Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Story, Part 1

While I'm sure you all don't care about who I am and what I'm all about, there's a purpose to me posting "my story." I feel as though I have something to offer to all sorts of people  through my story. Unlike most people, I've experienced different body compositions, different injuries, different adversities, and had to accomplish different goals.  Hopefully you'll be able to connect somewhat through this story, and it will show you I have experienced a whole lot in my short 21 years of life.  And then you'll see that I can help a myriad of people with a whole different set of goals.

So I'll start off by describing myself as a 12 year old.  I was a short, skinny, little kid my whole life.  Up to the 6th grade, I was the smallest of the small, and I was ok with it.  My height didn't really let me down.  I played three sports growing up, football, baseball and basketball. Obviously height at this age didn't really matter so I was good to go, living life just having fun.

Then everything kind of flipped upside down on itself.  In October of 2003, I was heading over to football practice at the local field near my house.  I ended up getting hit by car, and destroyed the car.  Kidding.  Seriously though, I broke my right femur in three places, and fractured my skull too.  All I remember really from that day was waking up underneath a parked van by the field, and a bunch of police officers and paramedics around me.  My dad, who coached my younger brother's team on the other side of the field was there too.  Apparently, the first two things I said under the van were if the Yankees won that day (Die hard Yankee fan, love the Ellsbury deal by the way) and if I can have a Peach Snapple.  Managed to get a couple of laughs out of the paramedics, but there were more obviously pressing matters.  Next I remember someone saying something about straightening my leg, and then a 1, 2, 3 count, a shock of pain and I was out cold.  Just woke up in the hospital after that.

As I woke up in the hospital, I remember seeing my mom first.  She was at work when my dad called her, and was actually sent to the wrong hospital initially.  Poor girl, to this day I feel bad that her hair went from a brown to grey in what seemed like 35 seconds.  The doctors placed 2 metal rods into my right femur, I was kept hospitalized for 6 days, and then got to go home finally.  They placed me in an immobilized knee brace that went from around my hip, all the way down my right leg and under my right foot.  It was HUGE.  I was in a wheelchair for about a month, and here is where the whole "short skinny kid who couldn't gain a pound" dramatically changed.  No sports, no walking, and Grandma staying home feeding me whatever I desired eventually led to fat Rich.  I would ask for Taco Bell, and get 2 Crunchwrap Supremes, 2 Cheesy Gordita Crunches, and 2 Chicken Taquitos.  You read that right, and you can have it all for only $27.  That's right a $27 Taco Bell order  probably 3-4 times a week.  Really fat Rich.  And really poor Grandma.

My brother and I.  I'm the beached whale on the bottom.

So I rehabbed and rehabbed and did the best a disinterested 12, then 13 year old could do.  About 5 months went by, and I was making good progress.  Unluckily, I fell at a friends house and I may or may not have re-broken my leg.  Okay, I did.  I had another small fracture of my right femur, and actually bent the rods inside my leg.  I had to go for another surgery to have the rods manipulated, and start from square one again.  I was devastated, I was upset, and I was more annoyed that I was missing baseball for the year.  Rehabbed again all the way to February 2006, and had the rods removed from my femur.  At this point, I went from maybe 4'7", 75 pounds to 5'4" and 150 pounds. Even though I could move, my appetite still had me eating everything in sight.  And then like some cruel, sick joke, I broke my left foot playing basketball in the morning before school about 3 months after this. I fractured my fifth metatarsal and was placed in a walking boot.  It was a joke at this point, and I just kept eating and getting fatter and fatter.  My sophomore year of high school I had a kid slide into my knee at third base, and partially tore my meniscus.  My heaviest point, my junior year of high school, I was 5'6" and 187 pounds.  187! 

Me at 187 pounds

I felt like shit about myself.  I was depressed, embarrassed to take my shirt off, always sucking in my gut to hide my stomach, and was worried about my appearance to the opposite sex to be honest.  I hated myself, so I decided to do something about it.  I wanted to lose weight, and lose weight I did.  I ate healthier, and actually did a different style of intermittent fasting now that I look back on it.  While most intermittent fasting diets have you fast in the morning, and feast at night, I was feasting in the morning, and fasting at night.  Every morning, for 3 months, I had a whole wheat bagel with Turkey, 3 egg whites, and cheese with hot sauce, and another whole wheat bagel with scallion cream cheese and bacon.  That's right, 2 bagels every morning, and yeah you read that, cream cheese and bacon.  Don't knock it until you try it, bacon and cream cheese together is orgasmic.  For lunch I'd have some chicken and vegetables and then I would fast until the next morning.  If I exercised it was a short jog, about 15 minutes before bed.

While this diet sucked, was boring, and maybe a tad unhealthy, I lost 50 pounds in 4 months.  Again way too much weight in a short time span, but I didn't know any better.  I felt much better about myself, and eventually going into college I decided to try out for college baseball.  I made the team, as a pitcher, and red shirted my freshman year in order to gain some size and get bigger.  I ended up getting to about 160, not all muscle since I knew close to nothing about nutrition, but I did get much stronger. My sophomore year I played, and had a great time.  

Unfortunately, I couldn't escape the major injury bug.  The summer going into my junior year, I tore my Ulnar Collateral Ligament in my Right elbow.  Now for any of you that follow baseball, you know that's the death injury for any pitcher, and the next move was Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction and Ulnar Nerve Transposition.  In English: Tommy John Surgery.  

Yummmmmmmay, TJ Surgery in September 2012
So at this point all muscle = gone.  No baseball, lots of time on my hands.  I lost another 23 pounds not being able to work out and not eating as much in fear of getting fat.  I was a mess.  Down to 137 pounds, I was a stick, with no muscles, and not to mention a fuarked up elbow that didn't allow me to really workout.  Though I did get tree trunk legs during this time period (You would too if you trained legs 4x a week), it just generally sucked.

I'll end this for now, and I'll continue later with my transformation I'm most proud off.  Going from skinny 137 to a nice muscled 148 at 6-7% body fat.  And while some of you haters will say "148 is a small, frail ass boy," when you bench press 225 lbs, squat 385 lbs, and dead lift 405 lbs at 148 pounds then come talk shit.

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