Steven Combs

Performance Purple Team

I have been a Paramedic for 16 years now and in EMS for roughly 19. I have 2 daughters,  Alyssa who is 12 and Taygen who is 9. I currently work for Parkview EMS as a Paramedic Field Training Officer serving the citizens of Whitley County. I am also a volunteer firefighter and serve as the Secretary for the City of Garrett Fire Department.  I am also a Fire Instructor. I enjoy anything outdoors especially when it comes to my daughters sporting events. 

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Sunday July 2, 2017

What an emotional week. We are down to our final week next week and I will be the first to say..Yes I have cried. This has been the emotional strengthening that I have needed for quite a long time. The time had come for me to take control of my life and over the last 14 weeks I have let others take part. Now with only 1 more week I am realizing that I will have to stay strong. I know that off of my FWSW peeps including coaches, trainers, nutritionists, Rick and Tina are still behind me I must take on the roll and continue forward. 

Having blind weigh-ins is not very much fun. I am in not contention of winning so the amount of pressure on me is not as great as it is on others but it is still there. I had a goal for the program and I believe I am going to be short. But it will not stop me from pushing forward and making sure I get to that goal and then some. This past weeks workouts have been great. We were allowed to choose our own workouts on Wednesday with Cice and I will say...I would have rather had hers. We worked ourselves so much that I left there feeling more tired than usual. It felt great but wow. The nice shower afterwards felt awesome and refreshing so it was time to move on to my day. We had a blast playing a Polo type game in the pool on Thursday. It got pretty competitive but in the end Team 2...whoooo hooo won. I think the best part was seeing Ashley so nervous because of our race on Saturday but she was all smiles. That was the last pool day as next week we play dodgeball. My costume hasn't came around so I may have to switch over to plan B..whatever that may be. Not being able to workout on Friday was a bummer but we had to rest and prepare. Problem was that I had to work on Friday for 12 hours so there really wasn't much rest for me. Between work and not sleeping the greatest that night I woke up Saturday at around 4am to eat and then back to bed..Needless to say I was up every 2 hours that night so the sleep was pretty choppy to say the least.

The Race. Saturday morning came. We all gathered around and began to socialize like we usually do but you could tell that everyone was nervous. The amount of people pacing around was a large number. Announcements came and it became surreal that I will be doing a half-marathon today...what was I thinking? Now it's time to get down to business. After some words  the siren is sounded and off we go. I felt great. Dan Harper and I already had a plan in place so that was pretty nice. Problem was we didn't really stick to our intervals we just went until one of us needed a little break. The first loop was great. However I do believe that we paced ourselves too fast. As we crossed the line to start the second loop i realized to myself just one more time. We were joking about the mile markers and how on the first loop we wished we were at mile 9 already. The water stations were very important and came at just the right time. We did skip about every other one in the beginning but pretty much took water at all of them on the second. The volunteers were wonderful. The amount of encouragement and cheers really helped push us. After a short drink we began again. The hills were really a killer this time around. We opted to walk a couple of them so that we saved ourselves. I kept looking down at my watch for our pace and I was not really happy so I stepped it up a little bit and realized to myself that my gas tank is running pretty darn low. The gummies were a lifesaver. Around mile 10 our feet started to hurt. Funny thing is we have the same running shoes. But mine was more in my heals and his was around his toes but we trekked on. His family was sitting at MM 11 and they were nice and gracious enough to give me some cold water.  It was appreciated more than they know. On to Illinois Rd we go. Wow is this a long a** stretch of road. The clan at MM12 was a hoot, literally. Screams, cheers, horns honking it made you push even more. We are rounding out our last leg and I was pretty much on E. Dan however found some left in his reserve tank and took off. I tried to keep up but my short legs just weren't gonna do it. Great job Dan. Coming around the corner onto Scott Rd seeing the signs that the alumni made were tear jerking. I knew that they cared and really were pushing for all of us and so I pushed it. Listening to the crown cheer, the music playing and seeing the finish line ahead of me made me realize I will be completing something that in no one on the Earth would I ever have done without being a part of the Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. The program is literally a life saver and a life changer and for that I will be forever grateful. Here we go. The one voice I can hear was the amazing Cice. Made me cry. She has literally pushed me since the Run4Life 5k. She made me do something I kept telling myself I couldn't..She would say..It's all in your head Steven, get it out and say to yourself that you can do it." She made me finish that race strong and not walking. I will never stop for her. 

Here we go. Crossing the finish line into her arms was the greatest feeling. Knowing I just did 13.1 damn miles and not in a car. I felt like crap though. I was dizzy and hot. I had to find a pole to lean up against or you would have heard..Down goes Steven.. Then Ashley came over and put that medal around my neck and I lost it again. She hugged me and it was game over. I am not sure I seen a dry eye on any runner that day. This was an emotional day for all. We can all be proud to say that we are the best damn season yet of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. 

