Discovering My Potential in Fitness and Life

May 01 2014
May 01 2014

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My Name is Paul Keough and I wanted to share my story of how fitness and P90X specifically has changed my life. To do that though, let’s go back a few years. Let’s say 20. I was a pretty active kid. I played soccer, basketball, baseball, and hockey. In high school, I ran cross country and spring track, and was one of the best varsity sprinters as a sophomore. Like many other people, when I got to college, however, life caught up with me and I started to develop some bad habits. While I still exercised every now and then, I had no idea how to eat right, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had gained nearly 20 pounds. I was out of shape and overweight, and it started to have a negative impact on my ego and self-esteem.

I don’t know exactly what clicked, but one morning in July of 2008 I decided I was going to make a change and get in the best shape of my life. I was sick of being overweight and wasn’t happy with how I had let myself go. I started making healthier food choices and running nearly every day, and by the the end of the year I had lost 30 pounds! I was feeling good about myself, was in perhaps the best shape I had ever been in at that point, and discovered that I was a very good distance runner, something I had never anticipated before.

Around this time, my sister also decided to get in shape, and she ordered an exercise program through an infomercial called “P90X.” Knowing the reputation of “as seen on TV” type products, I questioned her spending $120 on a DVD program that she didn’t know much about, but once it came in, and she started doing it and saw results, I figured I’d give it a try myself! Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about this particular product. As in shape as I thought I was in at the time, I had never been challenged the way I was with Tony Horton’s crazy routines. I was still running nearly every day, but adding in P90X a few times a week really helped me out.

For the next 2.5 years or so, my fitness routine remained unchanged for the most part. I was still running at an elite level, but I began to experience issues with my knees, feet and ankles. I pretty much ignored them and would keep running anyway. I suppose running 5-6 days a week for 5-8 miles a day will do that to you. And then something happened, one of the worst things I could think of at the time as a runner.

It was a Monday night in September 2011. I was getting ready to go to bed before getting up to go to my internship at South Shore Hospital the next morning, and I realized I had left my computer on in my basement. The very computer I am typing this on right now as a matter of fact. As I was going down the stairs, I slipped on one of them and crashed hard into the floor, with all of my weight landing on my left foot. I knew immediately something was wrong, as putting any weight on the foot was excruciatingly painful.

I learned the next day that I had broken my left foot, and was given a boot and crutches to get around. The doctor informed me I likely would not be able to run for at least two months, but fortunately it would heal correctly and would not require surgery. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to run was a big blow to me. I was worried I would end up out of shape again and gain a bunch of weight, but what I didn’t realize was that this injury was really a blessing in disguise.

Like I mentioned before, I was running over 30 miles a week, and I was constantly sore and in pain. I knew if I continued on the path I was going, I’d probably end up having to get a knee replacement at an early age and not be able to run period. I didn’t want that to happen, but I didn’t know what else to do. That period of several months where I was unable to run really led me to learn so much more about fitness and how get and stay in shape the right way.

Eventually it led me back to P90X, which taught me the importance of cross training. I was always averse to strength training, knew nothing about core fitness, and would have never even thought about doing Yoga if it wasn’t for that program. Upper body, plyometrics, core, marital arts and more exposed me to all sorts of new and unfamiliar forms of exercise that challenged me like never before. What I came to realize was that I could get in even better overall shape than I was before, without losing a step when I would go for a run.

Over the next few years, I went on to complete Insanity, P90X2 and P90X3, which have helped me stay at a high level of fitness. I feel much stronger throughout my body, and the constant pain I was in from running so frequently has all but subsided.

P90X had a profound impact on me both physically and mentally. It helped me get into the best shape of my life, but also gave me a new sense of purpose in life. After seeing the impact P90X had on my life, I decided that it was my responsibility to share that with other people. That led me to become a P90X Certified Instructor, which allows me to help other people have the same type of life changing experience I had.

There is no other work that I have done in my life that I have found as fulfilling as helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. I believe it is my calling to motivate and inspire people to change their lives for the better through fitness. Like most people, I have certainly had my share of struggles with health and fitness, and still do from time to time. But as Tony Horton would say, all you can do is “do your best and forget the rest.” If you’re ready to make transform yourself and unleash your potential in fitness and life, I’m here to help you on that journey, wherever it may take us!


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