Cedar Lake, IN

"I’ve lived a very interesting life. At 18 I enlisted in the Navy where I served in the Navy & Navy reserve for nearly six years. Post Navy I worked as a coal miner and enlisted in the Army National Guard. Throughout the years I didn’t really take care of myself like I should have. At the beginning of 2020 I was deployed with the Army. I decided now was the time to make a change. For me, getting in shape wasn’t just about getting muscular or looking better or any of that. Getting in better shape was about becoming a better version of me both physically and mentally. So often our physical health can be representative of our mental health. In my case I had struggled with depression and regret. While working out isn’t a cure all what I have found is when we focus on caring for ourselves physically it becomes easier to focus on our mental well being as well. All through 2020 I underwent a major physical transformation but the mental health journey was just beginning. Spending the year in an active Warzone as well as other stressors in my personal life threatened to set me back where I had made so much progress. Thankfully due to a great support structure I was able to push through and drive on. The more I progressed in strength and endurance the more I felt like I could accomplish anything. Coming home at the beginning of 2021 to a country in the throes of a pandemic was a difficult adjustment. Once again due to the support I received from my wonderful wife and kids and incredible friends and family the pursuit of a better me continued. Today I’m still hitting the gym everyday and loving it. I love where this journey has brought me and can’t wait to see where it takes me. No matter where you’re at in your journey just know that wherever you are someone has been there before. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or motivation. Reach out wherever you can. Part of being strong is knowing when to ask for assistance."