Welcome to part one of my Gamer to Gym Rat series. This is a written and video series about getting back into shape, balancing gaming, family and hobbies. I started this in January of 2017 and fast forward four months and I’ve dropped 30 lbs and close to getting back my abs that I previously had. But before we go there, I want to do an introduction to myself, my life and fitness previously. The purpose of this “guide” is to promote healthy gaming and life style habits. As I fell off the wagon in 2014 and gained 40 lbs and lost all my gains previously. I want to prevent others from doing that and having better balance than I had.
I wasn’t the most athletic of kids, but I spent most of my life exercising. When I was around five years old the first sport I was introduced to was wrestling then soccer. I stuck with soccer long term and ended up playing all the way through high school. I graduated early and then moved on to the military (Army Infantry). Here’s where I learned about hardcore training and pushing beyond what you thought you were capable of. 25 mile road marches, half marathon runs, 1,000 push up days, all meant to strength ones mind to endure pain. After I left the military I decided to go back to an earlier love wrestling or grappling and picked up Jiu Jitsu and Judo. I competed in both sports for about three years than moved on after multiple injuries and decided to purse body building.
Losing my Way
The purpose of explaining this to show you that I know what it takes to get in shape and even compete in sports and athletics. However, I lost my way around Jan of 2014. I started to get some success in the streaming, gaming world and went all in working 12-14 hour days seven days a week. I accomplished my goal by being the number 1 source of information for Elder Scrolls Online but it cost me, a lot. I quickly realized how much time I spent down in my dark dungeon instead of exercising and spending time with my family. It wasn’t until my wife told me about all the parks that she had visited that I realized, “wow, I’ve been a shitty husband.” But even that wasn’t enough to make a change.
The Catalyst of Change
Along came the greatest moment in my life, the birth of my son Maximus in April of 2016. Now I really had an excuse not to work out and change my life, I had a child. Then came one of the most shameful moments of my life when I caught myself blaming my son for the lack of motivation and effort for getting back into shape. Here was the child, who didn’t chose to be born, I did that for him and I was making excuses. That was the ugly moment I had to look myself in the mirror and call myself a piece of shit for blaming my problems, my lack of self control, my inability to be motivated on a baby. From that moment on, I said I will use Max as motivation, not frustration and everything changed.
The Long Road
Now I knew that this would be a long process and my goal was to get in the best shape of my life at 33 years old in one year. I wanted to show Max, not talk about it, what discipline, hard work, determination and motivation looks like. And let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve had a hernia, ruptured my ear drum, been sick off and on for months and Max has been sick as well. But like all things in life, if we have a goal, a clear vision work towards it every day and improve oneself. This series is about just that, still maintaining my love for video games but sharing something of equal if not greater importance, a guide on living a balanced life. Because this is something I’m not known for, it’s more of a self therapy. So I hope you will join me on my adventure Gamer to Gym Rat.
Check out Part Two Purpose here.
Jen Farley says
I Can’t tell you how much I love this. I am disabled and for me it was books, video games and Netflix. I have recently Picked up ESO and am spending crazy amounts of time on it. However in the build up to it I found my inspiration and got off my butt so to speak and even though all my physical problems I got a hold of my life and have lost 125 lbs. I am newly addicted to ESO and trying to weave in exercise and “Adulting” It has not been easy but I won’t let myself go more than 2 hours without getting up and moving and I have kept a close eye on my diet. So far I have managed to ESO and keep it up. You are awesome for sharing this! RESPECT!
Check out Madcow 5×5, one of the best if not the best strength training programs I’ve ever done. It increased all of my core lifts by 35-60 lbs, and I packed on a ton of lean mass. 100% with you on your journey, I had a similar revelation at age 20 after 3 years of leading the top WoW raiding progression guild on my server. I’ve taken a break from fitness multiple times and relapsed into semi-gaming addictions, which have given me the insight that fitness and life outside of the game is a lifelong commitment if you want to be successful with it. Gaming at that level has a ton of introspective gains to it, and you can transfer that level of unrivaled dedication to fitness…your career etc. You strike me as a born leader who has a knack for analysis and commitment, something that is rare and can be used to influence people in the real world immensely. Keep up the passion and good luck with your journey outside of gaming. Channel your addiction into something impactful for yourself and others around you. Seriously though, MadCow works phenomenally and yields excellent hypertrophic gains while increasing your strength levels and even cardiovascular health (surprisingly).
I an really excited to see someone writing about this. I am strugglling to manage my life with gaming a part of it. I have just gotten ESO and really want to play it. It help me unwind and relax but I know that I have a tendency to play too much on the computer. So it is a visious cycle of playing, hating myself for playing, quitting, getting back to it. A classic addict.
Do you still play as of today or you have completely taken it out of your life? In both cases, how have you accomplished it? What is the way to stay on the right path?
I’m the classic addict like you. Been playing but setting up boundaries for myself and my family like Sunday Funday no phones or gaming has really helped. Just set limits and forgive yourself if you screw up.