Featured Athlete – Bradd McClelland
My Name is Bradd McClelland. I work for Union Pacific Railroad in the signal department. I played football in high school and power lifted. I have always been a big guy. I have struggled with weight my entire life. It seemed like no matter how hard I worked or what I was doing I never noticed a change for the better.
After graduating in 2003 at 301 LBS I didn’t set foot in a gym for a while. When I got hired at Union Pacific I was sent to work in Houston and lived in a hotel. Since I didn’t know anyone and didn’t have anything else to do I worked out consistently 4 or 5 days a week for a solid 8 months. I never noticed any significant change in my physical appearance. When I got moved back to Beaumont I started working nights. So my routine became sleeping most of the day working at night and eating whatever I could get to. I started noticing a considerable weight increase. I was appalled but still had no motivation. I can remember saying “when I get to 320 LBS I will start doing something.” Well 320 came along. Guess who didn’t do anything. Then I would say “when I get to 330.” Finally I got on the scale at 347 LBS! I was disgusted but still no clue what to do.
Coach Stephen had been telling me about Neal starting a CrossFit in Beaumont and having free workouts in the park. But to be completely honest I was scared to death! I was so out of shape and hadn’t done anything like that for years. I already had some knowledge of CrossFit from a good friend of mine D.J. that was a drill instructor in the Marines. I kept making excuses when I talked to Stephen. Then my friend Kasidi went to a Saturday work out in April and came back to tell me how awesome it was and that I needed to try it. I knew it was time to do something so might as well start there. I already had friends involved so why not?
The following Tuesday I went. I’m a typical competitive male and wanted to do the workout like it was prescribed. I was really nervous about being ridiculed by other people in there because I was so out of shape. When I walked through the door I noticed a sign that said “check your ego at the door.” When I read that It made me feel a lot better. I don’t remember the workout exactly but it involved air squats and kettle bell swings I was instantly hooked! I loved it, everything about it from the atmosphere to the music being blasted through the speakers. I knew that I would be back. I woke up the next morning and felt like I had been hit by a freight train. But I didn’t let it discourage me. I think it did the exact opposite. It took me a full week to recover.
I listened to the nutrition talk from Neal and I thought I love meat, vegetables and fruit I knew I could do it. Within my first month of the Paleo life style I lost 35 LBS. I was amazed! People were telling me how much weight I had lost and how good I looked. I couldn’t believe it! Those compliments made me want to work even harder. Since joining on April 22nd I have lost a total of 70 LBS. Over all I am more fit that I have ever been at any time in my life. I owe it exclusively to CrossFit and the Paleo lifestyle. When I came into the gym I couldn’t run 400 meters without needing a water break. Now I can run a mile and then do a work out. I love being healthy and telling people how I have done it. Nothing better than seeing someone that I haven’t seen in a long time and them being like “WOW what have you been doing?”
One of the best things about CrossFit is the people. I have made some great friends and met some really cool people that I would never have met. Also the workouts are all scalable to anyone fitness ability. I fully believe that anyone can do it. I hope to be inspirations to people that were in my shoes. I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be. But I will strive to become a better athlete every day of my life and I can’t wait to see where I will be in the next 6 months. I want to thank CrossFit Beaumont and all the staff for giving me the tools that I need to make me a healthier person. I couldn’t have done it without y’all and look forward to a life time of this sport.