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Old 06-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #1
Mike Warkentin
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Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

The CrossFit Journal is planning to do an article on amazing "CrossFit changed my life" stories, and I'm looking to get some ideas from the community.

Please take a little time to briefly summarize your experience or that of another person you know. We're looking for those stories that are so amazing and life-changing that they need to be shared with the rest of the global community--the more inspiring the better. Ideally, we'd like to talk to you about the experience, and we'd love some hi-resolution photos (about 1 MB) to accompany the article.

CrossFit has changed so many lives that we can't cover everything, so we'll select the most compelling ones and get in contact with the poster. If you aren't contacted, please accept my thanks in advance for telling your story.

Sincerely,

Mike Warkentin
CrossFit Journal
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
Jeff Bowser
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Mike,

I'm not sure if my story is something similar to what you're looking for, but you can read about my first year here:

http://restlater.ca/2008/08/28/one-y...nge-your-life/YOU MUST ENSURE YOU ANNOTATE ALL LINKS WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFE.

That was writen Labour Day of 2008 and was a story about my first year of fitness and how I went from a Couch Potatoe to being involved in fitness, and finally becoming a CF Addict.

Good luck in your search of material!

PS: If you want to use anything, let me know and I can get you higher res photos. Look through my blog and any pics you see I have high res photos too.
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Last edited by Lynne Pitts : 06-08-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:00 AM   #3
Jeff Bowser
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

http://restlater.ca/2008/08/28/one-y...nge-your-life/YOU MUST ENSURE YOU ANNOTATE ALL LINKS WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFE.

Sorry about that...my bad. Link is WFS
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #4
Mike Shilton
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

How Crossfit changed my life.
My name is Mike Shilton. I acquired a brain injury and major soft tissue damage in 2002 from a major car crash. (story: http://therachair.com/story.html) YOU MUST ENSURE YOU ANNOTATE ALL LINKS WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFE.(Photos included).

My journey through recovery is an ongoing challenge that I can NEVER stop. My recovery to this point has included multiple doctors and specialists (my injury lawyer told me altogether about 43 different practitioners were involved from 2002-2006), physical rehabilitation, and mental rehabilitation. The practitioners had me on many different types of medications to control anxiety, depression, seizures, pain, and sleep disorders. At times it felt as if they were just experimenting to find what would actually work. To give the doctors credit, they were trying to “normalize” me. Those treatments were appropriate for a time. I just kept working hard to continue my recovery.

Two years ago I asked a number of my doctors if I could go off my medications, as I was concerned about the harmful long-term effects to my body. They all made it very clear that the manufacturers warned against going cold turkey, as it could be fatal according to the high rate of suicides from previous patients who had tried that route. They said I was not ready and the plan to get drug free would have to wait. I did however start paying attention to how my body functioned – cause and effect. I also started reducing the number of doctors I was seeing.

My brother in law (Jeff Bowser) introduced me to CrossFit Langley in May 2008. I completed the boot camp and then approached my family doctor. I told him how I felt like I could think clearer after Crossfit. He agreed to supervise a controlled reduction of medication combined with CrossFit and a healthy diet.

August 1, 2008 I was officially “CLEAN” for the first time. I was still going through major withdrawal, but I was on my way. After being clean for one month, my doctor sat me down and told me that it was working. He asked me if I was prepared to do this for the rest of my life! The deal is – and remains to this day – if I stop this Crossfit intense workout regime and proper diet, I must go back on my medications! DEAL!

In early January 2009, I was too over zealous about the work out and didn’t warm up properly. I power cleaned 90# multiple times during a WOD and bulged a disc in my back. That week I also flew to New Zealand (in a wheel chair) for my Grandmothers funeral – that was emotionally and physically painful.

I had about a month away from Crossfit and I was in a downward spiral emotionally and physically (I even started crying at sappy commercials and sleeping for hours and hours). My next doctor’s visit became a wake up call. I failed miserably on a test he gave me for depression and anxiety. He told me that I had to go back on my medications immediately. He was aware of my disc injury and why I had not been attending Crossfit but I still negotiated with him, and he gave me two weeks to get back on track with my exercise and diet. I was also to complete another test at the end of the two weeks and if I failed it again I would have to go back on the medications that I had worked so hard to get off of.

I went that same day to meet with Coach Clarke (CrossFit Langley) and told him everything that had happened. He advised me to come back in that same day, warm up properly before class, take it easy on the weights, and focus on technique. I had no choice. If I wanted to remain clean from medication, I had to do it. IT WORKED! I went in five to six times a week and went back to a vegetable, protein and low carb diet. Two weeks later I took the test and there was a BIG change. My Doctor said I had no choice but to continue this training and diet if I NEVER wanted to go back on medication again. I have averaged 5 days per week since then.

