In December of 2017 I fell ill, prior to that I was fit as can be and exercised 6 days a week. I dreamed of being on stage competing in physique shows. I accomplished that dream and wanted more, all to fall ill just a short month later. As I grew even sicker my wife forced me into the hospital on the 10th of December, that day started a long journey of recovery and strength for the entire family. As I fought the doctors in the early days of December to avoid surgery, day by day the pain and effects started to wear on me. Finally, my doctor looked at me and told me it was no longer a choice and I woke up on Christmas Eve with my ileostomy. It took time and a little longer in the hospital before I went home, feeling broken and my dreams shattered. 2 years of pain and recovering followed.
Enter 2019, I was retired from the only career I have ever had the United States Army. Growing up in a military family this was everyone’s dream to serve and retire. Yes, I retired but not how I always dreamed of, after three deployments and returning home safe to be taken out by something I did not know I even had. This was crushing as the label of 100% disabled was attached to my military records. Again crushing words to hear after doing the one career I truly loved. Falling from a physical fitness level, many try to achieve and now as I joke going from a hot rod to a dad bod.
As you read this, do not despair as the buildup and recovering starts now.
2020 approaches and change starts, first in my career that leads us to relocating our family to Florida, a complete change from our normal life of snow and brisk fall days. Regaining strength not just physical but also mental. As I grew over the last two years with my ostomy, I started to reach out and even when I was unsure of my own self try to help others. I put on a smile and bared all on camera showing tips and tricks and started to work out again. This all helped others and myself around me. I wanted to inspire others who might not be able to embrace the changes they now faced.
As I grew a following, I saw a chance to improve on the perception that an ostomy is holding someone back. I started to increase my workouts vowing to be back on the bodybuilding stage once more. I undertook the challenge not knowing if I would succeed or falter. I spoke to a personal trainer who is also a Nurse and has knowledge of ostomies; we worked on the diet and any restrictions. I ensured I had all the support from my family and my ostomy belt of choice. That being Stealth Belts. Stealth Belt has been there with me from the start of my journey. I own every style of belt and wear them every day. From my work clothing using a slip on belt to provide a stream lined look, in dress clothing to my must have Stealth Belt Hybrid for exercising.
With each video I made with my belt, I focused on correct form, for each day the focus was on diet as this is the largest part in bodybuilding. Working through the hard part with my coach, the diet, as there are some restrictions to consider from my first go round. Then how to properly perform each movement as to not injure my midsection as the surgeries took its toll with having to operate through my abdominal wall twice completely cutting the muscle twice. In addition, why I shoot videos and show photos on my many social media accounts, I want others to see yes it is possible and it just takes hard work and dedication. Please follow me on this path, it’s not easy nor will I ever say it is. I will struggle and fail at times.
What you will not see is me give up you will see that living with an ostomy is just like living without one.
Please stay tuned and follow me on this journey.