We consider ourselves very lucky to have some of the most amazing people as part of our family here at CrossFit Rockdale, and Mark Yamasaki is far from an exception. You’ll know Mark has entered the room not because you’ll see his large and intimidating frame, but because you’ll hear him crack some type of wise-ass joke or he’ll be laughing loud and thunderously! To say, that his energy is contagious, would surely be an understatement. His CrossFit journey has only just begun but a few short months ago, but he has already seen incredible changes in his life.
Mark joined CrossFit Rockdale with a lifetime background in what has been coin-phrased as a “globo-gym”. He grew up playing competitive team sports and even through his high school years. He attributes his work ethic to his experiences being a part of a team and he realized early on in his life the importance of pushing oneself beyond their comfort zone.
After Mark served as a U.S. Army Paratrooper, he continued to train hard in the gym, mainly focusing on getting as big as he could. At one point, Mark grew tired of living in the gym, and missing out on life with friends and family, so he tried to dial back his gym time. Unfortunetly after some time, Mark realized that taking a break was not a healthy option. He over ate and exercised very little, thus putting on the unhealthy pounds. Mark then came to the conclusion that if he was going to eat whatever he wanted that he was going to have to train hard again. He acknowledges that this state of reasoning was wrong.
Mark focused on bulking up and eating as much as he could. He wasn’t eating the right type of foods to promote muscle size growth, but instead foods that promoted an increase in body fat. At the young age of 25, Mark was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (HBP) and High Cholesterol (HC). His Doctor prescribed medications for his HBP & HC and he was content with that. He continued his way of living for decades, until enough was enough. He grew tired of the effects they took on his liver, and his kidneys. He had become dependent on his medications; he had lost his own will. His exercise routine had become boring, lifeless, depressing. At almost 40, Mark made a choice; he had to try something else.
Mark found CrossFit Rockdale last fall. He was apprehensive and skeptical at first. CrossFit was way different from what he had done all his life, but it was exactly what he needed, something different. He was attracted to the close-nit community (if you know Mark, you know this was probably the main reason why he gave CrossFit a shot!) He struggled in his first few weeks as he attended his CFR Elements courses, but after training regularly for a few more weeks, he began to take notice in all the changes his body was going through.
He was becoming more mobile, he was experiencing increased flexibility and his conditioning soon started to improve far beyond levels he had ever imagined! After 5 months his weight loss hovers around 10lbs but that number does not bother him because his old 36” waist jeans now fit! His body has trimmed out all the while his strength has increased! He can now squat below parallel without any break in form, he pushes himself in every single workout and he nearly always ends up sprawled out on the floor.
He has gained friends for a lifetime here at CrossFit Rockdale and he has gone from being held accountable for showing up regularly, to holding other accountable. His wife Selena, a Nurse, has even joined the CFR Family! Their 2 daughters practice gymnastics and tumbling while Mark and Selena throw down!
His progress continues, as do all of our health fitness journeys. It’s never about perfection, but about progress…and Mark & Selena have been making HUGE progress!
Oh yea, those medications that Mark was dependent on for over 15 years… his Doctor has now reduced his dosage by half with a short term plan to take Mark off of his prescription permanently!
Way to go Mark!