I will say that it did feel pretty heartbreaking not having any friends or family there for me other than my FWSW family. I had a couple friends send me messages during the run and after.  Everyone was around there loved ones and I was sitting on a cooler by myself. I know that this may be negative but this was a huge moment for me. There were plenty of my FWSW family that came over and chatted with me and congratulate me and offer to get me things because they could tell I was spent. I felt so bad that I couldn't eat initially. I downed two bottles of water and was finally able to move around. But enough of the negative stuff.

This is our last week my peeps. Let's make this happen. Saturday evening will be the last time that we will be Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner contestants. From that point on we will be Alumni.

Here's to all of my family from FWSW. 

Monday June 26, 2017

I apologize to everyone for not blogging earlier in the week but I have been either working or doing workouts and such with the group. It has been a pretty busy week.  The runs are getting easier and are seeming a lot more fun. I have been released to full duties and boy can I tell a difference. Extra credit this week was pretty good. Ab morning had me all sorts of tight the next day and man it was not fun. The workouts seem to be getting easier yet harder;does that make any sense? I know I am getting stronger. Week 1-3 I could barely go one minute without having to rest and now I am going for an hour or even 3 miles without stopping..what in the world happened to me? Whatever it may be this boy likes it..LOL. I am pretty sad that the program is coming to an end. The relationships that we have all gotten are great. We push each other each and every single day. We know that we can push it more and we try ourselves to do the same. It seems that the workouts are getting shorter and shorter because we all like to be there. There are plans to continue workouts once the program is finished and I will definitely be in the line. I need to keep myself active and become a better man for all. I haven't hit my goal but even if I had it wouldn't change things. Next up is how do we maintain things and not gain the weight following the guidelines that we have been taught and will be taught. Saturday morning we are scheduled to do about 2 5k's. The first one on Saturday morning was pretty easy. My time is approximately 15 minutes better than my first one was. We had a rest between the two and I will tell you I didn't like it. The Run Like a Hero 5k was rougher and I think that it was because there was a rest period. A lot of us felt as if we got really tight and were not able to do it like we did the first but we all managed to finish it with smiles. My time was a little slower than the first. The hill on Covington road was a killer but our training was no match for it..I felt very good. The finish line was there and I could see my friend Serena with her phone up as I was crossing. She surprised me and took a video of it. She was there working the EMS that was on standby for us so she thought she would be nice. It was pretty cool. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Sunday was a rest day but I had volunteered to work and now I wish I hadn't. We were extremely busy and there wasn't much rest for this guy. We are on week 14 now and counting down the days. I will tell you I am pretty darn sad. I knew it would come but  I had no idea it would come this fast. We are all going to give it all we can these last two weeks.

This Saturday is the Half-Marathon. Am i nervous? Of course I am. We have all trained for this and looking forward to it. I have not decided how I want to run it yet as far as intervals or what so I will be talking with the coaches and trainers to get their perspective so that I can finish strong. This week is preparation. Our other runs have been shortened up so that we can save our legs. Unfortunately I work all week but hopefully I will be well rested. Let's get this party started. 

Sunday June 18, 2017

Week 12 has been wonderful. I have been released by PT to go back to full workouts. This is great for me. I really missed them. We had our work cut out for us this week for sure. The trainers were on spot and had us sweating our hearts out. Going through our stations this week was pretty darn fun. The competition was there and everyone was working so hard to make sure they got in the best workout that they possibly can. Our second workouts are still on going and our challenges are definitely not getting any easier. This week we had a combination of 3 things that we had to do in one session twice this week. Phew I was surely tired after the challenge was done. Jacobs ladder and the stair stepper are bad enough but when you add the sleds it gets really interested. I opted to do one of my challenges on Thursday morning before the pool workout. I got to Spiece at 5 and started on my venture. Jacobs ladder was first on my agenda. I conquered that pretty quickly it seemed and then on to the stepper. This is where I get my behind kicked. It seems like you are stepping forever but you have only gone 2 flights...WHAT? This is gonna be rough. I got through that and on to the sleds. First I stopped by the books to sign in and Tina asked me what I was doing and I said going to the sleds to finish my challenge...I can remember her saying to me "It's going to be humid in the poo. Are you sure you wanna do that?" Made me question myself but I already had the first 2 done so I moved right along to the sleds. Aaron was in there doing his so we started to rotate. He only had a few left so I just let him finish his. I took over and off to the races I went. I was able to do sets of 3 for the most part but the last couple rotations I could only do 2. I was spent. I know that the pool is a workout in itself but a different kind. I got changed and into the pool I went. HOLY COW was it cold in there. I think someone forgot to turn the heater on. BUt it was a huge relief..LOL. It felt wonderful after a few seconds. The workout was great. Swimming, and wall kicks and push ups were our flavor of the day. It seemed like we weren't in there very long but we definitely worked today. Off to the warm pool I went. There were about 6 of us in there and we had a pretty good conversation about nutrition and workouts.

