Larry: If there’s one place, I think that I would say that anybody should go and try at least once. It would be CrossFit. You know, try for us, you guys have done an amazing job, I think more so than many, many other groups that I’ve seen. CrossFit. And the methodology is so awesome. And you know, when they say anybody can do it, it’s quite literally anybody can do it. And we’ve seen people that are, you know, they’re 60 70 80 years old or older, that are in the best shape of their lives. Because of CrossFit. No matter what your age is, no matter what your prior history of working out there, it doesn’t matter. Everything is infinitely scalable and modified.
Chris: What’s up everybody. I’m Chris Davis, here with my wife, Megan Davis. And we are your hosts for the My Blank Fitness Journey Podcast. During this podcast, we will reveal the secrets that we have used to help our community become more healthy, fit, and confident. And also hear from some amazing people in our community as they fill in the blank. And tell us about their fitness journey. listen in and be ready to be inspired by our guests who just like you are superheroes as we dive into their origin story.
Chris: Alright guys, welcome back. We are super excited to have our very first guest on this podcast. Mr. Larry Hickernell, it only seems appropriate that Larry is our first guest on my blank fitness journey. Podcast since he was our very first client at Triforce. CrossFit. We’ve known Larry for gosh, like four and a half, almost five years now. It seems like and super amazing guy. So welcome to the show, Larry.
Larry: Thanks, guys. Yeah, so happy to be here.
Chris: Yeah, great. We appreciate you jumping on. And there’s obviously going to be some technical issues. And Larry said that he is used to dealing with technical issues. So he’s not going to cry if our audio or video goes out, and neither should you. So the first question that we’re going to have for you is, is Larry just a super general broad. Let you be the artist here. I want you to fill in the blank of my blank fitness journey. So what was your answer?
Larry: Yeah, so I thought about this. And I was gonna, like, purposely not look at the questions beforehand, because I didn’t want to like have some sort of pre-prepared answer. So sometimes, I think I go back, and I’d say it’s amazing. That’s probably the first word that comes to mind. Yeah. But I think it changes you know, sometimes it’s my amazing fitness journey. And sometimes it’s my super frustrating fitness journey. And sometimes it’s like, a fun fitness journey. So it’s hard to pick one word because sometimes it changes. But I would have to say amazing. If I had to choose one.
Chris: Larry’s amazing fitness journey. That’s awesome. And we’ve gotten to be a part of that, like I said, for the past several years and gotten to witness your amazing fitness journey. So if you could just real quick, give us a quick overview of what your fitness journey was like before you joined a Triforce CrossFit?
Larry: Yeah, I’d love to Yeah, so I started doing CrossFit about six years ago now. Before I guess maybe going way back, you know, high school, I was an athlete, I played soccer, baseball, basketball, you know, anything that you could think of, I was always doing something athletic. And then after high school and college, you know, settled down at the family and you know, a whatever I wanted was a couch potato didn’t do much. So, you know, gained a ton of weight over you know, call it 10 years, right. So, my heaviest I, you know, I was considered, of course morbidly obese and not in the way that the rock is morbidly obese. So it was, you know, I could, you know, I was sick every day, I was tired. You know, we had both girls at the time, Sarah and Lily were super young. And I was like, Man, this is this is awful. So, went to the doctor one day, and I don’t feel well, they took bloodwork and stuff, all my levels were off the charts, everything was, you know, all the bad stuff was super high, all the good stuff was super low. And so, you know, the doctor was basically like, you need to change your life. You know, if you want to see your kids grow up, you need to make some major changes now. So, you know, I went back and he essentially told me exactly, you know, what to eat. Super restrictive diet, which, you know, Megan, I don’t know that you’d recommend the way that it happened the first time around. But you know, it was affected, right, like, you know, I lost about 85 pounds. I started walking first during my lunch periods, like, you know, at work whenever I had a chance. I would, and then I started running So that’s really I think, where I, you know, I started in kind of the refresh of the fitness journey, because, you know, it was going from absolutely nothing to walking to running. And I was like, Man, I’m like really fast, I could run pretty fast, you know, 5k for an old guy. But, you know, I was super skinny. People were asking me, like, you know, they pull me aside at church and stuff. They’re like, Hey, are you okay? I’m