STEVE COLLINS   Testimony: Making Changes and Committing to the Program

As a guy who is already pretty focused and intense (we have 7 kids and I run one of the top real estate teams in south Texas), I was READY for the challenge of CrossFit. I judged it though and passed for a year. A friend took me to a different box and there was ZERO instruction besides 'Can you do dead lifts??' As a professional and someone who is careful to avoid injury, I was not surprised at the lack of involvement and expertise, and quite frankly expected that. So I wasn't disappointed, it just confirmed the expectation I had. THEN...my wife called one day and said 'I talked to a guy who reminds me a lot of you. Very professional and thorough. Seemed like he really cared about what he was talking about.' She doesn't say things like that often, so I had to see for myself. Once I saw that there were 4 required Elements classes before I could even work out, I was impressed. I LOVE when my expectations are exceeded...I learned, practiced and couldn't wait to start. After a month of training Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:00 a.m. we were told about a Paleo Challenge for the month of October. My wife and I decided to commit and compete with each other. We're both Type-A, first born INTENSE people, so it was ON! In thirty days I went from 179 lbs. down to 163 lbs!! I HAD to beat Angela because my goal was always 'I want to look awesome in a suit.' She interjected one day and said 'A better goal is to look awesome naked!' I was like 'Whaaaaa???' And thus began and continues our intense mental and physical quest for excellence in health, fitness and nutrition. Under the leadership of Rickey and the professional trainers, we expect nothing less than success, and we're committed to becoming all that God's given us to become. Thanks Helotes CrossFit!


I first learned of Helotes Crossfit (HCF) from the Helotes newspaper. After looking at the website, I decided to go to the Saturday free intro workout. I do need to share that I have always been a member of a gym; however, the dedication to ‘total commitment’ was not always consistent. Neither did I know how working out with a barbell or squats can be so beneficial. I never used a barbell or did pull-ups in any of my workouts, even when I spend extra money for a personal trainer.
After joining HCF the first week of March 2012, I immediately could see and feel the results. The soreness was very real too. I was using muscles all over my body and muscles developed that I never knew I had. Soon, my family noticed the difference and I started feeling stronger, more flexible and the fittest I have ever felt.

The only one item that I struggled with was trying to get the bad eating habits under control. I first tried the Paleo challenge in October 2012 and failed miserably. This did not discourage me due to my determination. I kept telling myself if I can continue to do these workouts and feel good afterward, I need to get serious about my eating habits. So, the January 2013 thirty-day Paleo challenge began and I was not going to look back. After losing 14.4lbs. and almost 3 inches from my waist, I feel the best ever and have no desire to ever go back. I will always be a big fan of Crossfit and will continue to be a faithful HCF member.
HCF is for anyone who wants to challenge themselves with getting ‘fit’ and ‘healthy’ when other gyms or diets have failed. HCF is a family friendly gym and has both male and female trainers who are dedicated to you and making sure you are consistent with your form during the entire workout. It is not a gym full of ‘ego fitness maniacs’ who love to look at themselves in the mirror (the only mirror you will find is in the bathroom). Everyone is friendly and always willing to help out each other.

I am a life-time HCF member and may not be the ‘strongest’ or ‘fittest’ at HCF, but I am definitely in better shape than I was almost a year ago and feel the best I have in years. My next few goals would be to lose 10 more pounds (5% body fat), complete an unassisted pull-up, and 10 strict push-ups.


