My Fitness Fueled Passion

By Coach Jezer Balangcod

I tend to hate clichés because they can be used to over-simplify complex situations. “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!” Sure, man. I’m not positive how that’s supposed to make me feel better about my current situation, but it sounds good.

Still, reflecting back on where you’ve come from can give you a bigger context for your current situation. So here’s my fitness journey:

I was born and raised in San Diego. The mild, year long weather is all I’ve endured, so I can’t say that I know what real seasons are. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. People move to this town because of the moderate temperatures. But if I haven’t experienced the snow melting to give way for spring or felt the relief the fall leaves bring after the harsh summer sun, could I truly appreciate why San Diego is one of the more expensive places to live?

As soon as I could start to run, my parents signed me up to play sports. I am proud to have been able to put on a tee ball uniform of the hometown Padres (#LFGSD). As a member of the Orange Crushers, I enjoyed crushing oranges during soccer halftimes. Being competitive was fun and I wanted to play sports through high school. I was never a top athlete, so this never became a serious pursuit. But this gave me the foundation to understand fitness as a way to express my capabilities.

Sometime in college, I decided to get stronger. I was still playing sports in pickup leagues, but not being in any organized teams, I didn’t have the structured practices that made me feel like I was working out enough. I found a strength training program on the Internet by a guy named Mark. It was the first time I made any serious attempts at barbell movements (deadlifts, back squats, and bench press). But over a decade later, I haven’t stopped.

I’m cruising in my first job after college, and this adulting thing hasn’t been so bad so far. A coworker decided to train for her first half marathon and was recruiting others to join. Playing sports requires running, but I never considered it a fun activity in and of itself. And the idea of having to run 13.1 miles in a row, when I’ve never run more than one mile, was daunting. But are you really going to say no to a cute girl? Well, three years later and all I’ve got to show for it is 12 half marathon medals.

At this point I’ve been training on my own for too long. I’m beginning to understand that being an adult can sometimes suck the life out of you, so I wanted to find a gym where I could just show up to do a workout and not worry about anything else. I found P360 in 2016 and left all of my programming needs to the gym since.

If I had to come up with a click-bait title for this article, it would be: “This Weird TRICK Helped Me LOSE Over 150 POUNDS!” The trick is that I have lost the same 40 pounds over and over again. Whether it is losing the freshman 15 or getting the pandemic weight off, I am still searching for the secret to maintaining the lost weight.

What I have been able to find is that our journeys happen in seasons. There will be times when the sun proudly shines down on us and we get what we’re aiming for, and other times gray clouds stop anything going our way. As much as we would like to stay consistent, life happens in phases of different interests and priorities. But by recognizing how far we’ve come along, we can hopefully understand the greater framework of what we’re capable of and what we can accomplish in the future.

Speaking of. Last summer, I woke up dreading going to work. I had spent close to a decade in corporate finance, and spent the same amount of time knowing this career wasn’t for me. I don’t know why it took me this long to make a change, but my biggest nudge was the P360 Coaching Academy last July. As I was contemplating whether or not I could make this move, I was able to view my fitness journey in a different lens.

I loved playing sports because it allowed me to connect and form bonds with teammates. A cute girl may have gotten me to do my first half marathon, but the next 11 were because I enjoyed the buzz and energy of racing and working alongside others with the same goal. Since joining, I have moved three times but made it a requirement to stay close enough to a P360 gym just so I could stay part of a great community.

My fitness journey is also now my coaching journey. I hope to draw on my experiences to help you reach whatever your goals may be, but most of all I look forward to connecting and working alongside everyone. Don’t be afraid to come up and chat! We can discuss anything from fitness to pop culture, or even just the weather.