like, What are you talking about? They’re like, you’re just, like, are you sick? I’m like, No, I feel great. So, but it was, like, you know, I was, I was, I was really fast. And I had a lot of aerobic capacity, but I wasn’t, I didn’t feel very strong at all right. So I was looking for other things to do. So I went to an awesome this is up in Pennsylvania, what’s been awesome, Jim up there called CrossFit, Q, and Quakertown. And, you know, did the trial went through foundations, you know, did the baseline workout and I was like, Oh, this is a lot of fun. But, you know, I still wasn’t very strong. So, you know, I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t push press a 95-pound barbell. When I started, you know, I was 170 pounds soaking wet, which, you know, was a healthy weight. But, you know, I wasn’t very strong, my legs were like, chicken legs. And, you know, I felt like, doing something like CrossFit would help me overall. So I started going across it, then, about four months later, I did my first competition up there, there are videos of me still, you know, chicken legs, and, you know, failing, you know, 135 pounds clean, which, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing, that sort of, again, that journey where you look back at, and you’re like, man, it seems easy now, because you’ve been practicing it for, you know, five, six years, it’s, you know, it’s critical. So, you know, weight has come back. So, you know, the problem with that type of diet is, you do have almost like a crash, I mean, I was eating a maximum of 1200 calories a day. You know, pretty much keto, no carbs, essentially. But it kind of kick-started, you know, the process. So, you know, fast forward to today, you know, I’m eating better foods, I don’t feel hungry as much. And today, it’s more about, you know, control and consistency, rather than, starvation and having a bad relationship with food. So, you know, moved down to Florida, about four years ago, and saw your guys actually a Facebook app, I would go to another gym down by the beach, which was great. And, you know, they’re a great, great gym, but you know, some days it was 35 minutes each way. And, you know, when you guys put out the first Facebook ads and stuff, it was like, This is gonna be awesome. So that’s when we got in touch.
Chris: Yeah, that’s, that’s super cool. And that, I mean, that is an amazing story. And I think a few of the things that you said, that really will resonate with a lot of the people that are listening is, you know, you’re kind of comfortable with being uncomfortable as far as like, you know, when you start off, like, we all have a tendency to kind of get complacent with our health and wellness. And it’s super easy to just continue down the path that we’re heading down. I think it took kind of some severe news from your doctor to say, okay, like, it’s time to change and, and thinking not just about yourself, but about your kids. And so I think that that’s, that’s a really interesting kind of turning point for you. And it’s been, it’s been cool for me on this end of it to see like, it’s gone from Oh, well, okay, so now I can not just focus on like, I’ve, I’ve achieved some of the things I needed to do, like, you know, how’s it how’s your blood work now and everything, like, you’ve been back to the doctor, and it’s all how’s it? How are you?
Larry: Yes it’s, it’s, it’s never been, you know, better? It’s always been, you know, everything’s within normal ranges. And, you know, it’s just, I feel great. You know, unless I, you know, unless I go off the rails on a weekend or something, and, you know, don’t stick my, you know, my plan, which again, it’s more just kind of about, you have guardrails now, rather than like, being all the way on this site, then going all the way down to this side and feeling sporadic. You know, kind of you’re, like you said, kind of the comfort level and where you can push, you know, both in the gym, but then also, you know, you can say, Okay, well, you know, I’m making choices, because, you know, I like crap last weekend, I’m gonna, you know, rein it in, and I have control now. You know, it’s something I’m making a choice on now, instead of, you know, the outside forces controlling me.
Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s super powerful. You mentioned like, you know, seeing a Facebook ad and jumping in with us, like, you know, Larry was the first one that had any sort of faith in us, you know, I think I think Larry and his family have more faith in us than we did. You know, in the beginning, you know, we had no idea what we were doing opening a gym. And I think Larry is a super empowering person. And so he was able to step in and help us in a time when we knew nobody or knew nothing in our area. We’re trying to open a gym. And so, you know, when we’re speaking about journeys, Larry has certainly been a pivotal part of our entrepreneurial and business and our own personal journeys. Yeah, so Thanks, Larry. That’s, that’s, it’s been fun. Megan, you wanna take the next one?
