Transformation Tuesday-Mike Knaebel

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I’ve known Mike since 2009 when our daughters played volleyball together so I’ve personally seen his transformation from way back when. Mike’s transformation has been quite remarkable and I’m so happy that he went through that first “Tomata/Kabata” back in 2011! Mike has been an inspiration to many who have stepped through CFU’s doors…always has a smile and contagious attitude. I am Blessed to call him Friend and I’m sure many more CFU athletes feel the same! Thanks for sharing your story, IronMike! 🙂

In 2008 when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was the average overweight 46-year-old with high everything—cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure—you name it. I was a walking time bomb. I had started a new job and was working an average of 14 hours a day, 6 days a week and most Sundays. Even though I worked from home, I often did not eat breakfast or lunch and then scarfed down supper late at night. I worked in a 10 foot by 12 foot room in my basement and averaged only 730 steps per day! After three years of this, I had gained 30 to 40 pounds, and I was already overweight when I started! I finally woke up one morning and asked myself, “Is this it?! Is this what life is supposed to be like?” I was sick and tired and most of all, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! This is when I decided that no one could fix this for me but me. I had to do this for myself.

In 2011 with the support of my wife, daughters and really good friends, I enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss treatment program. After 12 weeks of drinking weight loss shakes and eating very little regular food, I lost 70 pounds and was no longer taking most of my medications for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. But I had to find a way to keep the weight off and gain my muscle back.

My journey to Crossfit started January 2, 2012. I remember this date as I was the only man in the 101 class, and I thought to myself, “Is this for men? Should I be here?” Not knowing what was in store for me next, I completed my first workout and found myself lying on the floor trying to breathe and thinking, “What did I just do? Tomota? Kabata?” But it didn’t matter because I survived! The next day there wasn’t any part of my body that did not hurt. Why would someone put themselves through this madness, and why would they keep coming back for more?

This is the only way I can explain it.   Sweat, fear, nerves, more sweat, feeling of belonging, new friends, high five’s, knuckles, giving and receiving encouragement, making and breaking bench marks, trying new things, making the impossible possible. I am thankful that I sent the text to Jen Z asking for the Coach’s number for the “Workout Place” which came to be Crossfit Unstoppable. It is a place that I plan to continue to show up at every morning at 5 am Monday through Friday because I’ve found a new addiction, something that both takes everything from me – physically, emotionally and mentally – and then gives me back even more than I had before. I’m hooked, and now all I want to do is keep getting better at it. I have learned a lot about my mental toughness, mental weakness and how truly out of shape I was and still am in some respects. My goals are different from some who do Crossfit. I want to stay mentally strong as well as physically mobile. I am 52 years old on the outside, but I am 25 years old in my heart! Thanks to Crossfit, I feel better now than I did at age 25, and I am finished getting older–I am just maturing! I love my CF family!!!



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