It takes a certain type of person to be a consultant at Adapt. We are a different breed, and a group of friends whose bond goes way past the eight hours a day we spend with each other. We are on the front-lines of a movement where we believe that the healthcare system is leaving millions of people with neurological disease and impairments grossly underprivileged and we are combating that the best way we know how, through physical and mental exercises. We spend our days thinking and creating ways for every member we see to live a more fulfilled and capable life no matter their aliment or condition. We have brought together a community of likeminded people with many similarities and many differences to strive towards a single goal of wellness.

The best way I do that is by pushing the members to be their best for the amount of time I have them. I do that best when I am pushing myself to live my best life and breakdown my own boundaries and limitations. So, every day I push myself to run a little more, swim a little longer, bike a little faster, and workout a little harder so in turn I can practice what I preach with our members. I breakdown my own barriers each day to help others do the same, and then build them back up stronger than before.

Whenever I am starting a run, in the middle of a hill climb, or getting through the waves for a swim I always think to myself, “Is this what I like to do for fun??” And the answer is always a resounding “Hell yeah!” I cannot think of a better way to spend my time than to push myself physically, because in turn, that makes be a much better person mentally and spiritually. I want to start every morning like that, and most of the time I do. I don’t feel right unless I have completed a workout or a run. I feel like my days never reach a climax unless I have beaten myself up somehow, and for me to keep that feeling to myself seems very selfish, so I work to share that feeling with everybody I can and especially those who are less able to reach that feeling.

Whenever I talk to somebody about running, triathlons or any endurance sport, their first response is “You’re crazy” or “I could never do that” (unless they have done it before then it is more like “Did we just become best friends?!?”). But fact is, both of those statements are wrong (not the best friends one). I just make it a priority in my life to push myself in ways that I see fit. I make it a priority to run, bike, swim and workout and I am just getting started.

I didn’t really get into endurance sports until my last couple of years in college at Santa Cruz. I always liked working out in the gym and lifting weights, but I always hated running, until one day, I ended up with a self-inflicted broken hand. I couldn’t put any weight on it and therefore couldn’t workout which is when my wife recommended running. I had done a couple of 5ks and thought they were a good time, I never really got any fun out of just running until this moment.

The 1st couple of times sucked a lot when I was trying to just run laps, or on a treadmill, but when I went outside I discovered parts of my college town I had never seen before and it was like another world opened up to me. It took a while to build up my mileage, but I always say that if you can run 3 miles you can run 13 because the first couple are always the hardest and mentally preparing yourself to leave the house is even harder. It was a whole new perspective on the same thing I had seen day in and out for the last three years. I discovered trails all around my campus that ran through the forest and all the way down to the beach. I ran through the downtown areas making sure that I never took the same route twice.

I saw mountain bikers flying by me on the downhills and slowly working past me on the uphill which caused me to want to start pedaling. It seemed only logical to me to ride my bike to campus as it almost took the same amount of time to ride as it did walking to the bus stop and waiting for the bus. I would bike uphill to my campus and every time I would ask myself the same question, “Is this what I like to do for fun?” I didn’t know if I liked the climbing yet, but I knew once my classes were over and my studies were done I was at the top of the hill and the only place to go was down! That was definitely the best part of everyday for me and continues to be as I try to bike to work every chance I get.

Not only did my endurance improve but my grades were going up in what was supposed to be some of the hardest classes in my major. I would use the time on my runs or bike rides to go over everything in my head we just learned in class and whatever I was getting stuck on I could go back and work to improve. While other students were making flash cards and highlighting every part of their note books, I was going through everything in my head and figuring out what parts I knew and where I still needed help.

I use endurance sports and my workouts in general to help center my mind in all the chaos that is going on in my body. If my mind can work while my body is having a hard time breathing or aching because of the miles then it should be able to work in any predicament including midterm finals, and more recently when my young daughter is crying or throwing a tantrum. I like to think of it as a calm in the chaos and hopefully that can translate to how I can live my life day in and day out.

I have just recently taken up swimming and to be honest I am still a pretty bad swimmer. I always say that I can propel myself through water for short distances, but I am not a good swimmer. Getting into the open water still gets my heart racing but learning to find the calmness inside myself when I am getting pounded by the waves is something I am slowly getting used to. The only way to get better at swimming is to continue to get in the water, and for me it is about slowing my heart rate down and focusing on my breathing to keep myself calm.

When I first started training in the ocean (and sometimes even now) I started shaking and my heart starts pumping even on the beach and while I was preparing to go through the waves. For me it is just about recognizing the signs my body is giving off and being able to control them even when I want to panic. Drowning has always been one of my biggest fears, and even so, I will not let that stop me from going into the open water. To help me while I am swimming, I always repeat the mantra, “strong, smooth, and sustainable.” When I stop worrying about my time or how fast I am going, this when my swimming really began to improve, and I could stay out longer and swim further. I feel like it will always be a struggle for me in the water, but it is a struggle I will embrace every chance I get.

I had the goal in 2018 to complete a half Ironman and at the beginning of the year I wasn’t sure if it was possible, now I think it is just the beginning and I am excited to compete in my college town of Santa Cruz and to start challenging myself more and more each year. The feeling of lining up on the start line is something that I get anxious about even just thinking about. But it is that feeling that drives me to push harder, faster and stronger each day. Once those jitters are gone in the water I know I will get to see my family and friends at my transition points, and will be moving onto a cycle to Pigeon Point Lighthouse where I camped as a 5thgrade student. The run is the final task. It will follow the exact trails I ran while I was there in college, but the feeling at the finish line is what makes it all worth it. Seeing everybody there cheering me on is what will keep me going throughout the race.

Also, by no means am I a professional who wins races and keeps in the lead pack or even comes close. I am just a guy who is passionate about the pursuit of happiness and I happen to find my happiness when I am exercising or helping others exercise. If that means you want to do CrossFit or yoga and even work on your mindfulness with meditations, there is a place for all who wish to make themselves better each day and to me the best place to do that is here at Adapt. To see people who are so much stronger than me struggle so much more than I, reminds me that what I am struggling with really seems so petty. The gratefulness I feel every time I ride my bike to work is something that I do not take lightly and the honor of getting to help those who need it most is the reason I do what I do.

I believe everybody in the world should do their best to help others. It seems like such an easy concept to grasp, but with all the pressures of life that come at you, it is a lot easier to let somebody get you higher than to help lift somebody else. You want to be the one picking up those who have fallen, telling them to keep going and showing them how to never stop believing. You want to be breaking through your own barriers and pushing through your limits to show others how to do the same.

You want to be at Adapt Function Movement Center.

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