The door was giant and painted blood red. If it weren’t, I probably…

The door was giant and painted blood red. If it weren’t, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it.

A poster hung outside: someone had converted this old auto shop into a “Fitness Garage.” It was cool, though only one word on the poster mattered to me: “Boxing.”

At the time, I had never so much as wrapped my hands. But I sought a new challenge, one that was outside of my comfort zone. I was intimidated, and rightfully so: I tripped over the jump rope repeatedly, I was gassed after one round of punching, and the old-school coach rarely eased his foot off the pedal.

“Slackers!” he would yell, even when we were giving it everything.

I was hooked.

I returned and returned, getting better and better, loving the sport more and more. Twice a week, then thrice, then up to five days a week—at the crack of dawn, in the freezing rain, I would jog to the gym and empty my soul every session.

Sometimes it would be just me and coach. Body on the brink of collapse, sweat gushing on the mats, I was pushed to my limits and beyond. The next goal was always the next limit: to shatter it and move on.

A good coach unlocks doors in your mind you didn’t even know were there. I am forever grateful.

One day, I tore the meniscus in my knee running. While my injury recovered, boxing was put on hold. I realized I needed to be smarter about my training. That’s when I found cycling. I chose it at first for its low-impact cardio, but ended up discovering a second significant passion of mine. I take any opportunity to train outdoors; cycling enabled this in a new way, leading me to incredible places and amazing people.

Plus, a new challenge is always welcome.

Suddenly, my weeks were filled with movement: I boxed, I rode, I lifted, I hiked. I enjoy competing—most of all against myself—and soon an obsession grew in learning how to improve my performance. At the same time I became less and less fulfilled by my 9-to-5 desk job. My thoughts constantly drifted away from the task at hand to: What’s a good combo to throw in the pocket to get off the ropes? How much time can I shave off my next half-century? Am I short on protein today?

I felt purpose in my pursuits. Was a pivot possible? I earned my certification as a fitness professional and eventually quit my job.

This leap of faith was not an immediate success. At first I struggled with such a dramatic and abrupt change in life trajectory. It was a rough start. Had I miscalculated?

Absolutely not.

My passion for fitness overpowered all doubt. My motivation was unwavering; the ability to help others become healthier and happier proved instantly rewarding. With renewed meaning in my work, my hunger for success only increased. I developed an my own training regimen, The Gauntlet, and ushered bold new blood into the Sweet Science.

The stars aligned when I took a second leap of faith: moving from Vancouver to the Fraser Valley. Here, I have found my place in the industry at Club XO.

I intend to reimagine what boxing can be in Chilliwack.

That’s step one.