Featured Athlete – Justin Talley
My name is Justin Talley. I am 29 years old, 5 foot 10 inches, and a member of the United States Coast Guard. When Neal first asked me if I was interested in being the featured athlete for May I was very proud and honored that all my blood, sweat, and tears had paid off. Then came time to write the article and let me tell you it is a catch 22. Don’t get me wrong it’s one thing to know you’re out of shape and have people there to help you along the way, but it is a different animal to sit down and admit to everyone just how out of shape you were. With that being said I guess there is only one thing to do and that is to put pen to paper.
In July 2010 Brian Nedab and Matthew Rivet had been talking about CrossFit and how we should go try it out. I ignored most of the conversation thinking I’m not in that bad of shape and I don’t need CrossFit it probably doesn’t even work anyway. Let me pause for one second and tell you boy was I wrong! So Brian and Matthew finally decided that they were going to stop by CrossFit Beaumont and check it out I figured what the hell, if they are going then I’m going. That day we met Neal Riley and I apologize now Neal, but I thought this little guy is going to teach me about lifting weights, you have to be kidding me! We talked to Neal and he told us about CrossFit and the on ramp program and how to go about getting signed up. We decided there was no better time than now to do it so we set up our torture that they have so elegantly named on ramp.
Before I get started on that fun time, let me say I made a grave mistake here. I got on a scale and weighed myself but I did not take any before pictures which I regret very much now, I don’t know if I was ashamed after getting on the scale and seeing that I weighed 235lbs or if I was just afraid to have photographic evidence of it. Getting on a scale and seeing 235 pounds staring back at you is like a kick in the teeth. Especially since just 7 years earlier I graduated Coast Guard Boot Camp at 186 lbs and 3 years before that I graduated High School at 163 lbs in a period of almost 10 years I had gained 70 pounds that was one hard pill to swallow.
Now back to the first day of on ramp, I didn’t know what to expect, I was excited and nervous all at the same time. The three of us showed up ready for a work out and that was when I realized that CrossFit was absolutely not a joke and that Neal Riley was indeed an amazing athlete. (editors note: he’s not good) I don’t remember a lot about the work out other than I was praying for the hour to be over with and wondering if I would be able to walk the next day. It seemed like we did a thousand air squats that day and my legs had never hurt that badly. Even with how bad I hurt for some strange reason I wanted to go back; I was ready for the next class and the class after that too. After a few classes of on ramp we were ready to start the real CrossFit workouts by that time and it was August 2010, I finally realized how out of shape I truly was.
I don’t think there was any part of the workouts I wasn’t scaling at first. I remember the first time we did a 500 meter row and Neal had me scale it to 300 meters, while I was grateful at the time later that night I felt like it was pathetic that there wasn’t any aspect of the workouts that I was able to do without scaling. As time went on I have met some great people at CFB, some were in the same boat I was in and all are constantly striving to better themselves. Seeing their results and positive attitudes has made me want to work even harder to achieve the same results they have worked so hard for. I have learned CrossFit Beaumont is not just a place to go and get your butt kicked, it is a place you go to better yourself and it is also a place you go to support the friends you have made while they are trying to better themselves too.
I am very pleased to announce that after nearly 10 months of working out at CrossFit Beaumont and CrossFit Mid-County I’m down to 173 pounds and am truly in the best shape of my life. The credit is not CrossFit’s alone it is a combination of CrossFit and the Paleo Diet. I started dabbling with Paleo from the start when Neal talked to us about it, but didn’t get serious with the diet until I hit the proverbial wall. In January 2011 I was down to 196 pounds and could not seem to lose anymore weight so I made the decision to go strict Paleo and within a few days I could see a difference in not only my weight loss but in my performance in the workouts as well. While I may not RX every workout every time I walk into the gym I do a better job than I did the time before.
The most important thing to remember about CrossFit is that it does not get easier, but you do get better. When I walk into the gym I challenge myself to work harder at what I suck at and challenge myself to do better at what I am good at. All of this was made possible by the coaching staff at CrossFit Beaumont and CrossFit Mid-County. They have a wealth of knowledge not only about working-out, but also nutrition that they are waiting to share and if you work hard you to will see the results you are hoping for. Thank you all, I am very grateful for everything you have taught me and I can truly say I am addicted to CrossFit and I will be attending the Level 1 certification course in July.