That, along with the constant breaking down of the homemade equipment, was the main reason for my loss of focus and why after 6 months my workouts had gotten stagnant. I expressed my frustration to one of my Sergeants at work. He introduced me to some powerlifters he knew, and I started training with them. I was getting strong with this new powerlifting routine, and I liked it. In 1985, I relocated to southern Louisiana. The gym I joined was perfect- 3 blocks from home, and it was owned & operated by Paul Cormier, a former Mr. Louisiana. He helped me refine my workouts and showed me a few new routines. Even though I was training 6 days per week, I still did not have a clue as to how important nutrition was in being strong and healthy. My body weight was heavy at 225. In 1989, I moved to Kansas City for my new job at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth. I was delighted to learn they had a fitness center for employees, accessible 24/7. I started working out with some of my co-workers, usually about 5 am before work. My workout goal back then was to get bigger and stronger. I peaked strength-wise in 1994, at the age of 34. I benched 325 for 3 or 4 reps, my deadlift was 475. This might sound great, but my overall fitness was poor. I did very little cardio, I was all about size & strength- and eating what I wanted when I wanted. My workouts changed in 2003, about the time I turned 43. It took longer to recover from those heavy workouts, so I focused on simply maintaining my size & strength. As time wore on, I focused on everything except my workouts, and I spent less and less time in the gym, which resulted in quite of bit of weight gain and loss of muscle. In 2004, the fitness roller coaster started up again. My wife Vickie and I started buying equipment for our house, with the intention of working out at home. We figured it would be easier and less expensive than joining a gym. Unfortunately, the equipment became a clothes hanger and dust collector. Just like my earlier workouts, my home workouts became very sporadic- almost non-existent. I was back to making excuses for not working out. As time went on, I even stopped making excuses, and just didn’t work out. I was still eating what I wanted, when I wanted. There were quite a few times that my dinner would be a medium pizza. I would also pound down a pint of ice cream several times a week. By this time my doctor had put me on pre-diabetic meds, cholesterol meds and blood pressure meds. I just figured this was my predestined path, and it continued for 10 years. In 2013, Vickie discovered Hitch Fit, and dove in head first. She started eating clean and working out 4-5 days per week. I would spot her during her workouts, and I started doing some light weight training, but I was still not eating right. Her transformation was amazing. As I was acting as her spotter, the old weight lifting fire started to burn again. But, there was a new problem. My right shoulder was bothering me. I had very little range of motion, and almost no strength. An MRI revealed I needed rotator cuff surgery, which I had in April of 2015. After an 8 week recovery period, I was ready to get active again. I had gained even more weight during that 8 week period and I was feeling very….blah. Vickie suggested I do the same program she did- “Lose Weight, Feel Great” from Hitch Fit.