Chris Beilhartz: My Catalyst Story

Chris Beilhartz       
June 4, 2013 isn’t a significant date that will go down in history and for most people it was just another Tuesday.  The date for me though did have a meaning…. it was my 40th birthday. Turning 40 for some people is no big deal while for others it can be a major life event. I think that regardless of how well or poorly you take it, it is a birthday that causes you to reflect on your life. I personally had a hard time reconciling the fact that my body was closer to 50 while in my mind I was closer to 20…it just didn’t compute. Where did the time go? What had I been up to and…..why do I feel so tired? Upon further reflection I realized that I had been pretty busy. I had gotten married (twice), raised a family, and built a business. I think it’s easy to get caught up in life and what’s going on around you which can cause you to ignore other important things, like yourself. That’s what happened to me.
For twenty years I had not taken care of myself properly. I didn’t eat right (for my age L), I didn’t exercise regularly, I didn’t take part in any physical sports or activities, and you know what… showed. I was tired. Tired of being unhappy about the way I looked. Tired of carrying around extra weight. Tired of having little motivation to get moving. But most of all, I was tired of not doing anything about it. I was ready for CHANGE!
Through social media, Tammy and I had heard of this place called Catalyst and this thing called Crossfit. We didn’t know much about it but the people that were taking part seemed to like it (and talked about it A LOT), so we thought we should give it a try. In August of 2013, we had a consultation and decided that hour long PT sessions, three days a week was the right choice for us, and you know what….3-1/2 years later we’re still there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I remember the first day. A beautiful sunny and warm August Monday morning. Tammy and I were both nervous and excited to begin this new adventure. It was the day we would meet our trainer Charity, who unbeknownst to us would become so much more than that. Over the next few years she became our coach, friend, motivator and counsellor. I still can’t comprehend how that sweet, innocent, young woman could be the source of so much PAIN! The first WOD we ever did was a combination of push ups, sit ups, squats, and ring rows. I can’t remember if it had a name, but if we were to do it today we could call it….WARM UP! So there I was…40 years old (but feeling like 20 in my mind)… carrying some extra weight (but probably sucking it in)…hadn’t exercised in quite a while (but afraid to admit it)…being told what to do by a twenty something year old woman. What’s a guy to do? That’s right! I was going full out! I finished that workout. There are some rumors about me collapsing at the end in a tire out front…and maybe about having to be driven home and taking the rest of the day off work…BUT I FINISHED!
Since that first day there have been many other workouts and sometimes I still can be found on the floor (but thankfully haven’t missed any time off work and can drive myself J). I’ve ran multiple 5k races, taken part in the Crossfit Open and Catalyst Games. I’ve enjoyed an Obstacle Course Race (with more to follow) and have taken up a new sport (Squash). So you know what…the 40’s aren’t so bad after all! I’m much more active, only carry a couple extra pounds (for emergencies only), and I’m ok with being closer to 50 than 20. I might even be looking more like 20 than 50 (pay no attention to the grey hair!) Ok, probably notL but that’s ok too.
Catalyst has been a big part of my life and the transformation that not only I’ve made, but the one my work out partner, best friend, and wife Tammy, has made as well. I couldn’t have done it without her support and the support of our coaches Charity and now Jess. I realize that I have a long way to go but Tammy and I are enjoying the journey together. Every day we feel a little better, get a little stronger, and appear a little skinnier. And to all the twenty and thirty some year olds out there…look out, cause we’re coming!