My Journey

Striving for a Healthy Life…

Reigniting the Drive

I can’t tell you exactly when I lost my “drive” for crossfit, but it was over a year ago. I wasn’t happy anymore doing what I was doing, kept getting nagging non serious pains but nothing that I couldn’t push through. However I wasn’t progressing at the rate I once was. I was at a plateau and I lost the drive to climb further. Lets call it what it is… I GAVE UP! 


Well that has changed, I have changed once again and I’m back! Life has this way of providing these rolling hills of good and bad times in life. I was definitely in the depths of a valley for far to long and I’m now on my upswing. I am a new person, with a beautiful amazing girlfriend, a new job, and a great support system in my friends and family. I gave up on myself once, but there is no reason to now… I can’t I need this; I need the Crossfit Community. Why? you ask… Let me explain. 

Today was a perfect example of what the Crossfit Community is all about, I just signed up at a new box (Easthampton CF aka The Beast) and today was my second day of working out. I had met two of the athletes yesterday who were there and met another three today. Just nice people, but also very normal and with no hang ups about the shoes you wear, or outfits you have on, just truly nice people. Well with that said todays workout was interesting as it’s a fitness testing part of programming. The specific WOD(Workout Of the Day) doesn’t matter to this but at the last movements were a 250m Row and 35 Thrusters @ 65lbs. I ripped through the row, but thrusters have never been my friend, I pure hate them. I got into my reps and only did a set of 5 dropped the bar, then another set of 5, dropped the bar. Then I could only do 2 reps, and this is where there CF community comes into factor, when I was in my deep dark hole of self pity they were there… people who just met me 45minute prior, cheering me on, telling me to dig deep, and pick up the bar. And not just one or two, but the whole class was there cheering me on… pushing for me, WITH ME to help me finish strong and thanks to them I DID! 

Today those simple words “You’ve got this Eric…” re-ignited a drive that I can’t wait to see what I’m capable of now!   

“It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating. You just have to put your ego on a shelf & tell it to be quiet.” 


Just a slap on the back…

Crossfit 2A Throwdown 01_06_13-318Working out for most people is a chore, or a drag; but when you enter the Crossfit community its a different atmosphere all together. When you walk in the door you are not asked to scan a bar code or asked for a member number, you get “how was was your day?” or “how you feeling? I’m dying from yesterdays WOD.” The best part is you understand the pain they are in because you suffered right next to them as well.

During a workout at a globo gym is nothing like when in a Crossfit box either. There are a lot of people in both places, but in one of them people know your name, they hold you accountable, and they are there slapping your shoulder saying “Keep it up!” when you are suffering. It may just be a small act during normal circumstances, but in the mist of a killer WOD its a lifesaver, its a boost of energy, those last reps all of a sudden feel possible. Then its over and you are on the ground thinking about how a moment ago you were going to pass out, wondering how the hell you finished.

Remember that when you finish before others in a WOD, its not over until everyone is done. Even if you are done there are still friends suffering and pushing hard, help then with encouragement or “JUST” a slap on the back, you’ll be amazed what it does for them!

“You can not achieve the impossible with attempting the absurd!” – unknown


What can you do with 31,556,940 Seconds?

525949 Minutes, 8765 Hours, 365 Days, 52 Weeks, 1 Year!!!


This is how I started! 300+ lbs!


Its been one whole year since I started Crossfit at Crossfit IRON Will, and I can’t say THANK YOU enough to all the members of IRON Will, especially the trainers; Roger, Jason, Nick, Ari, Jaime, Sarah, Katie and the man, the myth the LEGEND, Heath Speckman! Heath is one of the most humble men I know, (he’s rolling his eyes right now reading this probably) but without Heath I’d still be digging my deep, DEEP early grave for myself. I know I did the hard work, but without his support, and the support of the community and family he’s made at IRON Will I wouldn’t have succeeded like I have. With that I say THANK YOU Heath, I will never forget the first WOD I did with you scared to death after just watching Ryan and Ashley/ Shawn and Rachel finish the 31 Hero’s WOD. They all killed it and looked like rock stars, and here I was struggling with a 200m run, 16″ box jumps, and 35# KB Swings.

