On September 7, 2013 I had my last drink. This was the second time in four and a half years that I was arrested for drinking and driving. I spent the previous nine years of my life stumbling around drunk without a care in the world. However, when you spend your second four-hour stint drying out in a jail cell it gives you plenty of time to reflect on what you have done with your life. Unfortunately for me I sat there thinking I had let down my family, my friends, but more importantly myself. I realized that night it was a time for a change.

At that moment I decided that drinking was no longer an option for me. Otherwise I would end up somewhere I really didn’t want to be. I had to find a new way to channel my energy. That new channel became fitness. I started going running and was soon up to five miles, but it just didn’t quite do it for me. I needed something more. A couple of my friends said I should check out CrossFit. At first I laughed it off thinking, “the people that flip tires and raise barns”? I basically thought that the Rocky IV training montage was CrossFit. But then I really looked into it and realized that it may be a good thing for me.

I got hooked on CrossFit from day one. I loved everything about it. From the moment I started Fundamentals I felt like I was a part of something more than just a box (or what I use to call a gym). CrossFit became something more than just a workout regiment for me. I realized I had become a part of a community after my last day of Fundamentals; one of the guys walked up to me and gave me a fist bump saying, “Welcome to CrossFit.” Welcome to CrossFit indeed.

CrossFit filled a void that I desperately needed. The more I got into it, the more I went, the more I found myself becoming addicted. This was one addiction I knew I could be okay with. The changes became noticeable almost immediately. Not only was there the physical change of weight loss and muscle gain, but there was a mental change as well. I could see it…I could feel it. My friends, family and co-workers could see it too. There was a new confidence in me that I hadn’t had in a long time. It felt great, and it started to spill over into the other facets of my life as well.

One of the most important things that came out of this for me was that the desire to drink was gone. Before CrossFit I would still have nights where the craving was there. The desire to go out, drink, and get drunk was still there. Now, with CrossFit that desire was gone. I didn’t want to drink. I wanted to go to the box. I wanted to lift heavy shit and move fast.

Before I knew it, not only were my coaches and fellow athletes pushing me, but I was pushing myself as well. I was doing things that I haven’t done since high school. Then I found myself doing things I had never done before; muscle-ups, and handstand push-ups to name a few. That was only the beginning. My work life had started to improve as well. I found myself more alert, well rested, selling more, and crushing my goals (I should mention I’m in sales).

Thanks to CrossFit I can easily say I am in the best shape of my life. But that’s not the only thing I have gained. I’ve gained a new lease on life, as well as the confidence to know that I can accomplish anything, as long as I put in the effort. I would have never guessed that at 31 years of age I would be in the shape that I am in, working out, not drinking, and running some of the toughest obstacle course races out there. CrossFit didn’t just change my life…it saved it.