My Always Evolving Fitness Journey
Growing up, I was always an athlete. I think I tried every sport that I could convince my parents to sign me up for and drive me to practices on a daily basis. I honestly don’t know how they put up with my craziness! I had an immense love for the outdoors and would find any reason I could to spend the day outside doing something active and fun. Suddenly I was a freshman Division 1 athlete in college, and had to prioritize track over every other activity I loved… and man was that tough. I tried to still cycle, play soccer, hike, etc. but found that I just didn’t have the time.
Now we fast forward four years and I’ve graduated from college… and could literally do anything I want for fitness. I remember being so excited that I was completely in control over the type of exercising I would do that day. Some days I thought it would be fun to run six miles (I don’t know why I ever thought that was fun), others I would focus strictly on weightlifting, some days on cycling, some days would be spent in a flag football tournament. Whatever I chose to do, I was happy to just be active.
A few years ago, I made the decision to apply for my dream job as a police officer. When I was younger, I always thought everything about law enforcement was just so cool. Of course I have a knack for helping people, but honestly I wanted to run after bad guys and drive cars really, really fast. The opportunity presented itself and I was lucky enough to be hired by an excellent department. I quickly realized that physical fitness is extremely important for a police officer, especially as I was going through the rigorous police academy. Even though I was often so sore that I would dread going back the next day, I was also excited knowing that the hard physical work I was doing would greatly benefit me on the job.
After graduating from the academy, I knew that I needed to maintain a very high level of fitness to perform my job well and feel confident doing so. I looked for something that I knew would kick my butt on a daily basis, but leave me feeling stronger and more capable in my abilities. I stumbled upon the gym that I’ve been going to for three years now; Crossfit Revamped. Police work is very unpredictable, and that is exactly how I would describe the daily workouts at this gym. When a workout is written down and looks easy, I am typically blown away with how difficult it is and have to lie on the floor for quite some time afterwards. I am always humbled by these difficult workouts, but they serve as a constant reminder to never give up. I know that whether I am presented with 100 burpees or a suspect who won’t give up without a fight, I will win. This type of fitness translates precisely to my job… there is no typical day in police work. What may seem like a straight-forward situation can be the most trying on your skills, fitness, and patience.
Police work has certainly given me the opportunity to spend time outdoors; however I don’t think trekking through the woods looking for a wanted subject is quite as relaxing as hiking in Utah. I’ll do something outside as often as I can, whether it is cycling, hiking, skiing, or spending the day on a boat. I think a balance between gym workouts and outdoorsy adventures is a perfect way to truly stay fit… both physically and mentally. There is something about the outdoors that makes you forget about the stress you may experience at work, and lets you appreciate what you work so hard for. Fitness has not only given me the physical ability to conquer a strenuous workouts in my gym, hike up Angels Landing in Zion National Park, or win that kickball game, but it has also given me confidence and a winning mindset as a police officer.
It's through these opportunities to continuously develop and utilize my level of fitness in both professional and recreational situations that I have gained an appreciation for the life I've lived. Where others may flag or falter due to fatigue, my level of fitness keeps me going. This, plus the healthy sense of adventure I've developed through life has created numerous opportunities and experiences that I'll cherish forever. I don't know what I'd do without this huge part of my life and I'm immensely grateful to everyone, from my parents to my coaches at the gym, for enabling my success.