I have always been interested in health & fitness and have studied Shotokan Karate for over two decades. At the peak of my martial arts career I trained 5 days per week, weighed about 140 lbs, and had lots of energy.
After completing an undergraduate degree in engineering I decided to continue my research and pursue graduate studies in engineering. Grad studies was challenging and necessitated working long hours and pulling occasional all-nighters. I started missing more karate classes than I was attending, which I naively rationalized by telling myself that it was only for the short term. The picture on the left shows me in the final year of graduate studies.
I completed my Ph.D. and immediately started a postdoctoral fellowship. However, one kind of stress was replaced by another kind of stress, and my physical health did not rebound. By this point I weighed 170+ lbs (19% body fat), had a 32″ waist, and always felt like I had no energy. My other vital signs had also become worrisome (resting heart rate = 90+ bpm and blood pressure = 141/87).
I quickly realized that a change was necessary. I began eating more healthy foods, resumed martial arts training, and also started running again. This was also the time that my wife, Laura, started P90X, so I watched her transformation from one day to the next… and then one month to the next. She went from not being able to do a single push-up to being able to match me push-up for push-up. Needless to say, I was impressed. And then she did P90X2. And then Insanity. I was sold.
Laura and I became Independent Team Beachbody Coaches in October 2012. The middle picture shows me at the end of our 21-day Ultimate Reset… which was also the beginning of my P90X journey! At this point I weighed 133 lbs (9% body fat), had a 29″ waist, and felt great again!
Finally, the picture on the right shows where I am today. I completed P90X at 135 lbs (7.3% body fat) with a 28.5″ waist, and all vitals are excellent (resting heart rate = 60 bpm and blood pressure = 109/65). I don’t think I will ever be a fan of Mr. Horton’s corn cob pull-ups, but I can’t deny the results (… muscles!). I celebrated my completion of P90X by running my first marathon.
I am eternally grateful to Beachbody (and Tony Horton) for developing the programs that helped us reclaim our healthy lifestyles. I look forward to starting P90X2 soon, and many more healthy years of “pressing play”.