My definition of fitness is to enjoy the activities I
love most—soccer, juijitsu, hiking, and most importantly, playing
with my son, Conger. I want to be physically capable for decades to
come and refuse to believe that pain is just a normal part of
A Couple years ago many people would have thought that
I didn’t have any physical issues, pain or discomfort just because
of my profession. And they would have been mistaken. It all started
when I was 13 and diagnosed with disc compression from T12-L3.
According to my doctor, I “had a normal back for a 60-year-old,”
and the doctor told me to “keep my back strong.” Ha!
Through my teenage years I played three sports, and at
one time wore braces on both of my ankles and knees because of
multiple sprains and torn ligaments and a back brace because of my
compression. My coach called me Robocop for how I was “pieced”
together. These experiences forever changed my outlook on fitness
and how we should feel and function. Fast forward 15 years, lots of
lifting, playing college football and continuing to play
competitive soccer. I was consistently popping out a couple of my
ribs when lifting weights. I had a hip shift when I squatted, no
matter how many correctives I did. As a result, I had
consistent neck discomfort and hip pain from my hip shifting as I
squatted with a heavy load on my back. As a “movement
professional,” it drove me crazy that I couldn’t help myself and
figure out the root cause of my problems. This forced me to keep
learning, keep searching, and then I found Functional Patterns.
After two years, my hip and shoulder discrepancies are gone. I am
more athletic on the soccer field and jiujitsu mat. I have leveled
out and maintained my muscle mass and body composition. I still
have a lot of work to do, but I’m excited for the road ahead and
the feeling of freedom within my body.