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March 2017 Athlete of the Month– Chris Callaway

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I am a 43 year old husband and father of two that has struggled with weight and living a healthy lifestyle for years. My favorite pastimes were eating, drinking, and having a great time with family and friends. In November 2014, while on the elliptical, ironically, I had a cardiac arrest and spent almost a week in the hospital. I had a defibrillator implanted and was given the guidelines as to what my new life was to be. It sounded horrible, but I was alive so I tried to stay positive and figure it out.

As with most cardiac patients, I struggled getting my mind wrapped around it and even went through some depression. I could no longer have caffeine; Morning coffee gone. I could no longer have more than 2 alcoholic drinks; Wow, there goes the fun. Oh and by the way, get the weight off too; There goes the enjoyment of a good meal. And lastly, not that I had done enough of this before, only light exercise is allowed because I had to keep my heart rate down. Great, my life is over. Only it wasn’t. I had life, I just didn’t know what to do with it.

I found Old Line in the summer of 2016. When I started, I could not squat PVC and didn’t know what an AMRAP, EMOM, or PR were. I was nervous and maybe a little intimidated, but I needed something to help me develop a healthy lifestyle and told Kyle “I will do whatever you guys tell me to do. I trust you and the process.” And it has been quite the process. After 6 months of learning the techniques and various movements and getting a good feel of what I could do and what I had yet to get a handle on, they introduced the Nutrition Challenge. This was the chance to get a fast and clean start to 2017. By the end of the 8 week challenge, I had lost 25.5 lbs and 7% of body fat, PR’d my baseline workout by 1:43, learned how to eat Paleo and stay within my macro count, and was even talked into giving the Open a try. I thought someone with the limited experience I had and a fitness level that is improving, but a long way from where I want to be, had no business competing in the Open. And then it happened. I completed 17.1 and lived to tell about it. OK, I can do this. Then I completed 17.2. Wow, this is cool and I am enjoying it. Then 17.3 was announced and with it an invitation to Friday Night Lights. It immediately took me back to my wrestling days and challenged me in a way I had not been challenged in a long time. It was time to perform in front of peers that I so much respect for and, quite frankly, were my role models at Old Line and my kids, who had never seen me accomplish a meaningful milestone in their lifetime. That night was special in so many ways. The nervous build up, the warm up, Dave’s great intro, and the workout. But the thing that I will always remember most about that night was the support from my Old Line Family and making the two greatest kids in the world proud of their dad. This was a great night and the moment I knew I was hooked.

I completed 17.4 and 17.5 as well and ended up finishing in the top 10 in Maryland in my age group in the Open, scaled division. That is something I would have considered impossible last summer. But clearly, through hard work and commitment to the process, anything is possible. Make no mistake, CrossFit is my new obsession. But there is no doubt in my mind that Old Line CrossFit is a unique place. We have amazing coaches, great programming, peers that are truly inspiring and supportive and a community that is a family. Thank you for welcoming me into the family and helping me achieve feats I didn’t even know were possible. #OldLineStrong #OldLineFamily