Megan: Yeah, I love hearing your story. Every time I hear it, it’s something else, like, you know, just makes me excited for you. So, you know, I love hearing your backstory. And then I, we love every time that we get to see you in the gym. So I’d kind of like to hear a little bit more about what it’s like, what it’s been, like, for you since you joined Triforce?
Larry: Yeah, no, I mean, and truly, like, coming in, I was on the same page. Like you guys, you know, I had obviously done CrossFit for a while, but, you know, had never coached and you guys were kind of the impetus for me going and, you know, getting my old one. It was, it was neat to be a part of something that is growing, you know, in my professional career, I had always been at places that were super big, you know, well-established companies and, you know, without, there’s a lot of bureaucracy, there’s not a lot of hunger, there’s a lot of real, you know, just complacency. It’s, it’s a great word for it. But, you know, modeling what I’ve done, you know, my company now with DLP, and, you know, seeing, you know, our founder, Don’s, you know, his journey and how he approaches entrepreneurship, I saw a lot of that, and you guys like, hey, like, Let’s take something that doesn’t exist, and then create something out of it. So, you know, for me, like the journey from that day one, when, you know, the rig was coming in on a truck. And before, you know, all the way to today, where you guys, like, there are now two locations, I mean, you know, a couple 100 members, it’s like, you know, for me, I just love seeing how, you know, you guys impacted me directly. And, you know, very literally in the sense where, like, we had a, you know, Chris and I were like the only two people in the gym for like three weeks, right? It was like, I didn’t want to do anything, I’m like, oh, I’m gonna come in, it’s five in the morning, or whatever. I’m like, why don’t we just stretch today? And Chris is like, No, you’re gonna do the workout? What are you talking about? You know, the standards have always been really high. But there’s, there’s that collaborative nature, like, you know, I know that there are places out there, and I don’t want to put anybody down. But like, there are places out there where, you know, it’s all about, hey, we’re gonna get, you know, we’re gonna get people to the games, right? Like, that’s our focus. And these, like, super early people. And it’s like, you know, there’s a lack of culture, I think in a lot of those places. And, you know, from day one, you guys established a culture first, not only being faith-based, but then also, you know, opening that up to people who, you know, I think about all the folks that kind of started, you know, right around me, and you know, that first sort of group of people and where they’re at today, and you still see them coming in, and it’s like, the progress they’ve made. And like, in many cases, those folks are like, you know, out lifting me or they can run faster than me or like, they’re more consistent than me, which, you know, is more important than any of that. But you guys made it happen. So like, that’s, you know, even more than the workouts are fun, I love, you know, the best hour of the day, and, you know, just, you know, not focusing on anything except, you know, not passing out because of a hard workout. But it’s like, seeing that growth over time. And you know, the struggles were there for sure. But you guys stuck to it, you marched forward, and you’re in an awesome place right now. It’s just amazing to see.
Megan: I think that is a that’s really fun for us to see, too. Because like you mentioned a lot of those people have been consistent. Like, I think one of the things that measure success for us is like seeing them surpass their own expectations. And like, as you said, they’re out lifting all the coaches that they started learning from, which is really fun to see.
Larry: Yeah, no, it’s I mean, there’s, there’s really no limit, I think, to the things that people can do there. It’s like, you know, you have created this forum where, you know, the programming is great, you know, it’s a great workout, but it’s like, there’s that nature of, hey, I’m going to come in I know that people are going to be smiling. I know that you know, people are going to be friendly. I know that you know, everybody’s there to better themselves. And that just makes you want to push harder, more so to me anyway, it’s more so than like, having somebody screaming at me like or race somebody. You know, we’re trying to live one and a half pounds heavier than somebody else, right.
Megan: That never happens.
Larry: I fall into the trap. Do I do whatever Chris is doing And I’ll try to, although lately, again, I can’t even get close?