I was very nervous about the 10 miles on Saturday so it kinda got to me a little bit Friday night. The furthest I have been able to go was 7 miles because of my injury so I was pretty nervous. After we started it was evident that it was not going to be easy. I am not the fastest person by any stretch of the imagination but I wanted to break my pace so I pushed myself. The water stations were wonderful as I started to get pretty hot. Dan and I were together for a majority of the run which made it nice to have someone to go with. It felt like I was slowing him down at times but I picked it up when I could. I have never seen the back part of the course so I wasn't sure what it was like. The additions are nice because there are some turns and curves but once you get onto Illinois Road it seems like it goes on forever. Finally I was back onto Scott Road and headed to where we started but I knew I wasn't done yet. Stopped to grab more water and back at it. I got to the 2 mile turn around to head back and I was very quickly emptying my gas tank. I was whooped but I knew I had 2 more miles left. Robert with the alumni stuck by my side throughout the run as well and encouraged me throughout the whole thing. On the last 2 miles I walked a little more than I was hoping to but I couldn't do much more. Toward the end I sucked it up and somehow got some more energy and finished the run jogging across the line. When I stopped it was like something just grabbed me and told me that if I didn't drink something right now I would wind up on the ground. Rick and Tina had Gatorade for us so that was the first thing I went to and grabbed some pretzels and a banana. Ahhhhh....felt and tasted so good. I sat down to relax a little. I opted to take my shoes off and it was such a relief. My feet were very sore. I stayed there until everyone else finished and it felt great. We are all family and that's just what we do. It was a great day. The weather was very nice. We had a lot of other runners that were just out running on a Saturday morning telling us good job and to keep it up. Felt great. It is astounding at how many people actually follow the program. I had to go to work afterward and luckily we weren't very busy so I was able to keep my feet rested. Quite the feat to have over 23,000 steps in before 9:30am. If it wasn't for the trainers, the running coaches, Rick and Tina and the alumni I would have never been able to go 10 miles. 10 miles..what in the world was I thinking?

Monday is family time as we get to dine at Eddie Merlot's. This will be fabulous for us to sit down as a group and relax. See it always seems like they know exactly what we need. 

Well 3 more weeks left and the program will end but the friendships will last a lifetime. Time will tell as to exactly how much I want to lose but we will keep that as a secret for now.

Until next right, exercise and you too will find a new you that is hidden deep within your mind, body and soul.


Sunday June 11, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom.  Hope you are having a great time with Aunt Shari in Heaven.  

This has been a pretty good week overall.  I was still in the pool for the most part  it I was able to be out on the machines and did some walking for workouts.  My extra workouts this week were done with the challenges and I will tell you they weren't a joke.  The pool is a great place for a workout but taking 4 showers in a day made me look like a prune.  We worked hard and can definitely tell that you use muscles in places you wouldn't know you had.  The physical therapists were pretty optimistic about my future which was encouraging.  I definitely want to get back out with the team even though Ryan is in the pool.  

I made an emotional decision to not walk the Germanfeat 5k simply because I didn't think Inwould be able to just walk like I was instructed to so I did a Thursday night pool workout.  Seeing all the pictures from the 5k really made me regret my decision but I have to move on and thats just what I did.  

I am really close to the 50lb mark and pretty positive that I will surpass that tomorrow night.  My food has been great and the workouts have been wonderful.  I can definitely see and feel my body changing everyday.  

I went and see the therapist Friday after Workout.  He gave me the clearance to go back to what I was doing only with a couple restrictions.  I had to only do 5 miles of the 6.2 Saturday morning.  I started off walking the first mile and was feeling pretty left out and behind everyone.  I decided to attempt to lightly jog and see how it felt for the rest and it felt great  I was able to easily do the 2:8 ratio and completed my 5 miles way short of my original average mile.  There were only a couple peeps that finished their 6.2 before I did so I sat around and waited for the others to come in.  I am pretty positive that I could have definitely made and jogged the entire 6.2 with the rest of the group that completed it.  It was pretty warm out and thanks to Rick and Tina the water station was a life saver.  After that was over we all headed down to Headwaters Park for the VisionWalk with the rest of Team Michaela.  The spirit and enthusiasm there was out of this world.  Opening ceremony was pretty cool as we found out that Team Michaela had won the award for the most raised by a family...yes, we are a family.  So then it was time to take off.  We started off in the back of the pack but I wanted to push myself some more.  I kept moving up and up and wound up walking with Miranda, Jessica and her husband for the remaining miles.  My legs were a movin.  There were a lot of people there so we kept having to go around but hey that's ok.  This wasn't a competition but a charity fundraiser but I didn't want to slack. We made it in pretty good time and we walked right passed where we were supposed to finish but that's ok..a few more steps won't hurt me.  After all was done I left to come home and quickly shower to get to a wedding.  The rest of the day was pretty good other than my feet were a little sore but nothing that would stop me.  it felt like a drank enough water to fill up a swimming pool but it was needed.  

