Sam Renfrow is a spirited individual who has helped himself and wants to help others by sharing his awesome story. Check it out.

I believe two things about transformation. There is always a reason “WHY”. There is also a psychological and a physical component to transformation. That is true in my case, and I really think it’s a losing battle until you find your real reason why you want to transform, then set you mind to put in the work.

The “Why”

Around October 2002, my dad was retiring after a long career that included 20 years in the Navy, and over 25 more years of working a variety of different jobs. The first trip he took after retiring was a trip to Branson, Missouri with my mom. When he got back, he had a bad “cold” he could not get rid of. Upon further examination, we discovered my dad had Stage 5 cancer that had spread to his liver, lungs, kidney, color, and spleen. He put up a good fight, but lost the fight in June 2003.

In September 2003, I was at work one day, and developed a terrible headache. I went home, and it got worse. Around midnight, I went to the emergency room, only to learn that I had Spinal Meningitus. I was admitted to the hospital for a few days, and recovered with no complications.

Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday of 2004. I got a call from one of my mom’s close friends. She had tried to get in touch with my mom, and was worried that something was wrong. I went to her house, only to find out that she had been brutally assaulted and left for dead by a childhood friend of mine. She was taken by Life Flight helicopter to North Mississippi Medical Center, and would remain in rehab for most of 2004. She recovered to around 75% of her former self, but could never live alone again.

My mom moved to an assisted living facility, and found purpose in life, but we discovered that she too had colon cancer, which would take her life in November 2005.

At the time of my mom’s assault, I was around 180 pounds, and in excellent shape. I had made a pact with my dad to run a half marathon in his memory just before he died, and I was training and ready when my mom was assaulted. After her assault, I became depressed and turned to comfort food to make me “feel better”. Without a drive to exercise and stay in shape, I ballooned to as high as 235 pounds in the decade between 2004 and 2014. I would work out for short periods, but never really lost much weight.

In 2011, the Renfrow family moved to Southaven. The first couple of years, I had a gym membership, but that money was essentially wasted. In 2014, I looked at pictures of myself, and did not like what I saw. I did not have any energy, was in terrible shape, and knew that something had to change. During my very infrequent visits to DeSoto Athletic Club, I had seen something called Team Training. I made the commitment to join Team Training, and met the person that would support me through my transformation. For the next 3 ½ years, Marketa Mamiaro encouraged me, pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits, and helped me lose over 50 lbs.

Fast forward to August 2017. I have been watching the Crossfit games for several years now, and got the itch to try Crossfit. I had heard of Olive Branch Crossfit, but didn’t know much about the community or the workouts. Earlier this year, I found the Lift Heavy Run Long podcast, and made the connection to Olive Branch Crossfit. I began a new season of my journey at the beginning of August, when I started Crossfit. It’s been a humbling experience. I went from my comfort zone with High Intensity Interval Training to Crossfit. I am definitely a work in process.

Obesity is an epidemic in our country today. My “why” is to be the best me I can be. At 49 years old, I am in the best shape of my life, and its only getting better. In December, I will live up to my promise to my dad, as I run the St. Jude Half Marathon. My wife is a nurse at St. Jude, so it is very near and dear to our heart. I know that when I get tired and weary while running 13.2 miles, I know that my dad’s voice will ring clear…….”you can do it bud”…….and I will do it.

***At Lift Heavy Run Long®, we are in constant search of inspiration. We are fortunate to have a Facebook group which involves people who have, for one reason or another, decided to make drastic changes in their life, in order to lead a more fulfilled existence.

We want to share with you some of the encouraging stories that have come from the people in our community. We would love for you to be part of the group.

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Feel free to contact me anytime. I would love to hear your story.