Chris: Very smokes me on plenty of workouts, don’t let them fool you. This is a super random question that I want to ask. The answer is, yes. It’s not a yes or no question. If your answer is yes, I’m gonna be interesting. So, part of the point of this podcast is that we’re talking about people’s fitness journeys. And it’s kind of like, you know, looking at you and the rest of our members like is, it’s kind of like everybody’s a superhero. Like, you know, everybody comes in, they’ve got this was a journey, you watch any of the Marvel or DC movies. And you know, you watch these superheroes as they’re growing up. And as they get their superpower, and you’re all the obstacles that they have to overcome, and you know, they rise to the occasion. That’s what every one of you guys has done. So what is not what superpower do you want to have? But what’s your like, real-world real-life superpower? Like, if you like, I’m really good at this, or this is something that like, is unnaturally amazing yet? What’s your superpower in real life? Larry?
Larry: Other than eating chicken wings? I don’t know. So it’s a, it’s an interesting question. Because it’s like, I don’t like to talk about myself in general. But it’s, you know, I find that I’ve gotten and maybe this is, you know, this is a developed skill, I think, and this, you know, came because of the journey that I’ve been on. And, you know, obviously, you know, my work life has a lot to do with it, and what we focus on here, but, you know, for a long time, even when I was, you know, I was always naturally good at sports, I was always, you know, pretty, pretty good at connecting with people and, you know, being able to, you know, at least hold the conversation at the very least, but I always kind of had somewhat of a victim mentality. You know, things are happening to me, like the world is happening to me, and even all the way up to, you know, the time when I went to the doctor, I’m like, why is this happening to me? But, you know, you look back now and you’re like, Well, no, I did all that crap. Myself, I’m the one that ate pretzels with chocolate milk. You know, every night, I’m the one that you know, drank a case of beer, you know, every couple of nights, right? Like, you do it to yourself. So I think if I had to name a superpower that I would be proud of like, and that’s not just a natural thing, I think it would be, you know, being able to take a step back and flip that mindset of, you know, hey, I’m a victim versus, you know, I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m developing, I’m stretching myself out of my comfort zone. And, you know, certainly, it’s, it’s done me well, I think in all aspects of my life. That’s not to say, you know, you know, that you don’t revert. You know, there are a lot of times when I’m just like, I want to feel sorry for myself. And I want to say, Oh, well, you know, I really sucked at that workout, or I, you know, I really don’t want to get up. And, you know, I have a lot of hard meetings, or whatever the case is, like, it doesn’t matter what it is, or, and that’s different for everybody, you know, sometimes it’s just getting out of bed. But the superpower that anybody chooses, is to get out of bed, or to just make that choice and, you know, the countdown for five and, and go. So that would be what I have to say.
Chris: That’s super cool. Like, flipping the script on victim mentality to becoming the owner of your destiny is really amazing. And that definitely is a superpower. And I’ve seen, I’ve seen you are 100% capable of that. And like you said, like, I think a stupid small example is like when you’re at the gym, and in the middle of a really hard workout. It’s like like you said, you count down for five, and then you go, like, it’s really easy for me to be really tired. And then like, I need to tie my shoe. Or like, oh, man, I would love some water right now, you know, like, but you just get back on the barbell or you just get back on the thing. And that’s you taking ownership and right now I think especially in a world where there’s so much going on around us that we don’t have any influence over to say the things that I can influence my, the daily results that I can actually make an effect on I’m going to and that’s that’s super cool. Like I’ve certainly seen that in your life. Like you said in your work life in your life with your family, with your friends and at the gym for sure. So absolutely.
Larry: Now and look, it’s a very simple thing to do where you have to train yourself, but sometimes it’s three seconds. Sometimes it’s five seconds, sometimes it’s 10 seconds. And I won’t admit on camera that I know I do sit there way too long sometimes. But you know, the lesson is, you know, keep getting back up. Yeah, just don’t quit.
Chris: Super cool. Megan, what do we have now Next?
