Warrior of the Month Bill Oakley

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Warrior of the Month Bill Oakley

A Cardiologist and a team of medical technicians at Mayo Clinic were focused on the large television monitor which displayed my heart beat in waves as I exercised on a treadmill for a 15 minutes duration during a Stress Echocardiogram. The previous month, both my Brother and Father had undergone heart surgeries and this test would enable them to see my heart beating and pumping blood to determine if I too had heart disease.

With each stride on the treadmill, I wondered if the money, time and sweat that I had put into Training For Warriors (TFW) in Ponte Vedra Beach over the past 12 months had been worth the investment or would my family history be the determining factor.

I joined Training for Warriors in December 2016 through a “Free 30-Day Trial” promotion at Christmas, in the worst physical shape of my life at 237 pounds. As a former college athlete who trained and competed at a high level, I understood how difficult and long the journey to restore my health and fitness would be. Traveling all over the world with my job for three decades with the PGA TOUR and juggling family activities for our three children, my nutrition and physical fitness hadn’t been a priority. Although I had joined a couple of workout facilities and had also worked out some on my own, I would soon become bored with the routine, stop training and return to my old habits. Workouts seemed, well, like work.

I was searching for a program and an environment that would sustain my interest and keep me engaged. TFW offered something different a high-intensity training session daily and a total body workout emphasis each week. There was a bonus, however, as I found a knowledgeable and professional coaching staff, led by Phil Squatrito, who understood my journey, along with my personal goals and objectives and developed a plan to get me there.  All I had to do was to “buy into” the program and follow the same instructions that are provided to new caddies on Tour, “show-up, shut-up and keep-up”.

The first week, I could hardly make it through the warm-up portion of the class. However, the instruction and positive reinforcement from the coaches and even the other students (members) in the workout classes encouraged me to keep showing up. After the first month, I began to get in better physical condition, gain confidence, and, generally, feel better.

 

I returned to the Mayo Clinic for a follow-up appointment shortly after my tests and met with the Cardiologist who interpreted my results. First, all the tests were negative for blockages.

Further, she explained that I had exhibited an unusually high capacity for exercise and inquired about my workout regimen at TFW.  She stressed the importance to my health in continuing the workouts.

Although my cholesterol numbers were good due to the exercise regimen that I was following, one area of concern with my blood test results was a high score on the highly sensitive C-reactive protein test. C-reactive protein (CRP). It is a substance produced by the liver that increases when the body must deal with inflammation. Data from many studies suggests that over time, chronic high-level internal inflammation can lead to many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, some forms of cancer, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The only way to decrease C-reactive protein is through diet and exercise.  Studies show that most people don’t get any significant improvement when it comes to reducing their C-reactive protein number due to their lack of discipline or desire to make the necessary changes to their diet and exercise regimen.

To reduce the inflammation in my body and to fully realize the benefits of my efforts, I needed to overhaul my nutrition and, more importantly, change my relationship with food. However, diet and nutrition can be complicated and confusing. Over the years, I would start and stop a myriad of diets. TFW, however, has team and individual “Challenges” over short periods of time (10-days, 30-days, etc.) that taught me how to eat healthy and enabled me to gain the confidence necessary to break old habits.

The Challenges aren’t about dieting, they are about making lifestyle changes. Soon, I gained the knowledge and the willpower to continue eating healthy without being “challenged”. So even after the challenges were over I was able to continue to eat clean and say no to foods that were not going to supply my body with the energy I needed. One day, I noticed that my relationship with food had suddenly changed. Instead of routinely stuffing myself at meals, food became fuel for workouts and I broke my bad habits and adopted good ones.

When I returned to the Mayo Clinic for a follow-up appointment in May, my C-reactive protein number had decreased from 5.2 in January to a low risk number of 1.8 in four months, a remarkable achievement according to my Cardiologist.

Her advice was to “continue doing what you are doing because it’s rare to see that level of improvement in a short period of time.”

Although I’ve now lost 30 pounds, improved my strength/conditioning and overall health, my personal journey isn’t finished. I’ve reset my fitness goals and am looking to achieve greater results with the help of the great coaches and enthusiastic students, many of whom I now consider to be good friends. I simply must continue to show-up, shut-up and keep-up!

Do you struggle with some of the same things Bill struggled with? You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also! Contact us now!

Email:  trainingforwarriorspvb@gmail.com or Call: (904)834-3917

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