My CrossFit Journey
When asked to write about my success story, I asked myself, what success?  All I’ve seen to this point is failure.  Failure in not being able to lift the recommended weights during workouts or even worse, finishing last.  Those success stories?  Considering where I started, how far I’ve come, and how much further I’ve got to travel in my journey I guess all things considered I do have a success story.
My journey began on a hot and humid August morning of 2015.  My first class after elements was at 0500hrs, or we like to say in the military, “O” dark thirty.  I was a nervous wreck.  As I made my way from my truck into the building my heart started beating faster and faster.  Once I made it inside the building all eyes looked my way as if they were asking themselves “who is this guy and what is he doing in our class”?
Let’s go back about 6 months.  My wife, Judith, had already been doing this thing called crossfit for a few months and had been asking me to join her at the “box”.  Of course I initially said NO.  The next day I did some research on crossfit and it reassured me about the decision I had made not to join her was correct.  I couldn’t see myself doing hand stand push-ups, burpees, and completing something called WOD’s.  I’ll stick to my walk/run and occasional weight lifting.  After all it’s been working for me all these years.
Fast forward to June 2015.  By this time I had already been retired from the Air Force for 3 1/2 years, gained between 20-25lbs, and felt sluggish and tired all the time.  That same month we went on vacation with some friends and after looking at some pictures after returning home I knew it was time to do something about my weight.  After talking it over with my wife, I made the decision to drink the Kool-Aid and join Helotes Crossfit (HCF).  I had to complete 4 sessions of “Elements” which is an introduction into the majority of crossfit weight lifting movements and various other exercises and accomplishing what I call mini WODs.  What did I get myself into I was a question I often asked myself as I hunched over with my hands on my waist gasping for air.  This was only a 5 minute workout of push-up, sit-ups, and deadlifts.  How in the world am I going to complete a full WOD with a room full of people hearing me gasp for air as I try to finish the workout?
After completing my first year at HCF, I still felt like something was missing.  I wasn’t seeing results in my appearance or the weight scale.  It finally hit me!  I figured out the missing link, commitment!  Commitment to the crossfit process.  Commitment to myself.  Commitment to a new lifestyle.  Full on commitment.  I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions until this year (2017).  I decided to approach crossfit with a new attitude and commit to new lifestyle.  Unbeknownst to me, our crossfit box has a yearly “New Year, New Me Challenge” and my wife and I decided to take the challenge head on.  By this time my weight had increased to 214lbs and blood work was the worst it had been in years.  My A1C was at 6.1 and LDL cholesterol was reading 76.
Prior to beginning the New Year, New Me Challenge, Rick, the owner of HCF emailed the challenge some rules and do’s and don’t’s on eating.  My wife and I spent some time reading over the rules of engagement of the challenge and I remember saying to myself “I got this”.  A few minutes later I put the papers down and stood up with an angry look on my face and told my wife “I’m out”!  How can you be out if you’re not even in yet, she asked me?  I don’t know if I can do this? What am I going to eat?  He did away with all the good stuff and left us with nuts, water and this thing called quinoa to survive for 6 weeks on.  Little did I know that we had endless options to eating, all we had to do was get out of our comfort zone and try different food options and cooking techniques.  With this in mind, we decided to incorporate Paleo into our meal planning.  With the support of our HFC family and eating a paleo diet for a good portion of our meals, we have come to a conclusion in our lives and a few items need to change even after the New Year New Me challenge.
Eating healthier was the biggest change we needed to make.  We noticed eating out was a big part of our daily diet.  By meal planning and cooking at home, we will be eating healthier.  Limiting our intake of carbohydrates such as bread, corn, and potatoes to name a few along with a good diet and working out on a regular basis will give the results you’re seeking.
Four weeks in to the challenge I has blood lab work done.  The results of the lab work, I contribute to the changes I made during the challenge.  My A1C had dropped from 6.1 to 5.7, LDL cholesterol dropped from 76 to 70, and I’m down 24 pounds from 224 to 190.  Granted, I still have some work to do but this is a good start.  Looking back to my first Workout of the Day (WOD) back in August of 2015 I have gained confidence not only in completing every WOD successfully but incorporating healthy food choice into my daily life.  This change isn’t just for me, it’s for my family as well.
I would like to leave you with some final thoughts.  Nothing worth doing is easy.  You need a good support system during you’re journey.  Finally, look for a Cossift Box that treats you like family.  I was blessed to find Helotes Crossfit.  Thanks to my wife for leading me in the right direction.

WOD on!

Nicho Gutierrez
Helotes Crossfit
12266 Bandera Road #301
San Antonio, TX 78023 (view larger map)