Megan: So I love hearing that because, you know, like we said, being able to do so many workouts with you over the years, I would definitely say that you can see that happening like, in the middle of long workouts in the middle of tough ones. It’s like, I know, Larry’s gonna give his best, like, I know that this is hard. This hurts right now. He’s uncomfortable, I’m uncomfortable, we’re all uncomfortable. But there’s like, I think that there’s something to be said about that, like, mutual suffering, but knowing that, like, you’re not gonna quit and it like, it’s really empowering, I think, to the other people in our gym. And to us, like you said, like, you kind of having that culture, that having you in class and knowing that, you know, you, you’re uncomfortable, but you’re going to do your best like and whatever that is for that day. And like, I think that that builds into our culture and like, you’re part of the reason that we have that, you know, because of that superpower that you bring to the classes. So I love that. So okay, I know, I have lots of favorite Larry memories at Triforce. But we want to hear from you, what is one of your favorite memories from Triforce.
Larry: Anytime I get to dress up in something crazy and try to work out that’s pretty fun. You know, Christmas parties have always been interesting trying to do muscle-ups or whatnot. After a fun, fun night of partying, I recall that very well. Yeah, you know, I think a lot of it, you know, is, it’s funny, because, you know, you have a lot of workout memories that are like, Man, this was an awesome workout, it was so much fun to do, or it wasn’t so much fun to do. But like, like you said, suffering together was really awesome. But a lot of it is like, my favorite memories are all just like, either before or after a class, like whether I’ve worked out or coached, which hasn’t happened in a while, but like, you know, you’re sitting there, you’re talking to somebody, and, you know, they ring the bell because they got a PR or, you know, we’re chatting, and it’s like, Hey, I haven’t seen such and such and, you know, a couple of months, and they’re back, and then they start to crush it again, it’s like, that’s my favorite thing to see. Because it’s like, you know, and I love that about CrossFit is like, it’s not, it’s almost like tears, right? Like, you go there, everybody knows your name. And it’s like, you go in and you know, whether you anything I travel for work a lot. So, you know, I would say that today, my biggest struggle is consistency. You know, I can’t be in the gym, you know, five days a week, or you know, even four days a week, sometimes like I used to. But, you know, you see folks that even if you don’t come for a while or you know, you have to take a deload week or month, or whatever, right? You come back in, and there’s no judgment, it’s like, Hey, welcome back. It’s like, you don’t have to feel like if you walk into like a Globo gym, sort of a thing. And it’s like, you have these people that have these egos, and it’s like, you know, you don’t get any of that at CrossFit and certainly not a Triforce because it’s you know, that that awesome culture where nobody’s there to pressure you, you just show up. So I love those memories. I mean, you know, just seeing people come in, and, you know, I have a lot of memories of people’s like, you know, first day of foundations and, you know, doing, doing some of the, you know, the baseline workouts with them. And, you know, now seeing again, seeing them outperform me on a lot of workouts and just seeing people develop over time. It’s just, it’s, that’s amazing to me.
Megan: Hey. Okay, I was saying that I love one of my favorite memories is that it’s that’s hard to be is that you showed up and we’re like, Hey, guys, we I’d like to be a member of the gym, I saw an ad, you know, that you guys open. And we’re like, great, we’d love to have you as a member, can you also help us unload the truck so that we put the rig inside so you can become a member?
Larry: I remember that vividly. It was awesome, it was an awesome day, you know, and that’s, you know, like, I don’t think this has changed either. Like having all the members that we have now. And you know, having to work with, you know, so many different kinds of people, like, you guys have never taken the focus off of, hey, like, you’re the person in front of you. You’re the member right now. Like you’re the one that I need to focus on. And you do that with everybody. Like it’s just, it’s just awesome. And so yeah, that was it was pretty cool. And again, like, coming in and saying, Hey, you guys have, you know, some stuff you need to do so you can open up and I, you know, I don’t want to say I knew that it was gonna be you know, fantastic. But, you know, I knew by your attitude, and by your drive and by your commitment to say like, Hey, like we’re doing this thing. You know, it’s definitely scarier than anything I’ve ever done. So, I just thought that was awesome. And I was like, Yeah, whatever I can do to help like, you know, I just want to see you guys, you know, a get off the ground. And then you know, it was just from then on out. It just kept growing.
