It was August 16th, 2014 around 10:00am and we were halfway done with the bottle of vodka, but this was not your average Saturday. It was wedding day at my house, but the conversation wasn’t about the ceremony. It was about Bodybuilding.com’s “Back to the Grind” 6-week transformation challenge. I knew I wanted to be a part of this, so when my cousin Frank turned to me and said, “I Do,” (no, he wasn’t the groom to be) I just figured it was the Grey Goose talking.
The party ended & Summer was coming to a close. Frank insisted we take the challenge. This 26-year old was motivated to get the body he always wanted. The plan was simple -wake up, kick ass, eat right, repeat. Now with him working a full time job & my daily schedule being hectic and irregular, we had the issue of finding a common time routine. Some days were at 5:30am while others were at 9:30pm. That clock didn’t matter. The calendar did. 42 days to get in the best possible shape!
Frank is not obese. He is not fat by any means. He is your average sized guy. Just under 6 foot & weighs 176 pounds. He suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which resulted in years of knee operations. So first and foremost, we crossed “cardio” off the todo list.
Day 1. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Frank rode his bike over for his first mission. 20 tire smashes, 10 medicine ball push ups, :30 combat rope… Results? Throwing Up!
I’ll be honest, after throwing up just from about 5-minutes of a workout, I thought this was over and we would give up. Frank didn’t give up. He showed up the next day and the next and now we are here today, day 42.
To say Frank motivated me would be an understatement. He helped me realize why I got into this industry. He reminded me that every workout I teach, no matter how tired, sore or unmotivated I am, that I have to give my students my best effort. That’s all I ever asked of Frank. I didn’t care that he threw up. I didn’t care that he couldn’t do a single pull up. I cared that he kept showing up. I cared that he asked questions, pitched ideas, never made excuses, and most all of – gave it his best effort every time.
As the contest wraps up and we wait for the decision, I hope his story and transformation gets the credit he deserves. His commitment and honest work ethic is a testament to what fitness really is about. It is not about a cleanse or a miracle product. It is not about a specific diet or pill. It is about hard work and the desire to change. While this contest has come to an end, Frank’s transformation story has just begun. He proved to me that you can make changes in 42 days, but more importantly… imagine what can happen on day 43.
Just Keep Going!