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Becoming a Kirby Success Story in Gary's Words

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Becoming a Kirby Success Story in Gary's Words

CrossFit is measured by defining moments, benchmarks and PRs. I can clearly recall many of my CrossFit moments, my first unassisted pullup, finally getting double-unders and running an unbroken mile for the first time in years. These were all great accomplishments, but the defining moment that changed my life was when I finally ran out of excuses not to try CrossFit.

I first met Evelyn Huang, my primary care physician in March 2019. The day we met for my first appointment I was 50 years old and a widower of 4 years. Overweight, a chain-smoker, borderline diabetic and experiencing considerable depression. Although in many ways, I was “healthy”, Evelyn recommended that I try CrossFit at KMC. With my combination of symptoms, Evelyn felt that the group dynamic and functional fitness focus of CrossFit would be good for me. I listened politely but inside (full disclosure) I thought she was crazy. I was too old, too overweight, too busy, etc. Most importantly though was that, come on, I wasn’t out of shape that badly, I used to run 5Ks, compete in triathlons, I was fine.

Fast forward to August 2021, two and a half years of ignoring the advice of Dr. Huang and coming up with increasingly imaginative excuses to not try CrossFit. I stepped on the scale in her office and realized that I had gained 40lbs since our first appointment, I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to take a breath. I was really and truly out of shape and quite miserable. That was the moment right there, 11:15 am, August 3, 2021, I ran out of excuses.

With much fear and trepidation, I reached out to Jordan Barney at KMC Active. And wow, was I scared. I knew nothing about CrossFit and had a million questions. Did I need to exercise a little first or prepare my body in any way? Did I need to buy special equipment? Should I pray? Jordan did a great job of assuring me that CrossFit was for everyone, that if I made a commitment and trusted him and the other coaches, I would be fine, that it would change my life for the better in many ways.

September 2021 began my CrossFit journey. I signed up and made it through the beginner’s class. I fought through the temptation 100 times of quitting that first week. I fought through the pain of barely being able to stand up or walk down my stairs after doing what seemed like a million air squats and burpees (I just checked, it was only 20). I fought through my social anxiety that had smothered me for years. I haven’t regretted this decision even once.

Here I am, eighteen months later, improving every day. Eighteen months of finishing workouts I never thought I could finish, Eighteen months where every drop of sweat and sore muscle serves as a constant reminder of how much I love coming to KMC Active. Eighteen months that have resulted in me being 60 lbs. lighter, with blood pressure, cholesterol and all other medical metrics at healthy levels. I can say now that although I may or may not have silently cursed the coaches during some workouts, everything that I was told by Jordan was 100% true. I may never be an RX athlete, but that’s ok. I show up almost every day, especially for the WODs that I don’t want to do. I’m still sore, I still hate burpees, but I’ll never quit.

-Gary Brennan

Gary is one of many health success stories at Kirby. To find out how you can start on your path to a healthy lifestyle, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician today!