PART 1 – INTRODUCTION
Allow myself to introduce… myself (for anyone who understands that, I like you already). My name is Chris Myers – I am the Founder and Head Trainer of CXT ATHLETICS athletics – a Personal Training/Group Training/Sports Performance Fitness Centre based out of Milton Ontario. Over the next month or so I’d like to take you on a little journey – my journey back to health.
But first, a little background on me, my company and what I do.
My interests have always been with athletic training, both the physical and mental aspects of it. I knew I had an opportunity to approach fitness in a unique way – from a different standpoint than most, especially with the younger athletes. I don’t necessarily come from the school of success. I let my opportunity at sports slip away. I didn’t train as hard as I probably should have, I skipped team curfew with the boys the odd weekend, I was a normal teenage kid. These days it seems like the fitness industry is saturated with people from the school of success. And there is obviously a positive side to that. They know how to get to the top because they have been there; they’ve seen it and lived it. I on the other hand offer a different perspective.
I am a realist. And sorry to be the one to burst a lot of parents bubbles out there – the odds of your child making professional sports is about as good as you winning the lottery, actually maybe even worse. This is where I differ from many others in my industry. I’ve been on my way to the top, I’ve had a glimpse of the horizon and I’ve also fallen head-first, full speed back down, without warning or a parachute to brace the fall. It sucked, a lot – but it’s taught me a completely different approach to training young athletes. Training and sport shouldn’t just be about ‘making it to the show’ – it’s about life experiences, it’s about building your character, it’s about team-work, building yourself and each other up, having an opportunity at a better education and becoming a better human being. It’s not about how much money you can make or setting unrealistic expectations for yourself (or your child). We are all kids at heart, and we all enjoy sport for the fun and love of the game. At least that’s how we all start out. At one point or another in our lives we have all been (or at least wanted to be) an athlete, to be part of a team, something bigger than ourselves. The team-vibe is contagious and let’s be honest – fitness is a heck of a lot more fun when you are doing it alongside others. My training style is different than the rest and I know I come from a unique place as a fitness trainer because of everything I’ve gone through. Most people come to me looking for help when they are lost or in bad spot – I know that space all too well.
I never pictured myself writing a blog, ever. But here we are. This PART 1 – INTRODUCTION will give you all a good idea of where I come from and how I got to the point where I found myself reaching out for help. So before I back out and delete this entire post, instead I will follow the advice of Public Figure, Mel Robbins that has changed my life while on this journey. It’s called the 5 second rule (we will get more into that later in this blog series). 5-4-3-2-1… here we go. This past October 2016, I found myself in a very uncomfortable and unfamiliar spot as I entered Milton Town Hall for a business meeting – I was about to learn my fate. I had been in a constant struggle with the town and landlords for the past 6 months in an attempt to open my own fitness studio. If it wasn’t a zoning issue, it was something else. Day after day I would search the web for hours, hoping to find a suitable location and on a few occasions I did. I would make an appointment, jump in my car and race to go see the space. The major pushback I consistently received was something along the lines of, “We don’t want health or fitness in our downtown core” or “It causes too much foot traffic and chaos.” Now that is something I thought I would never hear, especially in today’s society with so many unhealthy people walking around who need help, guidance and support. It was getting to the point where I was losing faith; maybe this wasn’t meant to be? I was not aware at the time, but my mind and body were under complete distress. I began searching less and less, I would tell myself stories in my head as to why it wasn’t working and I completely beat myself up in the process.
I truly believe that we act and react the way we do, based on our past experiences – specifically the ones we experience as children and young adults. More often than not, we tend to carry that baggage with us throughout our lives. I guess I realized all this years ago, hence why I went to University and decided to major in Psychology. I knew a lot of my past experiences were taking a toll on me, so I went to school not only to learn why, but to gain the knowledge and abilities necessary in order to help other people get through similar issues they may face. I’m sure many of you reading this are a little confused as to what exactly happened and what experiences have affected me so profoundly. Well in a nutshell, here it is: I had a lot of potential as a hockey player growing up. I was drafted high, offered a number of ‘full-ride’ scholarships to multiple American NCAA Ivy League schools (St. Lawrence, Brown and Yale), I was even invited to an NHL tryout. On the surface things were looking bright. I think I’ve tried to block it out so much that I almost forget exactly how it all went ‘downhill’, but I never ended up going on my full-ride scholarship, the NHL tryout was postponed due to the league lockout that season and from there I guess I sort of just decided hockey wasn’t going to be my career. That is still extremely hard to type, and read. For years I have struggled internally because a part of me always felt like a ‘quitter’. And it all stems back to that experience. Anyways, I finished out my last year of Jr. and decided to quit the game entirely; it was time to move on with life. I was tired of all the pressure, all the demand, missing out on all the social and family events – I was exhausted and needed to get away from it all. I scrapped and saved, bought a 1-way ticket to Australia (by myself) and took off. I did a long year of soul searching while I was abroad. This is where I really began to notice that I had completely lost touch with who I was. Without hockey I didn’t even know my own identity. I felt completely lost. It’s important I give you this background information because 10+ years later, I still have moments where these past experiences affect how I act or react to a situation. Many of the things I thought I put behind were major contributor as to why I found myself in the worst mental and physical shape of my life – only a few short months ago.