Well I am looking forward to the next weeks as things are winding down.  I don't want the workouts or the comraderie to stop but I want to see where I wind up at.  I will never forget anyone in the program or the volunteers so you all don't have to worry about that


Saturday June 3, 2017

What an up and down week so far. Work has been keeping me pretty busy  and emotionally drained at times. Last Monday I had a goal to be under 300 lbs. I was so nervous. My hands were sweaty and my heart was pounding so hard. I stepped on the scale and heard Rick say 2..i pumped my arms up...I didn't even care what the last two numbers were ( i really did but not sure I did at that moment ). It was a great loss for me and I'm under. I have worked really hard and battled a couple different things that hearing that was amazing to me. The entire group cheered and clapped. I received hugs from a few and it was the best moment for me so far. Trusting the process really does work..that's what I have learned. This week  I need to lose a certain number to get at 50lbs. I am hoping for that number but something is telling me i am going to fall short by a very small amount. I don't like thinkng like that but it is what it is. The workouts have been great. Mixed up and moving around a lot is a lot of fun but very tiring. You can definitely tell that we have really stepped up our endurance on things as reps are getting longer and longer and the breaks are getting shorter. Thursday came around and I woke up with the sharpest stabbing pain in my heal ever. I seen Andreas just prior to our pool workout and was told to come in and get an appointment. I met with Gretchen and she tells me that my achilles is very tight and not allowing a lot of stretch which is a problem. She has put me into the pool for a week which means I had to miss this mornings run. I felt horrible but I knew I had to do my best in the pool and that is what I did.  After the normal workout I joined Aqua Zumba..Holy cow is that fun. I will definitely be back again. So if anyone tells you that a pool workout is not worth it..they do not know what they are talking about. I just loved seeing the pictures and videos of the run this morning of my friends. Really missed being out there...who would have thought I would have ever said that? I have only missed one second workout this week. I got my first challenge in with the sleds and now I have to do my second challenge with the pool peeps. 

So above all this program is magnificent. I am on a mission and that mission will be can count your last dollar on that. I cannot think all the trainers, coaches, nutritionists, photographers and videographers. Rick and Tina have started something that I hope I will never end. 

Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner is where it's at!!

Sunday May 28, 2017

This was a pretty good week. The workouts were tough but we all got through them. The pool crew is doing great and making great strides. I do not have too much to write this week because I do not want to jinx myself but I need 4.5 lbs to get under 300 lbs for the first time in about 15 years. I am trusting the process and my food this week and believe I will accomplish this. I am not going to write as much as Shawn because simply I cannot compete with his The stairclimber was great this week. I overcame my fears about failing and conquered it with happiness. This is a great weekend especially tomorrow. We deserve to respect and to thank all the Veterans for their service and what they have all done for us. I cannot wait for workouts this week and see what they have in store for us. It is going to be great. Tomorrow is the big day for us all. Best wishes and happy times for all.

Sunday May 21, 2017

This was an ok week. Our workouts were changed up a bit which made them interesting and very fun. The trainers and coaches really pushed us this week simply because they want the best for us and they know that we can take whatever they throw at us. I am not the best runner by any stretch of the imagination yet I felt comfortable and had some pretty good times during my runs. It is amazing that the groups are cheering everybody on no matter what. We have all become one big family. Rick gave us a challenge of Jacob's Ladder to do and I will tell you that thing kicks my butt. I have one more round to do and that will be done tomorrow. Saturdays run was good. It was very breezy and it felt like the wind was coming right at us for the first part of the run then on the way back it was going with us. I was feeling tired for the first part and some of the way back but I felt like I was keeping a good pace. The last several minutes I pushed myself and went all out. I think I went to all out because I had to take a small break and then start back and finished. There will be a chance at a promotion at work for me and that has been getting a lot of my attention which makes little room for other things in my brain so I am trying my best to not let it get in my way. For some reason my food this week was not where I wanted it to be. I was scrounging at times to get my calories in and make sure everything else was up to par and where they are supposed to be. Here it is Sunday and all I can think about right now is weigh-in tomorrow night. I feel like I have lost some but I am not really sure how much. I know that I am not supposed to think about it so much but it consumes me a lot. I want to reach my goal and right now I am behind. Why have other people lost so much more than me? What am I doing wrong? What can I change? These are questions that I wish I knew the answers to.

Sunday May 14, 2017

First thing is Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.  This week has been great.  First part was explained below. Saturday came and it was time for our 6 miles.  I am not going to lie to you I was a bit nervous.  Once we all gathered together the jitters went away. Like I have always said the support is great.  It was a beautiful day. The first mile or so was rough but it usually is.  After that I was feeling great and knew I wanted to push myself so I did.  The first couple ratios were 5/5 and then I felt great and wanted to do more.  I did a 5.5/4.5 at first and knew that I could do more.  I did 3 6/4 and felt pretty darn good. The end was nearing and I knew that I didn't have enough time to do more so I finished off with a 4/8.  I was feeling great when i finished.  I am hoping this week's weigh-in Will be great.  I came off of a 9.8 lbs loss so statistics show I may not do to well but I feel great so who knows.  

