I just received an extraordinary email from Billy De La Rosa in NYC that I want to share with you. Billy won the men’s division for the Under Armour “Alter-Ego” Fitness Challenge on Saturday night in Grand Central Station. And his counterpart on Team IMPACT, Carissa Thompson won the female division. As a matter of fact, our other 2 competitors on Team IMPACT (Kari Pearce & Dan Kenny) both came in 2nd place. It was a great night for TEAM IMPACT!
You have to read the entire email to see the depth that it goes into. Billy, you rose up despite adversity and made your family PROUD my friend. Truly and inspiring occasion and experience for you.
Word of the Week (WOW) is EXTRAORDINARY.
Thank you for sharing your guts Billy. I’m proud of you!
Do yourselves a favor, read the email below and see how a few precious words like “I’M PROUD OF YOU” can make all the difference in the world. Truly EXTRAORDINARY!
What a weekend in NYC, filled with great company, many awesome events and a fitness challenge in Grand Central Station.
About two weeks ago Todd posted a workout on his page inviting athletes to take part in a challenge to be a part of his Team Impact. As soon as I read this I wanted in, especially because of the opportunity to workout at Grand Central Station, but this had a deeper significance to me then just competition, which I will explain in the lines to come. I made the cut and was now on Team Impact, ready to give it my all. A week before the event while doing an overhead squat I felt my lower back give out on me, so I dropped the bar and called it a wrap as I did not want to injure myself a week before the event. I went home as I had an hour break for lunch and on my way back t work I was cut off by someone crossing my path, which forced me to come to a complete halt. Immediately my back went into the most painful spasm I have ever experienced in my life. I could not bare the pain and collapsed to the floor in the middle of the side walk, doing my best to drag myself to some tree shrubs covered with snow just to get out of anyones way. The streets were empty so no chance of help at the time. Any direction I tried to turn in was painful and the spasm would get worse. I called my next client that was waiting for me by the studio and explained that I could not move and I needed her help. She rushed over and after 15 minutes of trying to figure out a pain free way of helping me stand up, we did it and she helped me walk back home. For most who don’t know I live on a six floor walk up and no elevator. At this point my client left as I assured her I could handle the stairs by myself. She left and I took my first step, only to feel the same excruciating back spasm, which collapsed me to the floor. As I starred up at the ceiling from the most unusual view of the building, I could not help but shed tears of pain and feelings of disbelief as I realized I have just injured myself. Carolin came down after about ten minutes, which was the amount of time it took me to turn to the side and get the phone out of my pocket. That evening I got a two hour massage which helped tremendously and allowed me to move about the house with spasms here and there depending on the direction I turned or moved.
The next day I went to the Dr. and was put on pain killers and muscle relaxers. By the end of the day I was moving around the house, but not able to do much. My injury was caused because I did not listen to my body. All week I was telling myself I have to stretch and roll out my lower back, it feels so tight. I ignored it and made other things a priority and baam, INJURY! It is now a few days before the event and my wife Carolin tells me that I need to call Todd and explain what happened. That’s not the type of phone call I was expecting to give Todd this week and I resisted the call as much as possible until I knew I just had to let him know for the better good of the team and that we would need a substitute. As you can imagine Todd was very concerned of my health and well being, and assured me that I was still a part of his “A” squad regardless. I asked him for an extra day to see how I would feel and he was Ok with it, reminding me that my health was more important then anything. My entire week consisted of daily rolling out and stretching 2-3 times a day with Carolin.
As a child growing up things were very hard, difficult and not much fun. My dad was an alcoholic and our house was always in a constant chaotic state of negative feelings. I grew up having perfectionist ways as I was always trying to get some form of approval from my parents, something as little as “I am proud of you”. I can not recall those words ever coming out of my parents mouth, and if it did, it surely didn’t stick with me because it was so rare. This chaotic atmosphere continued throughout high school and even when I went away to college to play baseball in Texas. After getting back from college my dad went cold turkey and stopped his bad habits, turning into the father figure I love so much. However, there has been something missing all these years….. those words…. “I am proud of You”. Realizing that I had the opportunity at 38 years old to have my parents come and watch me compete at Grand Central Station was my moment as my parents have never seen me play baseball live or compete, which is something I have always wanted. Yeah….. there goes that idea with this injured back :(.
I invited a handful of kids that at some point in my training with them have explained to me similar feelings of not hearing it enough form their parents…. “I am Proud of You”. All week long they asked me if I would be able to compete this weekend as I limped around and sat during our training sessions. All I could say is that if my back felt better then I would give it my best. Two days before the event I reach out to Todd and tell him he can count on me. At this point I was about 75% recovered, I had gain full movement but knew I was not fully ready. I continued to tell myself, my body will heal, I still have two more days.
The day of the event I was as nervous as can be because, I knew my mind was totally ready but my body was still not 100%. However, I was good to go, meaning I could jump, run, lift, do just about whatever I tried, but not at max effort. As soon as I got to Grand Central Station my heart started pounding and I knew that feeling……Game Time……..I was no longer thinking of pain but how to to my best. All the Teams went to the back room for a demo of the exercise and format. At this point I started to size up the competition and knew I would have to bring my A game if I wanted to pull a victory. My parents, wife, daughter, friends, clients (both youth and adults) were all present (over 30 people).
My game plan was to study the male competitors for their first round and see how many reps they were doing and just simply do more on both my rounds. Todd’s in my face as we warm-up before we attack this competition, yelling as you can imagine words that will motivate anyone to give it their best. When he mentioned you are in NYC Billy, this is your house! I looked across the room in a dark focused stare and glanced at everyone that came out who believed in me. The blood pumped even harder through my system and I was in that special place “The Zone”, there was no turning back now and I was ready to go. I came out the gate with a mission to win. As I went from station to station I could see the face of my supporters and hear them chanting me on, this fueled more strength and speed. The look on my parents face as I passed them to go to another station was priceless, they were screaming and shouting and I could tell that regardless of the outcome they were indeed proud of me and my effort.
Minutes later I was announced the winner and Carolin tells me that when my parents heard this they were jumping up and down with joy as well as everyone else rooting for me. Pictures were taken and I shook all the participants hands and waited to greet my family and friends. Carolin was the first to greet me with those so special impact-ful words “I am So Proud Of You”…..then my parents both hugged me and repeated those same words, I literally wanted to cry but the adrenaline was still bursting through my body that it just didn’t happen.
I walked to Super Bowl boulevard in the happiest state I could have ever imagined with my family and will never forget this day!
Thank you all for being a part of my support team and allowing me to share these words as I know this is the most I have shared in a very long time.
Time to go roll out and stretch, it has become a daily habit now 🙂
You can follow Billy by heading over to his Facebook Page!