Fast forward through my year abroad, I returned home and decided to go back to school but never really felt like I was working towards my true calling. I got a Degree with Honors in Special Education and loved working with the kids, but I still felt like something was missing. My vice throughout the years was and always has been fitness. Any frustration or pain seems to disappear for that hour I’m in the gym. It’s hard to explain the sensation I feel when I’m jumping, lugging, slamming and tossing the equipment around. It’s why I love athletic-style training and use it as the core foundation of my business. For any current or ex-athletes out there, you know exactly what I mean. Sitting on a machine or lying on a bench just doesn’t cut it – not for me anyways. The gym is my happy place. So when I decided to pursue it as a career 10 years ago – everything started to feel right. I became a better person and began attracting some of the most amazing things into my life during this time. It was this time in my life that I met my wife. Some of you reading this know her and the type of woman she is and I know you would all agree there aren’t many people like her in this world. She still reminds me to this day that I was destined for greatness but hockey was not it. She believes I was made for something more, something better. Life is all about timing. I know now that she came into my life when she did for a reason.
So how is it that when things are so good, you can somehow still lose your grip on things? It’s a scary thing when you feel loss of control over your life. You have all these ideas and ways out that you know you can do but you just can’t seem to put it into action. This past year is a perfect example of this. I was struggling trying to evolve my business and everything that could go wrong, did. I could have just quit and went to work in the school board, but I didn’t want to go down that path again. Look where it got me last time. I needed some inspiration, so I decided to just focus on my clients and give them my very best service – hopefully things would then fall into place.
This is where we come full circle back to where I began this post. Turns out the meeting at Town Hall went very well, I was finally approved and given the green light to open up my very own fitness studio – Everything was going to be amazing from here on out. In hindsight I guess I was a little naïve to think that life wasn’t going to be a little chaotic now that I was about to open a business completely on my own. Sure I had a lot of help from my wife and amazing friends getting everything set up and ready, but I was not fully prepared for the day-to-day grind that was about to come. I gave my entire self to my work and opening my space and put myself, my physical and mental health on the backburner. I was the guy who was supposed to be the walking example of health and wellness, yet I found myself on edge – a lot, eating on the fly and not really exercising. I think I went an entire 40 days without doing any type of actual workout – all I did was work. For the most part, I thought I was pretty darn happy though. I love my clients and consider myself one of the luckiest people to be able to do what I do, but neglecting yourself and giving everything to your clients and work is a recipe for disaster. I didn’t realize it at the time but it quickly caught up to me. I felt incredibly guilty because I finally had everything I thought I ever wanted, yet for some strange reason I still felt like something was missing?
As it turns out nothing was and nothing is ‘missing’ – the problem was I just wasn’t giving any love to myself. As I look back, I can see how I became a different person the first few months in business – I wasn’t very enthusiastic (I was I just didn’t show it), I wasn’t a very good friend and worst of all I was a mediocre husband. Then one day just over 3 months ago, I remember catching a glimpse of myself walking by my bathroom mirror after a shower. I saw a stranger. I won’t ever forget that morning, it’s a feeling I never want to experience ever again. It all hit me that day and I realized how horrible I was being to myself. I remember thinking, “If I was someone else, I wouldn’t want to be around me”. That was tough to swallow. I fought through the day and just couldn’t wait to go home to bed. What happened that night revolutionized my life – I’ll get into more detail on that in PART 2 of this blog series.
I know for some of you this is a lot to read. Trust me I have condensed, erased, wrote and re-wrote this so many times in the past 5 days I can’t even count. To be honest it’s a little terrifying – I haven’t shared a lot of my past with anyone other than my wife. But if reading this can help someone who is in a similar spot where I was a few months ago, I’m okay with it. I’m in a place now where it’s a small price to pay, personally.
It’s important I acknowledge that even though I am in a good place mentally and physically today, I know that every day isn’t going to be perfect and its okay if I still struggle some days, that’s life, that’s reality. But for once, I feel a LOT more equipped to handle it. This is the sole purpose f or my decision to share this entire journey with all of you. We all have a story, each one unique and unlike any other. My hope is that this blog will help motivate and inspire others out there who are also fighting their own battle. This is especially for all of you, because we all need support, we all need to practice self-love and we all deserve to be the very best version of ourselves. Remember, nothing is ever out of reach – and its okay to ask for help… no matter who you are or what your title may be. It was 99 days ago I that reached out to a friend for help. 99 days later I am in the best physical and mental ‘shape’ I have ever been in. Over the course of this blog, you will see why the number 99 has become so significant to me. It’s even inspired a HUGE fitness challenge I will be rolling out this fall in Milton Ontario that will give people access to the exact same resources and support that I was fortunate enough to receive throughout my 99 day journey to what I call, my “greatness”
Be sure to keep an eye out here on our Facebook page as well as our company website: www.cxtlife.ca for PART 2: THE POWER OF A NUMBER & A MOMENT – Coming Soon!