Until next time.....

Thursday May 11, 2017

This has been a week of soreness. I volunteered for extra credit along with my other teammates and I will tell you, it's no joke. Even a half hour early you get quite the experience. Different workouts are great. There are those that are not too bad and those that are taxing but in the end they all felt good. We were on a farm yesterday as we did Leap Frogs, Bunny Hops, Bear crawls and crab walks. The worst one for me was the crab walk because it just put some pain in my elbow but Rick was the first one to tell me to stop doing them and do a different task. It was a great day overall. CiCe was on her game again with 10 stations that worked all sorts of your body in ways that we were used to but it was taken further. Time was extended. The end resulted in us doing a 2 minute wall sit that every single one of us's the deal. If anyone would get up or drop before the 2 minute mark we had to do it again until we made it the full 2 minutes. It took only the first 2 minutes and BOOM, Season 10 crew was finished. We all pulled together and cheered each other on as we approached the minute mark then the 1:30 mark and finally it was done. There were a few that were yelling just for the fun of it..sometimes it makes you feel better and you honestly do better. It is all a mind game. Yes it hurts sometimes but no gain. 

Monday night was great. I was coming off of a horrible weigh-in last week and I wanted to do much better. Rick started reading the numbers and I was astounded at myself, 9.8 lbs lost. Yes. I was at 310. Only 10 more pounds to go until I am under a weight that I haven't weighed in probably 12-15 years. I am so ready to hear him say 2.. It may be a couple weeks but damn it I will get there and keep moving down. My clothes are getting way too big for me. Everyone is noticing a difference. Hearing other contestants tell you that they can definitely see a big difference feels pretty good. We have an awesome group of contestants that do nothing less than cheer and congratulate each other. Oh yeah I forgot, I won again this week for the guys. It was a close margin but i did it. I may have had a solo win but we (Performance Purple) also won as a team this week. We averaged over 5 lbs. This was our second but certainly not the last victory for us. 

Thursdays pool day was nothing short of tiring as well. We are doing more and more wall kicks and exercises but you can difinitely tell we are all having a good time pushing ourselves and you can tell the trainers are making sure we do. It is a great week so far.

Stay tuned for more information from yours truly, Steve (Fire Marshall) Combs.  

Sunday May 7, 2017

Wow..what a week. My body is definitely feeling it. Cicely, E.J., Tina and Mari kicked things up this week. We were never not moving and I will tell you it felt wonderful. Many may think that working hard every morning and sweating is not fun to do but there are many of us that will tell you different. Of course we may be tired when we first get to Spiece but the minute we walk in and hear music and the smell from the pool you immediately wake up and put your game face on. That feeling is amazing. I do have parts of my body that are sore. Mari and her gravity workout was one of them that really hit some spots. I will have to say that Wednesday came around and I was hoping we wouldn't have to use our boxing gloves because my arms and shoulders were very sore. Well I was right but let me be the first to say, I wish we would have used them a little. LOL. Cicely worked us to the max. It was very tiring but felt very good. We were constantly moving around from side to side, jumping, kicking, name it we did it...Burpees too. I am not very good at them yet but it will get better, I promise. I was drenched with sweat when the workout was over and felt amazing. Thursday came around and it was pool day. People let me tell you it is not just about relaxing one work just as hard and quite frankly harder at times. The wall kicks, the sprints, the lap swims are not easy. There are those who are great swimmers unlike me but I made it. We had to do 3 back and forth swims and I thought I was gonna die. I was tired...but then on to the wall kick. It was amazing. The alumni all came in during the wall kick and rooted us and cheered us on. There were many of us kicking hard to just try and get them wet. See, they don't get to use the pool. They have to take a beating ( if you will ) from Rick and Katelyn. But they are noting but smiles. It feels great to have the backing. The run on Thursday night got moved to Spiece. We were doing 40 min of 6/4 and by golly I made it through everyone of them. If you were to ask me to do that during week 3 or even 4, never would have happened. This program gets you ready for it. Friday came along and E.J. was back and we did not stop. Using the bands, medicine balls, doing bird dogs and the dreaded (LOL) Crazy Trains. Tina put us through it today. We did 8. Last week I did 6 and was done but I made it through 8. A couple of the overachievers (LOL) went back for rounds 2-3. I just never had the chance to and quite frankly not sure how far I would have made it but I would have tried. 

Saturday was not a good day for me. I was unable to get any rest Friday night and when I finally did I overslept and was not able to make it to the morning run so I immediately emailed Tina and we sat it up that I could do mine later on that day. I was relieved but I really wanted to join my team and the rest of FWSW crew. The camaraderie is great. People pushing each other to go faster and further. We all want to push ourselves to get better. Some slower than others but never ever does that mean they don't try. 

I gained a lb last week and felt devastated but this week I am back for redemption. Come tomorrow night we will see a number better than that..I will promise you.

