In 1998 I had my professional football workout. For 5-6 months I trained with a purpose in mind of having a phenomenal workout and earning enough field credibility to make a team.
I ate like a college kid at a training table, I lifted 4-5 times a week, we hit the track 4-5 days a week, and I had no life other than eat, lift, run, sleep, work.
I went to the workout in Ohio weighing in at 305 pounds. That is the heaviest I have weighed in my life, but it wasn’t 305 pounds of shit. That 305 pounds ended up running a 5.01 40 yard dash, doing a 4.69 shuttle run, vertical leaping 32″, and benching 225 for 38 reps.
The numbers on paper were impressive but my raw football skills were not ready for a professional league, so despite my best effort I didn’t get selected for a team and I moved on.
After all this work, I was burned out. I stopped training for a while while never really modifying my voracious appetite. I lost some muscle due to the lack of training, and gained some extra fat. When I say some, I mean more than some.
I was fucking fat.
The workout was in April and that summer I was at my mom’s house helping her with yard work. I had my shirt off because it was summer and I needed my large frame to breathe. My mom looked at me and said, “Jesus, Jason (that is my full name – now you know), you are really heavy”.
I laughed it off but that dig stung a little. It didn’t hurt my feelings but it sure as shit made me look in the mirror and realize my own mother was calling me out for being a sloth.
The same woman who got me into the gym was the same woman who threw some tough love at me when it was absolutely needed. That started a renewed path back to normalcy.
While I never reached that level of sloth ever again, I did gain weight from the low of 230 I was after my mom blasted me with the truth. I was able to move forward from 5 minutes on the elliptical gasping for air to playing Superleague rugby as a starter. I was able to compete in Strongman, win a few local contests, and regain my love for training again after massacring myself for a goal that fell short.
This is my story, and mine alone. While not everyone can take being told, “you are fucking fat, get your shit together”, that was the proverbial wakeup call I needed to get back in the game.
I can remember that day like it happened yesterday. I remember the deck at her old house, the pond in her backyard she built with her own hands, the location of the house, and what we were doing when she smacked me down with the hard truth.
What was your moment of truth to kickstart back into a better you?
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