August 2014: I weight 102 kg. I am obese and live a sedentary life with zero physical activity and cholesterol that is skyrocketing. My waist’ size is 48, and it has become too tight even. I will need to move up! As for work I am a Business Trainer, Consultant and Coach with a private practice as Certified Hypnotherapist on the side. I am thus well tooled to help people move ahead in their life. I help everyone, except that I can’t help myself to live the best healthy and fit life I know I should be living. My clients come and see me to change and improve the quality of their personal and professional life, and yet I feel incapable of changing my own lifestyle.
I don’t like what I have become physically, and most of all I hate feeling weak in terms of willpower. I simply can’t see how to come back to sports, to running, to watching my food, to wearing training shoes. This last idea makes me feel ridiculous and kind of ashamed and guilty. I have not worn such shoes for many years now! I hide all this behind humour, laughing about my excess of weight, making jokes about it to divert attention from my silhouette. “With the price of meat, I invest on myself”. My kids (4 of them) keep teasing me a lot about my big belly, specially my 2 daughters, and that is not easy to hear. My eldest son of 15 then, came back from a weekend and showed me the transformational video of Heiko on Freeletics. I knew just then that it was now or never for me. I registered straight away, booked the Coach and nutritional plan and started immediately my journey to a healthy me!
The first 15 days were hell and exciting too. My body felt crushed and beaten all over. I was climbing and going down the stairs at home on my bum, such was the pain in my legs! I could not walk nor stand after the workouts, my legs just gave under me without warning and I collapsed. But I never gave up! I gave it all! In 3 months’ time I lost 10 kg, at 6 months 15kg, and got stuck at 85kg. I went down to pants size 36 and I was so happy. I felt alive again.
When I discovered Goliaz
Then what had to happen came about: with the intensity of this sport and owing to my sedentary state these last years, I suffered an acute left heel tendinitis. And I was ordered out of sports for 8 weeks by the physiotherapist. That got me mad and quite desperate: I was afraid to loose all my newly found and hardly acquired fitness, to take on weight again, to not be able to come back to this sport afterwards. I did everything I could do without the legs: sit-ups, leg levers, push-ups whilst using the right leg as stabiliser, pull-ups on the back with a broom between 2 chairs… I forbid myself to give in to discouragement.
I was very curious about Freeletics groups in the world and this is how I found Freeletics World led by Eduardo Santos as Coach. That was a very active group, proposing world challenges to be done simultaneously with a personalised coaching and training. How was I possible to miss that? No way! And Eduardo was launching the Dione Challenge 10 days before the end of my treatment! I told myself that this was my golden opportunity to train and go back to the level I was before my injury. I did not want to miss that challenge, not for all the money in the world. I asked Eduardo if I could replace all burpees with push-ups until I got the green light from my physio. And I went into Goliaz mode finding in Eduardo an extraordinary support. The last day of the challenge I performed Dione under heavy tropical rain. I’ll remember that day for sure, but mostly it was the exhilaration of doing something out of the ordinary that gave me such pride in myself. I had gathered my flock around me for this challenge: my sister and her daughter, and we were so passionate about it. And it was as a family that we became since then Goliaz Athletes, taking pride and joy in each other’s achievement. Goliaz got into our blood!
The Goliaz Singularity
Freeletics World became Goliaz HIIT and I became a proud Goliaz Athlete going through All In Challenge, Beast Mode Challenge and Abs to Max Challenge. Being part of such challenges is a total buzz, 100% adrenaline, a Go Beyond feat in a community forged in sweat and effort! That is a real kick!!
The singularities about Goliaz are obvious when compared to the rest of the HIIT movements. It is Goliaz that launched World Challenges, virtual teams (even live via skype), workouts with pacer, Running intervals with Reference Time included within the workouts, VO2Max test (and got his own test researched and validated), Obstacle Course Running type workouts, Audios, specialty focused Challenges, Daily Calories Needs linked to daily exercises, performance gear that can be posted to all around the world (and not restricted to Europe!), inspirational training closed groups and instructions posted in 8 languages, an awesome web site! That in not even 6 months of its existence! And its application is not even out yet! What will it be when it is launched? I am so looking forward to it. It terms of vision, gameability, energy, entrepreneurship, innovation, sharing, ethics, humanity and community spirit I have never known anything like it. And this is without mentioning the true strength of Goliaz, its personal Coach, 100% supportive, accessible, passionate and active, visionary: Eduardo Santos who makes a difference in our lives every single day.
If Ed is the real strength of Goliaz, the true heart of Goliaz is its Goliaz Athletes, absolutely committed and passionate about the Goliaz Adventure. The role models who inspire us daily are numerous, and this is extremely stimulating! To know that in the world, at the same time as you, other athletes are giving their all is electrifying. This community linked through sweat and through this urge to go beyond is precious and galvanising. It creates joy in me, and drives me towards personal excellence. It federates us across oceans and distances. I like the heart that shows in Goliaz. Human values are top in Goliaz: To give, to assemble, to go beyond, to inspire, to share freely, to serve. And they are embodied in Eduardo, our Coach, as well as in many among us in Goliaz.
