3 years ago, I was basically killing myself … I had all sorts of weird symptoms, pains and issues. 2.5 years ago I was 29, a whopping 389lbs (maybe more, but the scaled came up with “Error” after that) and stepping closer and closer to an early death brought on by laziness and gluttony.
3 years ago I made a decision to change my life forever … for the better. I wanted to make sure that I was there for my wife, my kids and my family. 3 years ago, I started CrossFit @ CrossFit By Overload.
In November of 2009 I knew I had to make a change. I couldn’t function normally in every day life. When I had to rent a friggin’ electric wheelchair when we went do Disneyland just so I could keep up with everyone … that was a very low point for me and I didn’t want that to happen again.
So I started looking into what I can do to get healthy. I’ve tried diets, globo gyms … but nothing ever stuck. Also, my other problem was that I was born with bi-latteral club feet (they were pointing backwards at the time of birth which led to 13 surgeries on each foot) so I have a lot of pain and limitations because of that. So I had to find something that was interesting and could accommodate my handicaps. I looked into bootcamp type workouts but they require a lot of running, which I cannot do. But one day while walking into Ralph’s on Washington Ave in Murrieta, CA I passed by Jordan Gravatt’s CrossFit By Overload truck and wrote down the web address. Looked it up and emailed Paula Gravatt to make a visit.
“As I came in to watch the action I attempted to sit down in a chair … and couldn’t friggin’ fit in it!! LOL!”
— RecoveringFatGuy aka Joe Rossi
The day I visited was December 5th, 2009 …It was a Saturday WOD called the “Lumberjack 20” in honor of the people who lost their lives in the tragic shooting at Fort Hood. As I came in to watch the action I attempted to sit down in a chair … and couldn’t friggin’ fit in it!! LOL! Anyway, I proceeded to watch people do Deadlifts, KB swings, OH squats, burpees, pullups, box jumps … and was blown away. There were people of all shapes and sizes … pushing themselves harder then I’ve ever seen anyone push themselves before. There was Doc and Casey standing on the tires in the middle of the room keeping up the motivation (yelling but not being demeaning) and I could tell they really wanted to see the people succeed. From that moment I was hooked.
It hasn’t been an easy road over the last couple years but the pros far outweigh the cons. I have done things I’ve never thought possible while also learning my limitations and finding ways to get around them.
Like I said before, because of my feet, I can’t run or jump rope … but boy can I friggin’ row now. A 200m row used to obliterate me … now I could do 2000m for a warmup. I could barely do a ring row and now I am on ”redband” pull-ups for workouts and able to chain together 3 kipping pull-ups! At my beginners class I attempted to do an abmat sit-up and got the worst stomach cramp of my life, but now can do 80+ in a workout. I couldn’t do a single knee pushup, but now seeing 100 pushups in a workout doesn’t even make me nervous. There are so many other milestones I’ve reached … but the biggest is knowing I am headed down the right path of health now and will be here for many more years to come.
Thank you so much to everyone at CrossFit By Overload and the CrossFit community for accepting me into the family and providing a place where I could get my life back on track. I still have a ways to go but I know that I will always have my second family there to keep pushing me.