I remember the WODs vividly and how badly I thought I was going to die, then things started happening and times got faster, heavier, and dare I say easier.  I would do extra mini-WODs after the insane workout Heath had programmed for us. Then it would turn into a full second WOD, then it turned into the 330 class running crew with a extra WOD as well. We would run daily after each workout, 800m, 1 miles… yea that blew me away when I ran my first mile in over 5+years. The camaraderie that was built during the workouts, when we all were suffering, dying, bleeding but pushing each other for more weight, faster times. I will never forget when Wade told me straight out, “Dude you some how figure out how to yell at Jaime (his GF) and get away with it, I CAN”T even do that!” Veronica, Rick C, Shawn, Kevin, Casey, Allie, and all the others I’m forgetting from 330 class. God those were some great workouts and some amazing motivation.




my how that changed the game for me. I remember saying to Heath, “yea I doubt I’ll compete, but def want to work out and get in shape!” Then a month or so later, there I am at my first Comp and also waist deep into the CF IRON Will Paleo Challenge. I enjoyed my first competition with some great people, Roger, Casey, Joel, Ellen in Albany CF. It was awesome to watch, compete, and to see my parents support my new found love! It was very important to me that they SEE what I’ve been doing, other than just the weight loss. I wanted them to know that I wasn’t just losing weight, I was becoming a athlete at the same time, and capable of so much more than I was before. The CFIW Paleo Challenge was another great win for me, although I went into it as a HEAVY favorite to win. After 60 days of hard work, struggle and I came out winning the challenge.

Some pictures from the journey…  Again I can not thank you ALL enough for the love, support, and kick in the ass I needed to do what I have done!!!

My First Rope Climb

Who knew I could do this?



This is me today, holding a pair of my size 46″ pants… I now wear a 36-38″. Its been quite a journey, however it is not a journey that is ending but JUST BEGINNING!!


I have done some great things within the Crossfit Community; WODing, competing in competitions including the CROSSFIT GAMES OPENS, WOD’d for charities and for HEROS! Some of the things I have done still boggle my mind, but the driving force that kept me moving forward was the passion to push my limits and see what I was truly made of! There are so many more things I want to accomplish, more weight to lose, more challenges I want to over come. Its the simple things I want; to take my shirt off at the beach and not feel embarrassed, to live a healthy life with good eating habits and fitness. I know I can do those things and will continue pursuing those dreams with every ounce of my body.


What can you do with 31,556,940 seconds? WHATEVER YOU SET YOUR MIND TO DO!!




What makes a “BAD ASS” Crossfit Photo?

There are tons amazing photos from the Crossfit Games, local Crossfit competitions, and just random photos during a normal WOD, but what REALLY makes a photo bad ass? Most of you know I am a professional photography as well as a Crossfitter, so I have taken my fair share of photos of people during workouts, competitions or photo-shoots.  However, some say a photo shows only one moment in time, but what if I could show you almost an entire YEAR in one photo, would you believe me?



How about now?

Today was the first time since I was in 7th grade that I fit into a LARGE shirt, and that’s a large shirt that doesn’t have an “X” or for most of the time “XX” in from of it. Also the same time I’m able to fit into 36″ waist jeans. This photo will always be the most “BAD ASS” of all my personal Crossfit photos.

Whoever says its impossible, hasn’t met a motivated Crossfitter!

Never Quit, Finish Strong!


When You are Lost… TURN DOWN THE RADIO!

When you are lost driving whats the first thing you do?  Its not pull over and look at a map, nope. Everyone will turn down the radio first and foremost. How come? Because its distracting when you are trying to regain your route of travel. So what do you do when you have “lost you way” in life? “TURN DOWN THE RADIO” of  life’s distractions and go back to where you remember last and continue on to your destination. Do not be the stubborn alpha male that we all know and just continue driving “looking around for something you know,” that is how people stay lost in bad habits. People don’t realize how one simple wrong “turn” can exponentially turn into 100’s of wrong “turns.”