And Lastly...we will be raising funds for charity and there is one that I have a deep feeling about..Michaela's Vision Walk. She is a wonderful woman that is going through a rough time with her vision and this will be something that I will put my heart and soul into as she has given back to so many. Stay tuned to my blog and Facebook for more information very soon to get more information on her journey and the future of the walk. Team Michaela


Tuesday May 2, 2017

April showers bring May flowers.....well I am pretty sure April is still here. What in the world is going on with all of this rain? I will be mowing a hay field before it dries up enough. Last night was not a good night for me. I was rushed to get to the weigh-in from work as I got off late. I get this with time to spare. I did feel pretty good going into last night coming off a 10 lb weight loss the week before but I knew it would probably not be anywhere close to that just because of how the body works. The guys and gals that go before me were doing pretty good and now it is time for Performance Purple to step up. Miranda is first. She had a darn good loss this week and made us all proud. Now is my turn. So i step up on the scale. I never look down I just want to hear it from Rick. 3..2...what? I gained. Last week I dropped to 319 which is probably the lowest I have been in SEVERAL years. I was dumbfounded. I never thought I would gain any but that is the way it works I guess. I was very upset and people could definitely tell. As I signed the book and sat down is was apparent that I still had the support as Rick said he is coming off of a very good week last week. I felt hands on my shoulders from the crew behind me from the blue team. It felt a little better that I still had the support of others even though I gained. I kept questioning myself as to what I did wrong and I can probably tell you what it was but don't want to divulge that as it doesn't feel good. This week will definitely be much better.

On Sunday night I was getting around to come into Spiece on Monday morning to do a workout. Everything was packed..So off to bed I go. Well I was woken up around 1:30 am by my fire pager telling me that we had a confirmed house fire with officers on scene. I jumped out of bed and off I went. Got all geared up and hopped on the fire truck. Packed up and ready to go as we got on scene to a house that was definitely on fire. We have assigned seats on the fire truck that tells us what our jobs will be. Well I wound up in the attack or entry team spot so I was first in the house with my firefighter partner Brandon. He is fairly knew so I handed him the nozzle and we went to town. We did encounter heavy fire that was rolling on top of our heads and extending into the next room. Brandon raised the hose and put that fire out of its misery and off we go to gain better access to more fire. The area was pretty tight because of objects in our way but they were no match for us. By the time we were done putting out that fire, we were whooped. It was great. I haven't felt better. Even though my gear is pretty big on me it didn't stop us. We worked as a team and got things done. The entire department is one big team.

We were complete with our task and time for the investigation into the cause of the fire. We were kinda wrapping things up and we hear a neighboring department getting toned out for a structure fire. This time it was a detached garage fire. We are on their mutual aid agreement or a back up agreement if you would so we put a plan into place that we would just disconnect sections of hose and respond if we need to. Well it wasn't 3-4 minutes later we were dispatched to the structure fire. Once again my partner Brandon and I were in the attack or entry team seats so we will have to do it all over again. We finally get close and we were told my the commanding officer about 1 mile out that we were going to be the first arriving engine and that we will indeed have primary attack on the building. We were like man this is fires in the same day within about 4 hours of each other. We get fighting this fire and figured out that we didn't have a long enough hose to reach all of the fire so we had to add more hose..thus adding more weight to move around. This time we didn't have to crawl as we were outside the entire time because the building was a total loss. 

I was thinking to myself man I missed a workout that I planned on doing this morning but then I was like..wait I just worked my butt of for about 4 1/2 hours now pulling hose and crawling with a bunch of weight 50lbs extra and was beat..I just did my morning workout..I still felt bad that I wasn't able to make it to Spiece since they were so gracious to give each and every one of us a free membership. But I knew that I had done what I was called to do and that was to volunteer as a firefighter for my community and its citizens. Just like our department, the Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner crew are volunteers serving their community which is us. We are so grateful to have them around to show us how to make the best of our lives. To show us the proper things to eat and how to exercise and move. If it weren't for the program I am pretty sure I would have been much more tired when I went to work than I was but I have lost weight and feel much better just because of the program.. There are no words to say how much I appreciate and thank each and every one of the volunteers.

Thank You!

Tuesday April 25, 2017

Last night was a great night for me and a lot of the other contestants. We all me at St. Francis for a cooking demonstration and tasted some really easy yet nutritious and flavorful foods. Simple can taste good too. These recipes were very simple. The Olive Twist was there and it was wonderful to try new flavors. I had no idea that there were so many different flavors. 

The weigh-in was the first thing we did and let me tell you. I was so shocked and overjoyed. I knew I had a great week..well I had the idea anyway. It was my time to weigh-in. Rick started saying the numbers....3...1...I cheered to myself out loud because I knew it was a large number because of my previous weight..9...Wow, 319 which was a 10.4 lbs weight loss. I was so so happy. The other contestants and nutritionists, trainers all clapped and hooted and hollared at me. It was great. Finally I had a good number...As I sat down the entire Breakout Blue team gave me a high five..Steve was on cloud nine. It took all I could to remain calm and collected..

