning both for the icy clawed embrace of an early grave, out of neglectful ignorance towards my health.

I decided I needed to act.   I got P90X, off of ebay, from some dude moving to Malaysia.  I saw on one of the discs that the company, Beachbody, provides a coach for free to keep you on track–– and I knew I would need that.  In a critical fateful moment, I emailed, asking for one.  And somehow by the grace of all that is holy, they put me in the trust of David Ingram, the co-founder of Team Symbiotic.  David is a leader of rare capacity; of empathy, of kindness, of knowledge, of kick-ass.  He brought me into a "challenge group"–– a private Facebook group of about 2 dozen people just like myself.  All with a program, with issues, with goals, with hopes and dreams and histories and struggles-- just like myself.   And he was there day in, day out, leading, guiding, urging, motivating.   We each in the group reported our workouts each day, reported our Shakeology each day–– which helped immensely in staving off cravings, helping me so much to stay on the path with the nutrition plan that came with the program.  Each weekend I would cook for the week and divvy up the portions.  And I would do the workouts every day. 

It was hard.  It was harder than anything I'd ever done.  The Ab Ripper X was my Everest.  16 minutes of torture, after 3 workouts a week.   I'd struggle and strain, each time suffering it, sometimes doing more, sometimes doing less.    Til the day I vanquished its terror––– I got through every one of the reps of every one of the moves.   And suddenly, the crucible of terror became my very favorite workout.   It was a symbol of triumph, of growth.

When I finished the 3rd month of P90X, I was an entirely different person than when I started.  Spiritually, mentally, personally, physically.  David invited me into the next challenge and I lunged at the chance, and the next and the next.   In quick succession, I torched through T-25, P90X2, Insanity, P90X3, Insanity: the Asylum, Les Mills Combat, 21 Day Fix, The Master's Hammer & Chisel.

Work in the editing studio was as busy as ever, but as I brought my prepared meals each day, the bagels and fridge full of poison was no temptation.  The client would order in grease and toxins, but I'd already be set with what I knew were the right amounts of the right nutrients to optimize my health.

Never in my life had I been in such shape.  Never in my life had I had such optimism, such an electric charge of confidence and motivation.   Never in my life had I had such zeal.

And I became a coach to share that experience with others.