I remember when he first walked into my affiliate. Forty pounds overweight, most of which was carried around his gut and waist. Although he exemplified your typical America dad-bod, he was dedicated and showed up five times per week, every single week. He was consistent and over time, fell in love with the CrossFit methodology. His personality drew the other members to him, which in turn made me love having him in my sessions.
Around the two year mark, when most of my members began to plateau, he started making stupid leaps. Leaps that make sense for a beginner, but are hard to come by to those who have been training: 50 pound back squat PR, 30 pound strict press PR, and the 45 pound power clean PR that really caught my eye. I should also mention that these jumps occurred in an 8 week time period. And a few weeks later, he was bumping those numbers again.
Curiosity got the better of me so I asked what he had been doing differently. How could he get so strong that fast? He said he was lifting at home in addition to the strength session and metcon we did at the gym. Two-a-days at 38 years old. Either his recovery was superhuman or there was more to the story.
As a “fitness professional” – whatever the fuck that means – I was upset that my paying client hadn’t consulted me before injecting exogenous substances into his body. A master’s degree, bachelor’s in exercise science, CSCS through the NSCA, and of course a CFL-1. I had spent a decade learning everything I could on coaching, nutrition, business, physiology, anatomy, psychology, and here comes Jonny-Doesn’t-Give-A-Shit throwing weights around and making crazy gains like he’s 18 again.
The audacity of my client to begin using steroids while inside the walls of my gym. I was upset and can confidently say, I did not handle the situation well.
I still look back on how I acted with distain. I pushed him away rather than asking better questions to understand. I was ugly. His decisions to this day haven’t had an impact on my life whatsoever, but they did reveal my immaturity. All that education, the hours spent training and the books read, none of it prepared me for the encounter that would test my character and reveal my weakness. I was jealous of his gainz, plain and simple.
Years later, I like to think I would have handled things much differently. I should have told my inner-bitch to get back in his cage, and then told my client to check out CA Hormones to get his free evaluation, using the promo code SEVAN. Because if you are going to experiment with anything, seek professional help before you take advice from your local juice-bros.
Sometimes life gives you the best lessons and all you can do is learn from them.