As a former professional skier and current mountain bike enthusiast, I have enjoyed staying fit and active most of my life from a combination of weight lifting, some light cardio, and getting outside whenever possible.  It has always been my reprieve and sanctuary.

When I began to age (gracefully, of course) over the last 10 years I started to notice a decline in my athletic abilities. I wasn’t quite as fast, didn’t have the same amount of endurance I once had, and did not enjoy pushing myself to the limit like I once did. I chalked it up to inevitable age creeping up on me and was relatively happy with how I felt and looked when compared to many of my fellow beer chugging, double cheeseburger eating riding and skiing friends. I still “had some guns and lifted very heavy 3-4 days a week” so I was good to go.  Well, that is what I would say to convince myself.

However, like many people in this world I was guilty of letting life get in the way of taking full, complete care of myself through exercise and proper nutrition. Getting married, raising children (Odin 9, Zaria 7), and paying far too much attention to my corporate job that pays our bills all detracted from the time I was able to spend on myself, both mentally and physically. It wasn’t just my age…it was the fact that I was neglecting what made me feel good for so many years in my life prior to “growing up”.

Beginning four months ago (February 15th, 2015 to be exact!) I started going to Endorphin classes.  A friend was in town and the only way I was going to see her before she left was to go to a Heated Cycle/Yoga class at Ryders on a dreary, winter afternoon.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I remember asking myself.  I ate a Steak and Shake Bacon Cheeseburger to protein load before and went for it.

Needless to say I felt like I was going to die. I was sweating WAY more than I ever had in my life, had MAJOR trouble breathing, and almost passed out and puked…but I knew after that it was my own fault for making excuses and being “too busy”.  I didn’t know how to pace myself and had to accept that my lung capacity was garbage and that the layer of manly man growing around my chin area was rather proportional to the coverage I had gained over my abdominals that I could have sworn used to be visible a decade ago.

I started slowly and always felt encouraged by the community and instructors at any Endorphin class I attended. I went from one Functional Indoor Cycling class per week to two…then after a few weeks tried my first Warriors class in addition and again felt like I wanted to punch myself in the head for killing my body the way I was.  But I kept at it and I am so pleased, happy, and proud that I did. I now attend Warriors and Indoor Cycling back to back on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Cycle/Row on Wednesday, toss in some Kinesis now, attend HIIT or Warriors X on Fridays, as well as try to stay on my strength training scheduled at my home gym.

My nutrition has also taken a dramatic turn with the help of many Endorphin members and instructors. I am eating better and understanding the fuel that goes into my body on a different level.

To test myself I hopped on my mountain bike last weekend and ended up going for an easy 18 mile ride on my home loop and SHATTERED all of my personal records by three to five minutes EACH – thanks, Strava – and even leap frogged many of the other leaders I have seen for years on the app that I never thought I would even come close to. I was flabberghasted! I even feel that I have become a better father and partner to my beautiful wife, Anna due to a mental toughness and energy level I have begun to develop. I owe that to Endorphin and the Endorphin community.

As of June 10th, 2015 I have lost 25 lbs (now down to 190 lbs), dropped 12% of my body fat (now down to 8.5%), lowered my Metabolic age from 43 to 12 years old, and am unequivocally in the best all-around shape I have ever been in during my life. I feel 10 years younger than I did 4 months ago.

I am truly addicted and look forward to meeting more and more of you as time passes away. Let’s all suffer and smile together!

Thanks,

Jay Volak

DJ/Photographer/Father/Ski Freak/Mt. Biker/Endoholic