My Journey to Fitness and Active Lifestyle
by Adrian Cowens
This Journey started with me in the Cardiac Care Unit. I had congestive heart failure, acute hypertension, and kidney failure. My weight had gotten to the point that my body was literally beginning to shut down. This was my epiphany moment that there needed to be drastic changes made if I was going to have the life that I wanted, to enjoy. Once I was stabilized I was released from the hospital and placed on a myriad of hypertension/high blood pressure meds. I was meticulous about seeing the Dr. for follow up visits and taking my medicine and keeping track of my blood pressure. I did this for about a year. I then began to think taking all these maintenance medicines in my mid 30’s does not bode well over the long-term. So though I had contained and stabilized the issue that had hospitalized me, the underlying problem still remained…my weight and activity level. I had not always been out of shape however I was so overweight and out of shape I really didn’t know where to begin - although I knew what had to be done. I didn’t need to just lose weight; I needed to adopt an activity centered lifestyle.
I started with a change in my diet. I was lucky to live next door to a weekly farmers market and a local butcher. I adopted eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods with a menu based mainly on proteins and greens. Not only did I enjoy eating this way but after about 6 to 8 weeks with no exercise I lost my first 20lbs! I could feel the internal momentum building and wanted to keep it going. I then noticed there was a gym in my neighborhood in close proximity to my house. I went to Columbia City Fitness Center and asked about a membership. I spoke with Bull Stewart (the gym owner) and he convinced me that this was the next best step for me to take, so I signed a membership. I then had my first initial consultation and orientation with the gym’s Head Trainer and Strikerfit owner Nikolai Puchlov. I told him my weight and activity goals and he wrote up a plan for me to follow. I worked this plan for about 10 months adding it to my healthy eating plan. I lost 90lbs during this period of time.
Although I was being consistent in my eating and my work out plan, I found myself on a plateau. I then decided that perhaps now was the time to add personal training to my active lifestyle pyramid. Nikolai started working with me doing 30-minute kettlebell training. On day one I didn’t even know what a kettlebell was, lol! The gains in coordination and power that I was noticing even within the first 6 weeks were phenomenal. I wanted to continue on this path and as I would get stronger the challenge would increase in weight, intensity and coordination. I had caught the kettlebell fever! I have been in this phase of my training for the last 12 months and have lost another 30 pounds (now at 248 pounds) with muscular growth and gains in power and strength that have been amazing and wonderful. What’s more is my blood pressure is contained and I am on minimal medications to maintain it. My doctors said my EKG results read as if I am a complete different person and there is no sign of my congestive heart failure. In addition, I have become friends with all the Strikerfit staff as they are wonderful, motivated, like-minded and active people. Come down and talk to Nikolai and the Strikerfit team to see how you can accomplish your goals… and thank you for taking the time to read my journey!