I know I still have a lot of work cut out for me..that is for sure..Steve is ready...Steve is ready to change for the better and build a better lifestyle for not only myself but for my children and everyone that comes into contact with me. Like I have said many times...there would be no program without the countless hours be put in by Rick and Tina and all of the nutritionists, trainers, coaches, photographers and Spiece for allowing us to use their facility. I am so grateful that I was chosen for this amazing program. I do not believe that there are enough thanks out there that can describe my gratitude. 

Week 5 is already here...Let's get this started

Monday April 24, 2017

Yesterday was amazing. I did my first 5k. At first it was quite the shocker knowing that I will try to do this. The whole day was nerves for me. I had to work the first 5 hours of the day so really no rest for me and then 1 o'oclock came. It was time to get down to business. I was still so nervous. I have been injured so I was going to walk the whole thing like we had discussed however I have been felling pretty good in the days before so we decided to let me loose and see how I felt. And we are off. There were roughly 290 people there I believe. I started and immediately knew that this was going to be a great time. Throughout the race people would just walk by and start talking to you and ask questions about the program. It was pretty cool. They were so happy that we were doing this for a great cause. So the 8 minute mark came and time for me to see what I could do..I started off jogging and felt pretty good. I had a great little bug in my ear that was rooting me on. I made it the full 2 minutes of jogging and back down to walking. I was able to complete all of my rotations but one in which I felt 30 sec short. I was very disappointed in myself because I just gave up...uh comes that little birdie in my ear again.."You can do it, don't quit". The walks were great for me to just pull back a little and reflect on what got me here and how i will never go back to gave me more motivation to move comes another rotation..8 min up and now onto thing I knew is the 2 minutes were done and I was back to walking. I am not really sure how many of those but I think 4. The hills in the cemetary were killer for me especially when it was my jogging time. The race was continuing and there goes the mile 2 sign. Back on to the road we go. I was feeling pretty good. Cice was talking to me and kept telling me not to quit and quite frankly my motivation was right next to me. Okay, here it comes...she says the end is near and tells me that we are going to jog the rest of the way once my 8 minutes were up..I was thinking to myself..wait a minute there will be more than 2 minutes of jogging then.. "you can do it"... She would keep telling me that it was all in my head. I didn't have my watch on yesterday because I forgot it at home so I was off a little. Ok, she says you have 30 sec..I am walking trying to prepare this time I really couldn't see the finish line but could hear a little bit of music or something..I wasn't I go..I was jogging along..I don't jog very fast but I knew time was ticking by..rounding the corner I could finally see the finish line and some blue mats on the path..She kept telling me..and I quote.."You are not gonna quit, I will not let you"..I was like nope..I was getting it finally came...cheers and people motivating you to push and push.. Jessica is right in front of me. I wanted to pass her but I felt a little short...and boom I was done..crossed the line..some buzzers and dings going off...cheers from everyone and finally....the cold water..LOL..Cice now informs me that I jogged for over 4 minutes..I was way.."You did it, i am so proud of you" came from her as I tried to breathe...LOL...and there she went back onto the course to meet up with other FWSW peeps to cheer and motivate them.. I will tell you, I felt great, amazing and TIRED..LOL.oh yeah...hungry too... 

Needless to say I am pretty proud of myself. I will tell you if it wasn't for this program and EVERYONE involved in it I could guarantee you I would never ever do a 5k..unless it 5 thousand calories a day..

Thank you to everyone involved. Steve is on his way to become a better man, father, role model and person for the rest of my life. 


Friday April 21, 2017

First off I want to thank everyone for the positive comments and talks this week. It was so encouraging. I had a good week. I felt pretty good. We had some great workouts that really made us stay moving. The workout today was great. Doing different stations really worked our entire body. Here we are at the end of Week 4 and I have not felt better than I do now in quite a long time. My clothes are becoming too big. I have to go down a couple sizes in fire gear so they don't swim on me. It feels really good when people at work approach me and tell me that they can definitely tell I have lost weight. This morning was quite worrisome. I forgot to set my alarms last night but was able to get there in time and get my move on. The pool Thursdays is always great. I can definitely tell I am getting stronger. I have noticed that my resting heart rate has decreased as well and I do not get short of breath doing certain things. This program is awesome. I still cannot tell you how much appreciation I have for everyone involved. It is just something that I cannot put words to. 

Sunday will be my first 5k EVER. I will have to walk it because of my foot which is a little bummer but time will heal. I know we have all of the support and encouragement that anyone will need so I am really looking forward to getting out there and striding right along. 

My teammates are wonderful. The amazing attitudes that are seen each and everyday. They all come with smiles on and a ready to work attitude that is quite catching. We are Performance Purple and ready to regain the medal which we rightfully deserve. 

Until next time, eat right and exercise...your life too can change!