Chris: So yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. We didn’t mention that. I mean, Larry mentioned that he was a coach, but he was our very first coach, other than making an eye and it was out of Please help us, Larry because we are going to die if we continue trying to coach all the classes. And he stepped in, though he was working 60 hours a week in his other job and has two young girls and a wife and was willing to jump in. And there’s a lot of our members that Larry was their very first coach. And that’s super cool, too. So all right. So this has been really, really cool getting to hear your story. And I would definitely say it’s been an amazing journey for you. That’s, that’s an awesome word to pick. What is to finish off? What would you say to somebody who is on the fence about joining Triforce or, you know, even if somebody’s not local, some, somebody that’s trying to get into a fitness routine, like, what would you say to somebody that is considering it as just like, you know, I’m not sure if this is for me, or if it’s going to work or whatever.
Larry: Yeah, just do it. It just, just don’t, you know, count down from three and do it show up, you know, and keep showing, you know, trust the process, it’s it CrossFit. And the methodology is so awesome. And you know, when they say anybody can do it, it’s quite literally anybody can do it, you know, I, and we’ve seen people that are, you know, they’re 60 70 80 years old, or older, you know, that are in the best shape of their lives, because of CrossFit. And that doesn’t mean that they’re, you know, doing a 250-pound snatch, it doesn’t mean that they’re doing, you know, ring muscle-ups, but they don’t have a fear, or they don’t have a, you know, any kind of problems thinking that you know, hey, I’m gonna fall and break something. Because they’re functional, they’re there, they’re able to go about their lives and extend their lives and move on to that, you know, that wellness continuum. And no matter what your age is, no matter what your, you know, prior history of working out, is if you have one even, it doesn’t matter, like, everything is infinitely scalable, and modifiable, and you’re not going to have anybody making fun of you, or bullying you or, you know, saying nasty things about you either to your face or behind your back. If there’s one place, I think that I would say that anybody should go and try at least once, it would be CrossFit. And, you know, try for us, you guys have done an amazing job, I think more so than, you know, many, many other groups that I’ve seen, in fostering that where, you know, Hey, show up, do the best you can, like you said, man, it’s like, just do the best you can keep showing up. And you’re going to see results, which if the, you know, looking good sort of thing is is your you know, is your primary goal, you can do that, you know, getting off those diabetes medicines or getting off with blood pressure medicine, or, you know, being more healthy inside is your goal. And you know, that works for you, if being super strong, and you know, being able to do cool movements and stuff is your thing. That’s awesome. You can do it all in CrossFit. And there’s a little bit of all of that with you know what I like to see, but yeah, just don’t hesitate. Just do it. Just jump into it.
Chris: Thanks so much, Larry. You guys heard it here from Larry about his amazing fitness journey with us before us. And it’s going to continue onward and upward for Larry. And that’s the super cool part. You know, he mentioned you are staying between the guardrails. So that’s a part of it. For all of us, we’re not all going to have this linear path straight up to be this ideal person that we want to be. But as long as we pick ourselves back up, when we hit the floor, and get going, can’t do that count down. 54321 Pick the barbell up, whatever it is realizing that we have not fallen off the cliff completely and that we can get back to it. So yeah, that’s awesome. Larry, if anybody would like to hear more about you your story, you know, connecting with you will be a great way for them to connect to you.
Larry: Yes, Facebook, social media, Instagram is all out there. Obviously. If anybody wanted to give me a call, I’d be happy to give you my phone number and email address whatever to put me up in the gym, you know,
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And he’s Larry Hickernell Jr. Don’t message his dad. He won’t answer.
Larry: What is this? What are you talking about? I’ve never done CrossFit a day in my life.
Awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Larry.
Larry: Thank you, guys.
Megan: Thanks, Larry.
Larry: All right. See ya.
Chris: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of My Blank Fitness Journey Podcast. If this story is fired you. Make sure that you like and subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you’re using. If you’d like to reach out to us, you can check us out at Triforcecrossfit.com. Just send us a message. We’d love to help you and see you guys soon on the next episode.