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I have always been active and in pretty good shape. For about fifteen years I played basketball, soccer, and baseball. I was a pretty decent player making the all county teams every year in high school. In college, I was a bit of a bookworm double majoring in Philosophy and a Great Books program at St. Mary’s. So the idea of playing at the NCAA Div. 1 level got put to the side to focus on school. I stayed pretty focused on working out, running, lifting, etc. I was fortunate that my roommates liked to go to the gym; we were able to push each other and make sure we didn't slack off.
After graduating, I was still pretty focused on getting my PHD. I applied and got into a couple of programs in Los Angeles, which were Pepperdine and Claremont. Unluckily I ran out of money and had to get a job. I was a bit bummed out that I wasn't going to be able to keep going to school but I carried the comforting thought that it was temporary. I interviewed at multiple places, which resulted in having to cut out workouts, and not being able to take care as much of what I ate. Being in my early 20's I thought no big deal I'll bounce back. I finally got a job at a high tech recruiting firm in San Jose. I did not know what I was getting myself into. I got dumped into a "boiler room" style-staffing firm. They chewed up new grads and spit them out faster than a baseball player does sunflower seeds.
This was an extremely high-pressure environment that I went into. My days were long starting at 5:30 am so that I could get ready and drive from Walnut Creek to San Jose in the heart of the dot com economic boom. It took two hours each way of driving. I'd get home around 8 to eat and then go to sleep so I could be ready to get to work the next day. Twice a week we would work late; on Tuesday we worked until 8:30 pm and Thursday until 7pm. I was short on sleep, high on stress, and had no time to work out or cook anything semi healthy. I would try to de-stress by going out and having a good time with friends, bars, eating out, or staying home and ordering pizza. After a few years of this I went from weighing 180 lbs. when I graduated to tipping the scales at a rotund 250lbs.
Finally reality hit me when a doctor told me that I would be kicking the bucket soon if I didn't change what I was doing. I was lucky that at that time the economy slowed down enough that
the place I worked out went out of business so I started working somewhere else. This was a step in the right direction; I was in an environment with much less pressure. I actually had a decent boss at my new job that cared about me. Given work changed I decided my lifestyle needed to change as well. I started going back to the gym, and went back to cooking. I'd forgotten how much I love cooking and also the great feeling after a good work out. For a while I was working out by myself at 24-hour fitness. My body changed to something more acceptable, I got down to 220 lbs. but I couldn't get to where I wanted to get by myself. I could only push so hard. I needed someone else to kick my ass.
The solution, Undisputed boxing gym. I drove by a few months after it opened and joined. I had never had such a hard work out in all my life. I started by taking Mike's classes 3 times a week and found that in the beginning I couldn't get even 1/2 through it without being completely spent. Pride would make me finish the classes, but by the end I was just glad I could walk out on my own two legs. Between days when I didn't take Mikes' classes I was still lifting at 24 but was just too tired when taking Mikes classes so dropped that all together and added in Brian's classes instead. I was now going to Undisputed 5 times a week, some times 6 when I could wake up early enough on Sundays. I've been going exclusively to Undisputed ever since. Now I take 2 classes a day Monday through Thursday and unless I'm traveling I'm getting to class on Saturday and Sunday as well. The best part is now I weigh the same weight as when I graduated college, 180 lb.
There are many great things about working out at Undisputed. The instructors are great people and great motivators. You work out hard, but you are having fun the entire time. The actual workouts are intense; you do go as hard as you want to, so you are still working out at your own pace. I've learned a lot of new things about boxing, and about body conditioning and strength training. I'm sure a lot of people say this, but I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life right now, and I'm still improving with the help of all the people at UBG. The community of people that are working out there create an environment that makes you look forward to going back. You have a place of belonging and an unparalleled support system. People that have seen you go for a while come up to you and tell you that you've lost weight, etc. The people that you work out with become your friends. I worked out at 24 hour fitness for 10+ years and never once had I spoke to someone that didn't come with me. Two very different feels. Undisputed has become home for me.