‘My energy is off the charts.’

Be Willing to Bleed.

It didn’t take long after attending a few workouts at Crux Fitness to pick up on a theme around the gym — a playful, but macabre theme.  There is the ghostly skeleton hanging from the rafters. There are outlines of bodies (a la a murder scene) on the gym floor. There are drawings that resemble bloody handprints around the gym.  There are the words “BE WILLING TO BLEED” in large font across the back wall, part of the gym’s “manifesto.” Whatever it was creating this theme, I liked it.  “This ain’t your yoga-mat-carrying-step-aerobic-dancing-disco-music-listening type of gym,” I thought one day while warming up for another workout. “This is really something I can get into. This is hardcore. I want to be hardcore!”

About 15 days into this Challenge, I’m in the middle of a burpee (a variation of which is used at EVERY Crux workout), and Trainer Dan LeBlanc hovers over me to say, “You gotta be willing to bleed for your goals!  It’s not about hurting yourself; its about your sacrifice; its about pushing yourself to the limit; its about enduring discomfort to achieve your objectives!” It is this — Dan and the other Crux trainers’ motivation as instructors during workouts — that keeps me engaged for the full hour workout and going for one more rep on each exercise. But it is also this intense preaching of core principles by the trainers that has carried over to other aspects of life outside of the gym.

This concept — BE WILLING TO BLEED — is of course not something Crux Fitness means in the literal sense.  I infer that it is an analogy to be applied to hard work which requires sacrifice; but also works particularly well as a motto while improving health and fitness. For example, while working with Dan LeBlanc on nutrition, I have come to realize that the “willingness to bleed” also means the willingness to give up some of my comfort foods for the sake of improving my diet.  For about two weeks now, I have been eating a low carb/high fat diet (i.e., Keto Diet).  Everything about this diet was initially counterintuitive to me. “Eat whole eggs and bacon? Add cheese? What!?!” But once I began working the diet, I quickly realized how much of a willingness to bleed I needed to be successful at this new objective. To optimize this style of dieting, I have had to sacrifice my favorite carbohydrate-packed foods, like tortillas and tortilla chips, breads, pizza crusts, potatoes, popcorn, flavorful yogurts, and even bananas.  Above all else, I have sacrificed my coveted local microbreweries’ IPAs, Imperial Stouts, and Saisons.

What has come back to me for my willingness to bleed? I feel incredible. Truly. My energy is off the charts. My confidence is rising. And the body composition data is just the verified proof of changes I feel occurring in my body: lowered weight, lowered body fat, and increased muscle.

So, yes, I am willing to bleed for my health, performance, and appearance.  It is worth the sacrifices.


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