Find your road map, we all have one and some are living it. However, there are some of us that have had their route set when they were young and just knew that’s where and what they wanted to do and be. Some of us still haven’t even bought our maps… we are the exploring type. We are not lazy, unmotivated, we are just still looking for our place in life. We are okay with the unknown of what tomorrow will bring, and move on no matter what happened. Some who have their routes in life, are realizing there are easier ways to do those things, or to get to those places they want. That is okay, and highly encouraged. Thinking outside the box is the trait of a motivated, driven person, and someone who will stop at nothing to get where they want to be!

So if you ever find yourself lost, at a dead end or in need of a new map. First …. TURN DOWN THE RADIO, open your senses and take on the world!!


Never Quit, Finish Strong

Compete Against Yourself… Push Yourself!

This weekend I will be competing at Europa in West Hartford Convention Center, and I can’t wait. I have those thoughts and feelings of nervousness just as I did the first day I walked into the Crossfit Iron WILL box. I wonder “who will be my competition? Am I ready for this? WTF was I thinking?” I had these same thoughts on the day my first competition and I felt I did okay there. However my mistakes I made there was I was competing against OTHERS and not myself. I cared more about the man next to me moving faster than I was. I have to learn that  I DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIM… I care about what I’m accomplishing and what I’m going to do to beat my own best.

Competition is human nature; as a kid I played King of the Mountain with my two brothers on a mound of snow. As we got older we had half day basketball tournaments in our driveway, and in high school my older brother (by 3yrs) and I would line up against each other at football practice to see who was the best in the family. Deep down we all want to be the best, but what does it matter being the best against others if you are not doing YOUR BEST? Competition is a great way to see how you match up to the world, however competition should be everyday, in everything we do. You should be “competing” against yourself everyday life; in your personal life, career, and the gym. Strive to be better than yesterday and you will always be winning.

When you are in your last days of your life do you want to be given the ribbon that everyone gets for just “showing up” or do you want to be given the 1st place trophy? Live your life as a competition against yourself and you will build the biggest, baddest trophy ever conceived. You will become the champion of the most important competition you have every entered…YOUR OWN LIFE!!!

I worked very hard. I felt I could play the game. The only thing that could stop me was myself. -Jim Abbott

Never Quit, Finish Strong

Do Not Quit… Be the Exception!

Everyone wants to be better at whatever they do; be it your job, your relationship, your health and fitness. There is no one that walks into a gym and says “today I’m gonna suck and I hope I go home weaker!” We all struggle to become better in anyway possible, some do it the lazy way and it doesn’t seem to work out the way they wanted. Who knew those “special” pills bought at 2am on QVC don’t work?? Some do it the old fashion way with hard work and dedication. They may not have the flying social life others do, they may have to sacrifice that second helping of their favorite food, and they even may lose friends over their personal decision to become the best they can at their chosen desire.  I have learned over the past few months that when it comes to those BIG things in life that everyone wants, its the little things that actually matter most. Who cares about the car you drive? Who cares about the shoes you wear? Who cares about your 500lbs dead lift? To accomplish those BIG things you need a very simple recipe; desire, dedication, and HEART! 

A DESIRE to make your self better, the DEDICATION to do whatever needs to be done,  and the HEART to never quit and push yourself to your limits!

This world is full of bullshitters and fake people, people who say they want to be better but won’t put in the effort. You are not one of those people, you are an exception to that rule. You are dedicated SOB who won’t stop for anything less than your best effort! You are the person who walks into the gym, stretches methodologically, chats with friends, but when the clock counts down its all business. You kill the WOD, your body and mind. However, you are resilient, picking yourself up from the floor, you look at the sweat on the ground, blood on the bar and know you gave it EVERYTHING YOU HAD!!! You do this day in and day out… you are the exception, and you are stronger for it!

“Never Quit, Finish Strong!”

F**K YOU ERIC… You failed yourself, NOW GET BACK TO WORK!

I haven’t been myself all week long, especially when it comes to crossfit… I haven’t been at the gym like I normally would be… I haven’t been my normal driven SOB that I have been since November. I just haven’t been right… I didn’t know what has me bothered until tonight, it took a stupid tv show to make me realize why I’m off.  Since I’ve started this journey I’ve had success after success, I’ve honestly never had a true failure in the things I’ve put in my way. Yea, I’ve failed at a lift, or a movement of some sort but I always got back to it and got the job done! This one has nothing to do with my performance in the gym, yet my performance in a much bigger, and grander location… my HEAD! I have been slacking off when it comes to my diet and I FEEL LIKE SHIT!! I haven’t had the energy to push myself like I have in the past few months and that needs to change. I need to stop falling back into old habits, well not that bad, but bad enough. I need to start over, back to the basics.


