My (long winded) Story of Change

Minneapolis Fitness

When I was in my early twenties, I played in a touring band, worked in a bar, smoked cigarettes, drank every night, and actually took great pride in how I lived my life.

“Yeah, I’m so cool. I can drink more whiskey than anyone I know”.

Then, I met my wife and my outlook changed. All of a sudden I had someone else to think about, and now my decisions were going to impact her. We moved in together, got a dog, and since I finally had someone to come home to for the first time in my life, I stopped touring and went back to school.

Over time I also realized, “Hey, not only do I feel like crap all the time, but I look like crap too. My wife looks good. Maybe I should do something about this so she doesn’t feel bad about being legally bound to this pasty crapsack.”

And so my long list of failed fitness attempts began:

I joined Snap and “worked out” five days a week, but also drank beer and ate pizza just as often. There was nobody there to point me in the right direction.

I took Spin classes and could barely make it through a 45 minute class without barfing. Then my lower back back and knees started to hurt all the time.

I joined the YWCA and took core and body pump classes, but never learned how to safely lift a pair of dumbbells. Every class was the same and I quickly grew bored.

I joined Lifetime and payed extra fees to play tennis and basketball, but my wife didn’t like to play tennis, and the other guys in the b-ball pickup games were all 6’8” college kids. My pudge couldn’t keep up.

I came to realize that, not only were all these places sterile and uncomfortable, but that I also needed some structure. This is when I discovered martial arts.

I started taking Kung Fu classes and was hooked. I never thought that my leftover teenage anarchist punk rock values would even allow me to be treated in such a brutally organized, militaristic manner. Nevertheless, I craved the next torturous workout that my instructor had for me. I did my homework. Knuckle burpees in the basement and hours with the heavy bag followed. I read about Bruce Lee’s diet regimen and started eating more vegetables. Although all my bad habits were still in full effect, I started to lose weight and my confidence grew, but I still had a gut, skinny arms and a horrible recovery every time I worked up a sweat.

Then I heard about this progressive gym that was run by an ex-punk rocker/full-time nerd by the name of Teddy. I also read that doing Crossfit would make me stronger and I would get really good at doing a lot of things. I thought this would compliment my Kung Fu well. I was terrified of starting, but a friend of my wife’s, by the name of Kjersti, convinced us to go for it.

Long story short: My wife and I joined TTCF. Teddy made me do a lot of burpees and lift a lot of heavy shit. He also made me stop eating wheat and limit my drinking. My gut disappeared. My muscles grew. My recovery time shrank. I started riding my bike from Northeast to Uptown to workout. I started recruiting friends to join. I got certified and became a coach. I now try to help new people have the same experiences I had and continue to have. I feel good. I look good.

Can I still drink more whiskey than all of my friends? Yes, but I choose not to :)

I finally made that big change in my life, and just writing this sentence gets me a little choked up.

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    1. On January 22, 2013 Chris Frykman said

      Love it Jon! It's inspiring to me that you're so willing to take a real look at what you're doing and make change you see as shifting you to a higher ground. You make life improvement easier for others!

    2. On January 22, 2013 Kjersti Hanneman said

      Thanks for the shout-out! Couldn't be prouder than I am of the badassness of you and Carrie. You inspire us all.

    3. On January 22, 2013 Dasha Gaian said

      thank you for sharing, this is really inspiring!

    4. On January 22, 2013 Dasha Gaian said

      thank you for sharing, this is really inspiring!

    5. On January 22, 2013 Adam Quick said

      From one pasty crapsack to another, I sure am glad you recruited me. Let's drink to life changes! oh wait…

    6. On January 22, 2013 Andy Beckwith said

      Awesome stuff Jon!

    7. On January 22, 2013 Teddy Kim said

      Good on you mate!

    8. On January 22, 2013 Dorothy Doyle said

      Sounds like you made a great team. Congrats to you both, Teddy!

    9. On January 22, 2013 Shane Christensen said

      Amazing story! And it shows that it's not only working out you need to do to achieve your goals, very inspiring.

    10. On January 22, 2013 Maureen Feeney said

      Great story!

    11. On January 25, 2013 Laura Harley said

      Love this! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    12. On January 25, 2013 Val Dobbs said

      very inspiring story

    13. On January 31, 2013 Amanda Redepenning said


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