Featured Athlete – Ron Nichols
First off let me say thank you to everyone. When Kara approached me about being the featured athlete I was a little taken back. An athlete was never how I thought of myself, especially at 34 years old.
Hi, my name is Ron Nichols. I grew up here in Nederland. I went to Nederland High School where I met my wife of 14 years, Amanda. We have a 13 year old son Jackson and an 8 year old daughter named Katelin. I played High School football a long time ago but nobody has ever called me an athlete.
After High School Graduation I joined the Marine Corps where my weight loss battle began. My lowest weight was after boot camp where I weight 205lbs, but I would fight my weight after that every day. For over 4 years I tried to fit into the image of what a good Marine looks like. I would work out 3 or 4 times a day and my weight would fluctuate. I always gained it back, never reaching that goal.
After I was discharged from the Marine Corps I became a Paramedic. The day to day of everyday life and a stressful job packed on the pounds. When people asked how I was doing I would proudly announce “I’m FAT and HAPPY”, but I wasn’t. So I used the fact that I worked a lot to excuse myself from anything healthy and my family, because they were the only ones who knew the truth. I was tipping the scale at 350 lbs and taking it out on everyone.
I went for a checkup and the doctor said I had high blood pressure and was a borderline diabetic. Wow I never saw that coming, I had spent 10 years doing whatever and eating whatever I wanted. I never thought of what was happening. But so ashamed I never shared that with my family. I pulled further away and tried to lose weight on my own. I joined Advocare without my family’s knowledge and tried to lose weight on my own, but it didn’t work. Plus my wife could see that something was wrong even more than normal. So I told her what was going on. She agreed that this was something that I could not do on my own.
So as a family we made the decision to change to a clean diet. It worked not only for me but my wife and kids, plus we loved it. So I lost 20 lbs, but I need to work out so I joined a gym. I did the regular routines and learned to work out, but something was missing. So a friend of mine told me to try Crossfit. I said why not they were having free classes and what was it going to hurt.
I went on a Tuesday night. I met Alika and Burt, they had me fill out a waiver and introduced me to everyone. I was so worried. Do I run for the door or stay here. I am so big I can barely tie my shoe without being winded. Everyone was jumping in the air, doing pull-ups, and lifting weights. I decided to stay. We started with a 400 meter run and I almost puked, but the Marine in me pushed on. I could hardly breathe. My first work out was a half “Cindy”. I had to use 2 green bands to do pull-ups, pushups from my knees, and I could barely do squats. I couldn’t walk for 2 days after that and my arms were so sore it hurt to lift the stretcher. I did 5 free classes over the next 2 weeks. It took me about a month to finally decide to sign up.
I have now been participating in Cross fit full out since March. I don’t have to look at the scale every day anymore as the weight doesn’t matter. I have lost over 110lbs in the last year and I look and feel better every day. At my annual checkup the doctor said everything had returned to normal. I could have never believed that I would be where I am today. I love eating clean and working out. All because of a choice we made as a family to change and believe in ourselves, we have changed.
My son and daughter have since joined Crossfit during the kid sessions and loved them. Plus I will compete in my first Cross fit Competition in a few weeks. This would have never been possible without the support of my family and the wonderful staff at Crossfit Midcounty. Kara, Alika, Neal, Burt and everyone else. I now have a second family to support me with my healthy lifestyle. Thanks again to everyone.