EAT RIGHT (back on strict paleo)


SLEEP 8 hours minimum.

Push myself at the gym for the 1 hours I’m there, with no excuses or bull shit!


There have been some posts I’ve written that have motivated people, but this one is strictly for me… I’m making it public that I have failed myself in this way so that I am holding myself accountable. This is such a bullshit way to “treat” myself after all the amazing successes I’ve had and the congratulation I’ve been given because of them. I have truly failed myself and tonight I will sleep, tomorrow I will wake up and take on the god damn world once again, and this time I will stay the course, and no wavering… I will continue down the road I have built for myself, there is not turning back. I don’t want your pity, or your “you’ve done great don’t be so hard on yourself,”…. I SAY FUCK THAT!! I have to be hard on myself because no one else will be as hard on me as I WILL BE ON ME! I will be smart, and not over do it, I will do things like never before. I will listen to my body, as it knows me best. I will hydrate it, feed it and provide it the strength it needs to do the things I want to do! I will be not do this for any other glory other than the pride I’ll have looking in the mirror to see the man I have turned myself into! This is not for a challenge, contest or anything else… THIS IS FOR ME, NOW GET BACK TO WORK!

“A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.” – Marcus Aurelius

Definition: Iron Will

Definition: Iron WillSomeone’s determination to do what is necessary to achieve what they want.

Tonight in about 15 minutes the last of the Crossfit Open’s WOD will drop and the world will have their last chance to test themselves against almost 70,ooo people. There is a small part of me that is going to miss all this; the waiting until 8pm EST on a random Wednesday for the WOD to drop, watching Facebook blow up with all the “Are you kidding me 7minutes of Burpees?” “No one is going to get to the second round of that AMRAP!” etc.

I know I will never get past my own box. However, I have worked just as hard as the next person, sometimes HARDER!! I have learned some VERY humbling and valuable lessons throughout this Open’s season;

1. Train harder than you will be competing.

2. Train to STRICT, OVERLY strict standard of movements.

3. Have Fun, that’s what its all about.

4. Support, encourage, and yell at your teammates, and fellow competitors  to help them achieve their BEST EFFORT!

5. Push like you’ve never pushed before, dig deep and find that inner fortitude that will propel you to greatness!   NEVER, EVER, NOT EVEN FOR ONE SECOND GIVE UP, EVERY REP COUNTS!!!

I workout at a relatively small box, Crossfit Iron Will; however what we lack in size and members we make up in 10 fold with the level of HEART, DEDICATION, DRIVE AND THE OVERWHELMING PRIDE IN DOING OUR BEST NO MATTER WHAT! I have never been so motivated by any single group of people more than I am when I’m inside that gym. We all come from different walks of life; bankers, teachers, lawyers, fire fighter/paramedics, military members, the list goes on. Yet when the clock counts down its just you and your WOD… your big bank account, fancy car, or amazing job is not going to help you now! This is what is great about OUR box, I don’t have to worry about anyone else but myself… I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT everyone around me is giving it their all, and not just for themselves, but for the TEAM!  When someone needs a push its not just one person who is there by their side, but 5 people screaming encouragement!

I will leave you with this one thought; I look back at the Crossfit Games Opens, and it feels like a  marathon. Five weeks of body killing WODs and here we are in the last mile. What are you going to do? Are you going to kick and kick like you never have before. Push your body, and more specifically your mind further than you ever thought was possible? This is the final chance… after tomorrow’s WOD we may be done, I can not accept that! We, yes ALL OF US at Crossfit Iron Will CAN NOT ACCEPT THAT! Tomorrow at 630pm we will gather together as a TEAM, we will push ourselves and each other to our limits. We will show the world what Crossfit IRON WILL is all about!!

Definition: Iron Will – Someone’s determination to do what is necessary to achieve what they want.

4 Months… 53lbs… 1 New Life!

Proof hard work and dedication works!!!

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