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My Journey-In the Beginning

By November 5, 2010 7 Comments

Roger and his younger brother, Leon

My name is Roger and I am a contributor to dustinmaherfitness.com.

I joined Dustin’s boot camp in June of 2010. However, the reason I finally took a chance and joined happened a very long time ago.  In fact, the year 1972 long time ago.

In the fall of 1972 I was 11 years old and had just started junior high school. I was a pretty tiny guy for my age. Very little, although I must say, unbelievably cute. Not as small as in the picture but one can get an idea as my younger brother was already almost taller that I was (he soon passed me). In any event, being the second youngest of 9 children I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my older brothers and sisters and decided to go out for the cross country team.

I was pretty nervous about the whole thing as I had never tried out for a sports team before.  On the day of the first practice I went to the gym where anyone interested in participating was to meet. As the coach walked around giving his talk and looking over at the possible members of his team, he stopped and talked to me. “You’re trying out for the team?” he asked me. “Yeah,” I replied. He just chuckled, said “Right”, and walked away. Harder to feel any smaller than I already was at that point but boy did I! I went through the motions of the first practice and just tried to finish the afternoon. I walked home pretty devastated afterward and never went back.

This episode really colored my entire life physically. I found now I shied away from any type of athletic competition or exercise for fear I wasn’t good enough or that someone would ridicule me. Even as an adult I would stay only within my comfort zone and never push myself beyond what I knew I could do. I stayed away from free weights for fear guys would think I wasn’t lifting enough. As Dustin stated in a previous post, I settled.

Fortunately, a couple years ago, I stumbled across the television show Celebrity Fit Club. While I knew it was kind of a cheesy show I also liked the boot camp way they worked out.  I told my wife that that was what I needed. Something that would challenge me in crazy ways yet make me work. So I started an internet search for local fit camps. Didn’t really find what I was looking for when one morning I saw Dustin on a morning show. His philosophies really made alot of sense to me so I noted the contact information and stored it for future use. I confess I didn’t contact him right away. Same old self-doubt. Finally I sent him an e-mail through his site. I was very surprised to receive a phone call from him in return. He asked me about my goals and assured me his boot camp program was for all abilities. He also invited me to attend his free boot camp that he would be offering to kick off the outdoor season. My wife, son and I attended and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My wife and I gave ourselves a summer of boot camp as our Father’s/Mother’s day present as well as our anniversary present. It is so encouraging for me to have guys like Dustin, Ryan and Will pushing me, encouraging me and telling me I can do more. And now, when I work out on my own, I feel more comfortable pushing myself outside of my zone and not really caring what anyone else thinks about what I’m doing!

That’s the end of my first post. In the future they won’t be this long but I felt that this first one needed to be told in its entirety. On a final note, when I was in ninth grade, we had to run the mile. We trained for a few weeks but I never went all out. On the last day, we had to run for a time. I took it easy running with a bud. Finally asked him if it would bother him if I went a little faster. It didn’t.  I started trying to run faster and found, to my surprise, I could. Pretty soon I passed runner after runner.  I couldn’t catch the leader. I had waited too long for that but I did come in second. If only Dustin had been there telling me “longer strides, longer strides”. The guy who came in first was the star of our track team and came to talk to me after. He asked me where I had been all season, they really could have used me on the team! Take that coach!