Denver, CO

A Second Chance for Success at Farrell's

If there is one thing that my experience at Farrell's has taught me, it is the truth behind the phrase, "Failure equals success."

My journey began about two weeks before the spring session of 2014. While surfing through Facebook, I noticed a post from a high school classmate who had just finished her first year at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping. The post surprised me a bit, as I knew she had experienced bad back pain in the past. And kickboxing?! It definitely was enough to peak my interest, especially as I was looking for more ways to get active. I wasn't in the worst shape of my life, but only barely not so. I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes the previous fall, and while I was managing it with diet and nightly walks, I hated those moments when my 4-year-old daughter would happen to see me prick my finger to test my blood sugar. That wasn't the memory I wanted to impress upon her. After a few quick discussions with my wife and then my doctor, I enrolled in what I count among the greatest things to happen in my adult life - right up there with getting married and the birth of my daughter.

Andy Before Farrells Bettendorf

(Andy Before Farrell's)

It wasn't an easy ride though.

I feared that I was going to wash out that first week, and I think my coach was worried about that too. I was so sick after my first day of kickboxing that I missed the next two days of workouts and work. After years of convincing myself to take it easy because my body couldn't handle it anymore, I wasn't too keen on the level of activity and a change in diet. Come Thursday however, I was back for my first lower body workout. Then I made it to the next kickboxing; then upper body. I was sore. My wife asked me multiple times why the hell I was doing that to myself.  I would wake up in the middle of the night with my muscles on fire. I learned the value of drinking water. Two weeks in, I noticed that I had already started to tighten my belt. Five weeks in, I realized that I wasn't doing it to myself; I was doing it for myself. 

I was also doing it for those closest to me. As my daughter cheered on my classmates and me, she started to get a new vision of her dad. She started picking up on my new fitness habits. When I get home at night and do a plank, she is by my side mimicking my actions. She ran the last stretch of that 5-week mile with me. My wife was impressed with the results as well. I enrolled in FIT; she enrolled in the next session.

I was on a natural high. I set goals. I crushed them. I set more goals. Week 10 I knocked over the bag with a right cross - another goal down. (The best part of that was the manager was right there and scooped the bag back up so quick that I didn't even have time to gloat ... just get back to the workout!) Bags weren't the only thing dropping. By the end of that second 10-week session, I was fitting comfortably into size 34 jeans after starting at size 42.* My doctor was even amazed - she was absolutely giddy as I was her first patient she completely took off of medications.

The friendship and support I was experiencing at Farrell's was second to none. I was volunteering as an assistant coach. Getting great results for you is one thing, being able to help others get there is a whole different kind of Level 10.

Things were looking absolutely great. This fitness and nutrition thing is easy.

That's, of course, when the bottom falls out.

The day after my original 5-week testing was the day that my mother told me that her seven-year fight with ovarian cancer was coming to an end. And at the beginning of that third 10-week session, I received that call that I was needed elsewhere.

I spent the majority of the next three weeks by her side. 

I spent much, much longer than that trying to rediscover my focus and drive. I tried hitting the bags right away, only to drive home from the gym in tears. It was at least a month before I could handle going back after that. While I had the tremendous support of my friends at Farrell's, in the end, any transformation is your own personal journey. It was actually several months before I was truly ready.

The biggest challenge of Farrell's is not the kickboxing. It's not resistance training or the nutrition either. It's being mentally ready to commit. To focus. To push through.

But not too hard.

It was at this time I learned the dangers of having the knowledge, yet not respecting the physical challenges the program can put you through. Of course, timing sometimes plays a part. That coupled with being stubborn.

I chose my big re-entry during a FIT session. I injured myself. Nothing too bad. I took it easy for a bit, started to get going again. Tripped over a blanket fort at home, out for ten more weeks with cartilage damage in my left wrist. Did physical therapy, got better. Came back thinking I can push purple bands, only to throw out my back. Got a new job in a city without Farrell's. Gave up on nutrition because of the hour commute (each way) and it was so easy to swing by McDonald's on the drive. Heck, it was good enough for breakfast, why not dinner? A little caffeine will keep me awake on the drive; better make that a large Coke. Oh look, we've moved, better try out all the local restaurants. New responsibilities at work, better do well and put in some extras hours. I'll grab some fast food on the way in. Hmm, why am I having these chest pains? Better see a doctor. Oops, your blood sugar is high, right along with your blood pressure. Here's some medication.

Rock bottom. Failure. But that is the past.

My true second chance at Farrell's started when another friend, and coach, shared a link announcing the opening of the Bettendorf, Iowa location. My first comment was "Yes!!!" and the enthusiasm and commitment of it still echoes in my head.

While I may have had some of the knowledge, I kept myself open to learning new things (and old things in different ways). I used it to focus on my form, both physically with kickboxing and resistance training, and with my nutrition. I talked to my supervisor at work and dedicated a portion of each day to me. I spoke with my wife and we agreed to take a different approach than we had before. Now most of our workouts are spent together, with our daughter watching on. She is learning from us, and our peers. She knows the value of a fit lifestyle and healthy nutrition. I've set new goals and have enrolled in the National Challenge.

Andy Today Farrells Bettendorf
(Andy today)

Through all of this, I think the thing that continues to amaze me the most is while this is my story, it is not one that is truly unique. Farrell's is not just a gym, it is a family. While we may be at different stages, we are all on the same journey. I look at those around me and I am both amazed and excited about their results. We are in this together. We are a TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More. My results are supported by, and contributing to, those around me.

So yes, I failed. I'm not dwelling on it though.

That's because I'm on the journey to success!

Andy is a FIT member at our Bettendorf, IA Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.

Want to experience Farrell's? Try Farrell's for free or find a location and enroll in our upcoming session.

* Disclaimer: The above testimonial and photos were contributed by an actual member. We cannot guarantee everyone will achieve similar results. We do believe that everyone can achieve measurable results, but the specific results will vary from person to person.

Location Info

Farrell's eXtreme Bodyshaping Denver
1547 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222

Phone: (303) 756-2639
Head Coach: Dan Dorenkamp
Franchise Owner: FXB Colorado, LLC


Storefront of Farrell's Denver