It’s official!! I’ve been accepted as one of just 24 people who will have the privilege of a 4-day fitness and wellness extravaganza at fitness legend Tony Horton’s home in California this November! It’s called Tony Horton’s Paragon Super Camp and includes master classes on fitness form and function, supplementation, injury prevention, a Ninja course and so much more!
To understand why I’m so excited about this, let me give you a bit of back history.
This was me in 2010… fat, miserable, and with medical issues I could no longer deny were caused by my weight. Although this picture was shocking to me, it still took me 3 years to come to grips with reality. While once thin and athletic in my youth, I had let myself go after four children in just four short years. For the longest time, that was the excuse I used for my weight. But my youngest was seven by this point and I could no longer justify that as an excuse. Faced with the reality of medical bills I couldn’t afford, I decided to take matters into my own hands and not just lose weight, but get HEALTHY. This mindset was key to my transformation.
I started with P90X, Tony’s most famous extreme workout program. I completed two full 90-day rounds back to back. I then went on to do P90X+ and T25 (a Shaun T program). These were my results after just one round:
And here I am at a whopping 100lbs of total weight lost. To say my life was forever changed would be the understatement of the century! Tony’s style of coaching helped me to change the way I thought about fitness. His famous mantra of, “Do your best and forget the rest,” helped keep me going when I thought I couldn’t go any more – when I couldn’t keep up the people on TV – when I was tired, sore, or craving those sweets…. if I slipped up in my diet or couldn’t quite do an exercise, I’d remember that it’s okay – I just needed to do MY best and forget the rest. I stopped comparing myself to others and learned to compete with just one person – MYSELF.
As if my weight loss story wasn’t enough by itself, it was just the beginning! In late 2013, I felt the calling to join the Army National Guard. I was 34 years old by this point and, with a cutoff age of 35 years old, I knew if I was going to do it, I had to do it NOW. So on October 13, 2013, I enlisted as a 25U, Signal Support Specialist and began my military career. A few years later I felt called to do more and be more in the Army, and so on August 26th, 2017, I commissioned as a Signal Officer and am now known as Lieutenant Stevens. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be joining the Army so late in life and with four kids in tow. But I did it anyway and I’ve never looked back! It’s just part of who I am now and I welcome every challenge it brings!
So knowing now what you do about my past, you can probably imagine my excitement when I read about Tony’s Paragon Super Camp. WHAT??? A chance to work out with Tony – IN HIS HOME – for four days and with other fitness, nutrition, and wellness icons that would help me get to the next level – even at age 40? Tony is 61 years old now and although he’s had his setbacks, he’s still kicking ass and taking names. In his interviews, he says he still only feels 30. I can relate to that! Another famous saying of his is, “Aging is for Idiots!” And while at first I thought it a bit pretentious, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he’s not wrong. The key to aging is staying active and taking care of yourself. If you allow yourself to fall apart as you get older then who do you have to blame? Yup. Aging is for idiots. The good news is that its never too late – no matter your current condition, there is always hope. You just have to want it bad enough and become stronger than your excuses. I know because I did it.
But I digress. When I read about Tony’s Paragon Super Camp, I thought surely there would be no way I would get accepted but my gut said to fill out the application anyway. “What could it hurt?” I thought, and so I did. I mean, I’ve taken wilder leaps of faith right? A couple days later, I received an email from Shawna Horton, Tony’s wife, wanting to interview me as a potential candidate for the November camp! WHAT???
To say I was over the moon is an understatement! I literally squealed like a little school and was bouncing all over the place! We arranged to speak the following Monday and then this morning I received my official welcome email!
So Los Angeles, CA, here I come! With just four short months to go until the camp, it’s time to ramp up my fitness game! His home is a veritable fitness fun house – he even has his own “Ninja” obstacle course! I want to make sure I’m fully capable of doing whatever is thrown at me. So I’ll be revamping my fitness schedule and workout plans and buckling down on nutrition. Paragon here I come!!!