Ryan Johnson saw the COVID-19 quarantine as an opportunity.
“I would love it if I could go away and come back and be a different person — not a different person, but just look different,” Johnson says. “Quarantine was that.”
Johnson’s weight-loss journey started at 320 pounds. Even before the pandemic hit, Johnson had begun to make healthy changes in his life, such as cleaning up his diet and walking more. He started quarantine at 295 pounds and had lost 45 pounds as of November 2020.
When a friend introduced Johnson to CrossFit, he felt his lack of self-confidence creeping in.
“Walking through those doors (at an affiliate) the first day, it’s kind of like, you’re hoping people don’t see you. I was afraid of what people would think,” Johnson says. “They’d see me not being able to do most of the workout or dying through it … but I kept coming back and then I started realizing something: People aren’t really watching you when you work out.”
Johnson says he started to feel like part of the CrossFit community, and he wanted more.
“I’m the type that when I get into something, I dive in head first,” he says. “So the Level 1 was like the natural next step … . I wanted to see behind the curtain and learn the secret sauce.”
“I want to learn more,” Johnson says. “I want to become a better athlete. I’d love to help people, too. Help people like myself.”
Johnson says more than just his appearance is better because of CrossFit.
“I really am a different person,” he says. “And not just in the way I look. It’s things like doing the dishes, making my bed, little things like that. Taking the dog for a walk. Things that I was too lazy to do when I was so overweight.”