Each of us hits different times in our life when we experience very tough stretches that require us to dig deeper than normal to really push through the challenges in front of us, and come out even better on the other side. I was going through my most difficult time ever in life....over 40 and experiencing major personal lifestyle changes, upcoming family unit changes, and leaving corporate life to start my own company. My foundation felt like it had disappeared underneath me.
I had already restarted my own personal daily fitness regimen which was going well, but inside I knew I had much more potential and that I needed to find the right trainer to take me to the next level. Little did I know the day that I met Ryan Lauderdale would be one of the best decisions I would make, not only from a fitness & health perspective, but also one that would become the new core/foundation in my life which I then built the rest of my turnaround and successes on.
At the beginning of our working together he listened to my goals and focal areas closely, while still giving his insight on how he saw me and how to get there. His very thorough, planned out, and intense workouts taught me how to create gains both quickly (which we all want) and over time (to sustain results in the long term), work all parts of my body (not just my initial focal areas), improve my technique and body positioning (which was badly needed and he patiently would explain to me as I asked him many questions), and then how to let my body rest and recover (to optimize gains). What was so key for me additionally was all of his advice and plans on eating and resting to appropriately add muscle and reduce fat. My eating habits were very good already, but he explained and put together plans for me to increase consumption to support the muscle growth, the optimal timing on how to eat throughout the day, the frequency which would get me the best results, and how the "outside of gym" work was just as critical as our time together "in the gym". It made more sense to me why so many people struggle even though they are working hard....they don't get the whole formula right. Under Ryan's guidance I saw my body transform from "in shape" to "cut, ripped and lean". The comments I would get from friends and family were consistent and unanimous......."what ARE you doing, you're over 40 and you are in the best shape of your life". Not only were the results noticeable, more importantly to me I could feel what they were doing inside my mind. The physical strength and determination crossed over into mental toughness & patience to better handle all the change going on in my life. While I was adding lean muscle mass and dropping my body fat down to the 5%-7% range, I was becoming the most mentally strong I've ever been in my life. Our workouts became the new foundation in my life and it is something that I will forever be grateful for.
Normally this is where the story ends, however I have to briefly share a little more insight to paint the picture of who Ryan is, as a trainer and a person. While we began our training together we also developed a very strong friendship as each day I seemed to have an additional story, challenge or obstacle that I brought with me. He would take the time in between sets while we were resting to listen and give advice if he thought applicable. His perspective on many of my situations I was going through helped me a tremendous amount. He saw me for who I was and accepted everything about me not knowing much of my past. It was an amazing feeling. Even more meaningful to me was the time he would take while I was traveling for work when I would send him texts or emails (in the US, Europe or Asia) at all hours of the day. Normal trainers and people just don't do that, they don't care that much. Ryan does. The only thing bigger than his arms or chest may be his heart.
Now I can't even imagine not having him as my trainer and someone who I can proudly call my friend. He not only was the most important factor in transforming my body, he also really helped me begin the process of transforming my life.