We Were Both Athletes All through School
I grew up playing competitive club soccer and football from elementary through high school. Then I started playing semi-pro football not long after high school and was playing on a men’s soccer team, so I always saw myself doing something fitness related. I tried boxing in my late teens and played a little baseball too. Fast forward several years to when I started dating my wife, who was two years behind me at the same high school. She was a pro boxer with a couple fights under her belt when we started dating and was probably 128-130 lbs - lean and in shape. She fought on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights in 2001 with me in her corner, had a couple more fights after that, and then she got pregnant with our son in 2002.
And Then We're a Family
We both worked full time and having a baby put a halt to outside activities quickly, as we had long commutes to work that took up a lot of time before and after work. And then we ended up having our second child (a baby girl) 18 months later. With work and kids as our first priority, we both gained weight.
In my mid 20's, I started Judo and seven years later I had multiple herniated discs, a shattered elbow, a dislocated shoulder, a torn ACL and meniscus, along with numerous broken fingers and toes. I decided to be kinder to my body, so we bought a treadmill and a weight bench and made a small space in the garage as our workout area, but it just wasn’t the same.
My Wife Wanted to Get Back in the Ring
At the beginning of 2013 my wife topped the scale around 205 lbs, and I had got up to about 210 lbs from my 145 lb high school weight. It was at that point my wife decided she wanted to fight again - but this time in MMA instead of boxing. We needed a plan, so we sat down and put everything on the table as far as our schedules and kids schedules with their sports now that they were 10 and 11. We decided if she was going to be able to fight as a pro again she would need a gym away from a gym, so we started buying pieces at little bit at a time. We started with rubber mats for flooring, then a heavy bag, then some dumbbells, then a jump rope. Once we had more items, it was easier to go out into the garage and know we could get the same workout as at a gym. We sacrificed movies, going out to eat, basically anything that could save us money to get the next piece of the gym we were putting together.
By November 2013 my wife weighed in at 135 lbs and was in better shape than she was prior to having kids. She was still working a corporate job, going to kids' games on weekends and some practices, but now we had the gym at home. She could get 30-45 minutes in the morning and then hit some weights in the evenings if she couldn’t get to the MMA gym. We actually had a current UFC fighter and coach come over to our garage gym to help us with one last workout before her last MMA fight and we’ve had several other teammates come over when she or others can’t make it in time to MMA class.
The Rack Completes the Puzzle
The puzzle that is our garage gym has taken a long time to complete. Before completion, we had one more piece we needed to solve. We needed more room so we could have wrestling mats not interfere with the weights. Enter the PRx Performance rack and weights: the final piece of the puzzle! We have been using it daily since we put it together and it’s just as sturdy as any racks at our previous gyms.
Having a gym in our garage has become a family affair. Our son plays club soccer, was the only freshman varsity soccer player at his high school and is playing football right now as a sophomore. Our daughter is a freshman wrestler who’s ranked 4th in the nation as a schoolgirl in Folkstyle and was state champion in her Schoolgirls division in Freestyle. Having a home gym has allowed not just my wife and I to workout and stay on track, but the home gym life has allowed our kids access to working out regularly while other kids only get a couple days of training each week. Our family has more time together especially now and both kids watched their mom drop 65 plus pounds at 35 years old to not only reach her dream of fighting again, but making it to Bellator at Madison Square Garden last year! The kids saw how important fitness is in life and how far it can take you if you're willing to make the sacrifice.
Living the Dream
PRx Performance is allowing both our kids to continue to chase their own dreams while their mother continues to chase hers. Having a home gym saves on monthly memberships for a family of four in our case, as well as commuting cost and time. Our gym is open anytime we want, has whatever music we want, we can not rack our weights if we choose, we can use our own restroom, we throw weights without worrying about someone getting offended, have gym fails without worrying whether someone’s secretly recording us, we don’t have to wait on equipment or have someone waiting on us, and so many other benefits! It might take months, a year, or more to save up enough to get a package, but it’s totally worth it. Over a short time, your investment is paid for and then you just reap the benefits I just listed for many years down the road. On top of these benefits, my wife has added a lot more muscle by having a squat rack, bench, and the ability to do Power Cleans and other Olympic lifts using the bumper plates package. I will comment that I’m all about racking your weights when you’re done, so I’m going to have to work on my wife and daughter’s gym etiquette. But hey, it’s our gym! Next time she cuts weight for a fight, I think she’s going to be more shredded and closing in on 40 years old. She hopes to inspire other full-time working moms believe if she can do it so can they.
It's So Hard Not to
The other day I woke up and told myself almost a dozen times I just didn’t feel like working out. My wife got home from work and asked when are we going to workout? I was sitting there on the couch and was like, o.k. let’s go, but I don’t think I’ll finish the 5x5 squat workout with weights I normally do. Not only did I finish my workout, but I PR'd my last set with more weight and hit ten reps instead of five! If I had not had a home gym, there’s no way I would’ve gotten in the car and gone because it was just one of those days. Knowing the PRx squat rack was out in the garage waiting on me? It was like I was cheating on it by not going out there to say hello. Lol
Customer service was beyond great. I changed my mind several times on items and they stayed patient. I got stuck installing it (I was barely off by a small margin) and I called Corey my sales manager and he gave me a tip and bam - it was done! It was my own doing because I’m not a Tim The Tool Man type. I would highly recommend adding this piece of equipment at the start of your garage gym build instead of making it the last piece. We could’ve been doing serious lifting for the past couple years instead. That’s just my personal opinion.