There are many ways that make owning a CrossFit gym rewarding. Seeing someone transform themselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally is one of the most profound. We have had the pleasure of sharing a number of Member Profiles and Transformation Stories and are honored to share yet another. Enjoy reading about David Clippinger and his story.
Nearly 3 years ago I moved from Utah to Colorado for a new work opportunity. It was a very difficult transition for me physically, emotionally and mentally. I had to leave my wife, Carly, and our children behind so she could sell our home. I was by myself for 6 months without family. It, on top of the stress of my new position at work, resulted in many nights where I would lay in my hotel bed after work and binge watche Netflix and eat whatever I wanted. Finished the entire series of Breaking Bad in 4 days!! As you can imagine, I began packing on the pounds!
I was not in incredible shape to begin with, although I had been fairly consistent in going to a big box gym, but my weight quickly ballooned to about 230 pounds. As if that wasn’t enough, my “wake up” call came when I went backpacking with my brother in law and some friends during a visit back to Utah. The terrain was intense and I found myself constantly taking breaks to catch my breath. On top of that, I slowed down the group, which was embarrassing and I imagine pretty frustrating to them. I thought I was going to die! I love to backpack and hike and knew that I had to change. Quickly.
Shortly after the trip, I spoke with one of my sisters that CrossFits in Utah. She has always been in good shape and told me how much she and my brother in law love CrossFit. I was very intimidated by the idea of trying it. I had heard of Rich Froning and seen the crazy stuff he can do and thought “no way I could do this even if I wasn’t overweight!”
I finally got the courage to google CrossFit in the area. I remember it like it was yesterday typing in “Best CrossFit gyms in Denver.” Modig Fitness came up first in the list. I poured through the reviews that raved of the great coaching and the incredible community, so I decided I would give it a try. The irony is that I had stayed in both of the hotels, during my binge watching Netflix days, behind Modig so I knew exactly where it was! I made my wife call for me as I was too embarrassed and nervous for some reason. She relayed that David, the head coach and owner, told her that I just needed to come in and give it a shot. A few days later I came in on a Saturday. Needless to say I was a little intimidated.
There was a couple working on hang cleans with weight so heavy I almost walked out the door because of how easily they were crushing it! I stayed, obviously, and did the good ole’ burpee/wall ball work out that I’ve seen several other trial members do. A few people, including that same couple, cheered me on and gave me tips during what felt like the longest 7 minutes of my life. After I finished, I went out back by the dumpster to dry heave and felt like I was going to die! Billie, another one of the awesome Modig coaches, asked me when I came back in what I thought? “Sign me up!” I said.
I started On Ramp, the introductory sessions where a coach reviews all the basic movements outside of a regular class setting, with Coach Justin Ratliff that next week. The warm up alone made me want to puke. It was only running around the room doing high knees, butt kicks etc., but it highlighted just how out of shape I was.
I started going to the 5am class at Modig 4 days a week and was ALWAYS finishing a good 5-10 minutes after everyone else. I remember one time in particular when another member walked outside to look for me after I hadn’t come back during a 400 meter run! There was always someone cheering me on and encouraging me to finish. Even though I always finished last, I loved how I felt afterwards. The support and encouragement of the other people in the class and the constant coaching, encouragement and kind words from the Coaches made me want to come back every day. On top of that, I slowly found myself getting a little better in the WODs.
I also started dropping some weight, but I realized I needed to focus on my nutrition if I wanted to perform better and look better. I started counting my macros and the lbs began dropping off pretty quick. It was nice seeing some weight loss and big improvements in the WODs, so I decided to sign up for an obstacle course race. Truthfully, I began to get a bit obsessed with being prepared for the race. I was doing trail runs on the weekend and sometimes another MetCon in the evening after work. A coach took notice and called me out on it. Hmmm, I wonder who that could be?! ???? Yep you guessed it, Corey! (We miss you Corey!)
All joking aside, she was concerned and cared about my well being. She felt like I was possibly doing too much. I thought a lot about our conversation and spoke to my wife about it that evening. She had also begun CrossFitting and working with Corey, who is a certified personal trainer and the “go to guru” for nutrition consulting. As I thought about it further, I knew I had to learn balance. Specifically on nutrition and training. I emailed Corey shortly thereafter and began to meet with her on a regular basis for nutritional consulting. She helped me to realize that without balance, it would be very easy for me to slip back into my old habits. I definitely didn’t want that to happen.
During one of our first meetings, I shared my current nutrition and performance goals. She listened, took notes, and gave me a short list of small goals and things to do for the week. Over time, my body composition began changing, I did that first obstacle course race and a few more after that. Occasionally I would get side tracked and lose sight of my goals. In one session I would say “I want to get as strong as possible, I want to be awesome at obstacle races and I want do really well in the CrossFit Open!!” I wanted it ALL!! She would simply ask me “Why?” Sometimes I couldn’t answer that question. Over time she helped me discover that I would fall back into old habits if I struggled to articulate the “why?” And while goals can, and often should, change as you progress, it’s important to stay focused. What I’ve learned is not only do you need balance with your training and nutrition, but more importantly in LIFE! One of my greatest achievements in this whole process is that I am so proud of where I’ve come mentally and emotionally.
I’m still a work in progress, but am so proud of where I’ve come and the new opportunities and goals that lie ahead. I have lost more than 50lbs! My wife and I just welcomed our 3rd child and it feels so good to be in a place where I feel confident I can be a fun active husband and father! On a side note,I went backpacking again this past summer with the same guys from my “wake up” call hike and this time I was the one waiting for them on the trails. ???? I really can’t express my gratitude to the great coaches, community and friends I’ve met since I’ve started at Modig. As I look back, although this journey has been challenging, I can honestly say the hardest part about doing CrossFit was walking in the door that first day.
Thanks again to everyone at Modig Fitness!