Goliaz: A Bridge Maker
The friendships that this sport creates are strong, bonded through pain and effort. My sister and niece are also Goliaz Athletes and this has help us become closer than ever. My 2 daughters and my youngest son do workouts with me from time to time and I am fond of these moments of extra complicity. When they encourage me, I feel that I have wings. And doing Goliaz together enables me to tell them how proud and impressed I am of their performance and their willpower. It is indeed impressive for all let alone one of 14, 11 and 8 years old to go through Goliaz workouts just to spend some time with one’s Dad! My wife has taken more of her share to give me the time to do my sport. She always has my back, takes a genuine interest in my sport and that is awesome. It is a joy to spend a family sportive afternoon together. My brother is a Marathon man to the bone, and I can now share some of his running with him, and this has made us closer still. In a few months I will run with him my first half-marathon. The confidence I feel that I can achieve this is a direct result of Goliaz in my life. In our brotherhood, you would have guessed, our sports are the foremost aspect we discuss between us, and this is a winner. This has changed the way we view each other.
About great achievements
On the sport side, I have gone beyond what I though I could ever achieve. I improved a lot in terms of fitness and of course mentally. I have to thank Goliaz for becoming a runner: I ran my first 10km under Goliaz banner in 60mins (what a ball it was that day on the net hey, Goliaz Language Expert team!). I ran my first trail ever, an 11.4km course, and ranked 26th Veteran. I even got to best 18 year old youths that are in the same class at my eldest son in high school. I went from 18:27min in my first VO2max test to 14:44min in my third test and challenge. I can perform 87 burpees unbroken and do 100 in 6m37 PB. I am no more caught by Giant Frogs, haha!
It is with Goliaz that I have gone through the toughest workouts. The month doing the Beast Mode Challenge has brought me the greatest transformation ever. I have sometimes quitted workouts that I perceived far too intense and inaccessible to me. In truth it was my state of mind that was weak and that lost me. It was when I focused on me, on my pain, or my exhaustion, that I lost all will to fight through. I have learned with Goliaz to stop listening to my limiting voice and to divert my attention during workouts so that I could stay valiant. The few times I ran away from a workouts, I came back at it on the next day with a will to kill and a pledge “no more!” and I worked them through. The ALL IN ONE day and EARN THE BADGE day were real beasts: I have never known that level of intensity and volume in workouts before. What pride to accomplish what seemed beyond us! Once you go through such demanding efforts, the word “impossible” becomes meaningless. And “quitting” just disappears from your vocabulary. I have now a never felt before drive in my life, a renewed energy to do things. I wake up before dawn to run my 8 -10km at 4:30am, rain or no rain, or even do workouts late at 19h30 or 21hrs if needed. I do not negotiate with myself anymore. I am proud of this.
Today I am at 78.7kg, and going down thanks to this Abs to Max Challenge with nutrition. My 46 years old gift to myself will be toned abs and flat stomach, an impossible dream for so many years, today’s results is one that I never achieved in my prime and youth even. My waist size is now 34! Friends that have not seen me for quite some time double back when meeting me, so surprised are they. They don’t even recognise me. Friends’ wife pesters their husband to follow my footsteps with Goliaz, haha! My kids are proud of me, of my sports and nutrition commitment… and my new muscles. Rugby players and runners stop by when I workout to know more about my sport, and praise my fitness, as if I was one of their teammate or another brother in arms. That feel good I must say and make me realise how much different things are today for me.
Goliaz Got Me Through Tough Life Challenges
Professionally, 2015 was a very complicate year for me, and the practice of Goliaz was a saving device for me. Without this sport I would have succumbed to stress. And not once was I stuck in anxiety. Going beyond everyday in my Goliaz workouts gave me resilience and optimism when all was going sour professionally with training sales contract that did not go through. I stayed courageous and with a fighting mode using all I learnt from my sport. Now that the tough seas are calm, I know for sure that the outcomes for me would have been very different without Goliaz. What I learnt in terms of mental preparation, visualisation and going beyond my limitations helped me a lot for my life. The health choices that come with Goliaz are great benefits, too: recuperation and rest, nutrition, sleep, exercises. That changed my life. I can say that I have become a much better Life and Business Coach, Trainer and Hypnotherapist for my clients as I have grown into being congruent. I am on a path to excellence now, and I keep moving forward from the present to the future, learning, growing, adapting to life and my relationships positively. In effect I can now take more action in helping others help themselves and in the field of motivation and performance at work. I have even been selected as Motivational Speaker for Mauritian athletes selected for the Indian Ocean Islands Game and Africa Games in 2015.
In my life, I am usually the one that gives more than he receives. Not with Goliaz. I benefit from advice, help, support, friendships, power of beliefs. The Goliaz Coach believes in us more than we do in ourselves, and that is a great feeling. He says “you can do this”, we don’t believe it, we act and it’s true, we did it! Needless to say that I would have achieved nothing without the unconditional support of my wife Nathalie, who is fully supportive since day 1, and is my Number One supporter. I thank her with gratitude.
Goliaz adventure is only at its beginnings. As am I, and you too! Goliaz is my family now, and you are in my circle of influence now! Thanks for your friendship. Go Beyond friends!
Richard GOUREL de SAINT-PERN