I’ve been CLEAN for 10 months now! I’ve been in Crossfit Langley for just over one year. Some of my PR numbers are as follows:

Dead Lift - 325
Power Cleans – 165
Full Clean - 175
MU’s – 1 at a time
DU’s – 38 consecutively
Front Squat – 200
Back Squat – 225
400m Run – 1:21
OHS – 105
Split Jerk – 155
Weighted Pullup - 90
HELLEN – 10:48 (44# kb)
HSPU – 2 full ROM
Push Press – 130
Push Jerk – 135
Box Jump – 40”

I've learned that there is a key inside frustration. One can't get the key without the frustration. The key for me is PURE Medication. Coach Clarke keeps telling me to just keep coming through that door - even if my body hurts. His encouragement has helped big time! Many other CrossFit friends have helped me through the frustration so that I can benefit (Jeff, Sterling, DC, Tim, Reilly, Jill, Mia and many others). I've focused on technique and the strength is growing. We often cheer each other on - that helps too! Everyone has a story and anyone can do CrossFit. How badly do you want that key? It could be to loose weight, gain muscle, or get clean off all your medications with doctor supervision. You can not get that key without the frustration. It's worth it! Go get your meds! Thanks CrossFit!
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Last edited by Lynne Pitts : 06-11-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
Katrina A. Burton
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

WOW Mike! Tears started to form... you are amazing to be able to over come all of that and be where you are today. Tremendous will power! Be proud, hold your chin high and keep up the solid work.
If it's ok I would like to print your story and post it in our gym, CrossFit Lethbridge.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:50 AM   #6
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Mike, I work as an Addictons Counselor, your story filled my tank for the day. Thank you. May I please use your story as a part of an upcoming pitch for my boss about high intensity exercise as part of a treatment plan for TB!/PTSD and addiction? Respectfully, Bob Taylor
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
Warren C Ellison
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Awesome Job to both of you. Mike, my father is a brain cancer survior from 1960. The doctors have recently discovered a tumor in his brain again at the age of 58. He's having a hard time with cordination and memory loss and signs of OCD. I would love to learn more about your story and share it with him. Maybe it could help him? Thanks for sharing.

+1 on adding this to journal.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
Mike Shilton
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Thanks guys for your replies. It's very important that you all realize how critical the support of my loving wife and family has been. I could not have made it this far with out their daily ongoing support.

Katrina - You can Print the story and hang it in your gym. I love feedback. If my story can help inspire others to do their very best, it would be a privilege to serve you.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:24 PM   #9
Mike Shilton
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Thanks Bob for your kind words. I've had to live with PTSD and that's one of the reasons why I was on the meds. I can't live day to day - it's moment by moment. I have to choose my actions carefully. I mitigate constant adrenaline with the intense WOD's. You can use my story as a part of an upcoming pitch to your boss about high intensity exercise as part of a treatment plan for TB!/PTSD and addiction? Good luck. I'd be delighted to serve if you have other questions.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #10
Mike Shilton
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Re: Amazing stories wanted for CrossFit Journal

Hi Warren. Thanks for sharing. That must be difficult what your Dad is going through.

More about my story? My challenge is moment by moment. I'm often frustrated by my memory, knowing that something is somewhere and I just can't remember where it is. Sometimes I need to rest because I'm overwhelmed and convinced that I'm missing out on something or that I haven't finished something on time. Other times I complete things and then realize that I missed important details that needed to be included. The daily support of my wife and family help me with this. I know I'm not stupid - I just feel like it sometimes. I can't do things as quickly as I once could and it makes it more frustrating that I can remember that. Family is very important. You seem a caring son. I'm sure your father is very proud of you. I hope my two boys look out for me with my best interest in their mind when I'm older.

CrossFit has become part of a successful routine in my life. I need to know that I'm good at something. It's part of being a guy! Just knowing that I completed the WOD and "got my meds" gives my a rush like you wouldn't believe. The endorphins obviously help!

Life with a brain injury is very frustrating - except at easter (my wife, who also sustained a brain injury in the same MVA, and I actually hid our own eggs this Easter and couldn't find all of them!). I find my life journey is now full of pursuing the acquisition of keys to deal with the ongoing frustrations. Laughing at myself is one of those keys! Often I remind myself that this is just life. Life can be tough - and can also be a lot of fun! I choose to make my life as fun as possible and make memories with my family as often as we can. There are moments of sadness too. This is life! I've learned to rest when I'm tired because if I don't I wont be as affective dealing with moment by moment challenges.

CrossFit helps me think clearly. It helps me spend my adrenalin in a healthy way.

Dude! Teamwork is key. I could not be where I am today if it wasn't for the constant love from my wife and friends. Having a group to help with different aspects of life is very key for me.

My wife recently found a local "Brain Training" group. We're learning that there are many out there. We are planning on both being assessed and going through re-training to help create new neuropathways around the damaged tissue in our brains. Should be interesting. They train from children to grown adults. Here's the one we're going to attend (www.accomplished.ca) (Work & Family Safe). This website will give you links to other areas (check "Ross's Links") of help like the brain fitness channel (http://bfc.positscience.com/) (Work & Family Safe). I hope this helps you find something in your area to help exercise the brain.

All the best with your Dad. I hope this helps. ~ Mike
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