Tuesday April 18, 2107

Whoever told you a man doesn't wrong! Last night was horrible. I had a feeling that I did not lose that much better never in my mind did I think that it would be under a pound. When Rick started to read out the numbers my stomach sank. I felt horribe. I felt disgusted. I felt overwhelmed. It took everything I had to hold back my emotions. Rick and Tina have both said that it will happen one day and last night was my night. I was the lowest of the guys and second lowest overall. I went home and sat down thinking to myself what in the world did I do? Well a number of things. I did not meal prep/plan very well. I did not do second workouts like I should have. One thing that did a slight hindering was my shin splints and now my Achilles is bothering me. I thought to myself what did I get myself in to? I talked to Tina and Andrea from Summit Physical Therapy who is awesome. He told me to not do stairs, no jogging or running and no jumping. Thursday night and Saturday walk/jogs were not good for me. I so wanted to do more but I knew I had to follow their guidance. 

Today in workouts we did our stretches which felt pretty good. Tina came up to me and told me that she was going to put me with the other injured today and do the workout with E.J. A part of me felt very discouraged and low but I knew it was for my benefit. We were put on stationary bicycles and told to take off. E.J. wanted us to raise the resistance until where we felt it and that was about a level 12. We did quite a few minutes of that with some boxing going on as well (without the gloves)..for now..LOL.  I was pedaling my way through Italy in my head. I was able to complete 3.5 miles on the bicycle. Boy my legs were burning but it felt good. Afterward we were given a small break but not too long and then out to the gym we went. Now it is time for the medicine balls. I picked up the 16 lb ball. We had to stand there and do squats with them..15 at a time. We also had to stand there and throw them backwards over our heads as hard as we can..if you were accurate the ball would basically roll back to you between your legs..i was that lucky most of the time. Then we had to throw them down in front of us as hard as we can and man let me tell you what I feel bad for the gym floor because I gave it a licking. I threw that thing down so hard it sounded like a bomb went off. We did reps of 15 at a time and then rotated them. It was quite the workout. That I will say uses a lot of gas. I know it doesn't seem like it would but let me tell ya it does. It was nothing but cheers from Tina and Katelyn as we were doing them. I felt great afterwards. 

We all gathered around each other when everyone was done and time to head out. We have an amazing group of individuals that I owe my life to right now. Last thing we do is pray. I will tell you it is quite the emotional time for a lot of us because like Lori said...we have been CHOSEN.

This week will be much better. Food prep is over half way done already and I will be damned if anything steps in my way this week. Steve is on a mission..

Thank you to everyone who reads this. 

Sunday April 16, 2017

Wow, this has been an extraordinary week both good and bad. The workouts have been wonderful. Of course they are intense in some form and the others are basic stretches that really work your core. We are all having a great time as a group and as a team. Performance Purple has a wonderful team. Miranda is our cheerleader. She is such an inspiration and quite the motivator. We get tired and wore out and next thing we hear is Miranda cheering us on to do our best and try. It is such a great thing to hear. The trainers and coaches are wonderful. There is nothing better than their desire to make us better. I had a little set back this week. I will say that I am quite disappointed in the whole thing but I know that sometimes things happen. My Achilles on the right has began to act up. It had acted up to the point that I have to restrict things. Andreas is wonderful though. He has given me exercises and stretches to do and hopefully things loosen up and I can get back to "normal". I do not walk the fastest and sometimes it really gets to me. Yesterday we had our 3 mile walk/jog/run out at Deer Ridge. I was feeling pretty good but I was told to walk only. Well the 8 minutes were up and we were to jog/run for 2 minutes. So I kicked it up and did a lot of speed walking. It felt pretty good. At the end there were many of people cheering us on just like a normal race. I felt pretty good. Early on I began to get shin splints pretty bad. Bad enough to the point that I was slowing down a lot. I did a lot of reading and talking to people about them and did the icing, rolling and elevation. Things felt good. I did notice that it would feel like I had a drop foot on my left which is where most of the pain was at. After talking to a running coach I went back to the running store and has another gait analysis done. Their recommendation was a thicker sole. We tried on a few different pairs and did analysis's on all. They determined that I switch to a different shoe and try that out. THey even told me that I could come back in a couple of weeks and see how things were doing. They allowed me to trade in my other shoes for these shoes even though I have had them for a little bit. That place is awesome. During the walk on Saturday it felt great.

First and foremost we are so blessed to have Rick, Tina and everyone else involved ie..trainers, coaches, the photographers and videographers. The running coaches are wonderful and give great motivation to us.

We have weigh-in tomorrow evening and we will see how far I have progressed. So far I have lost 11.8lbs in 2 weeks. Time will tell and just like Rick and Tina say.."Trust the Process". That is my motto from now on!

That is all I have for now but stay tuned for more...I'm sure there will be.

Tuesday April 11, 2017

Wow, today was quite the workout. They told us that they were going to kick it up a notch.  We were all spent afterwards but still in good spirits.  From the sleds to the stairs and to the it was quite the experience.  The trainers were on target today.  We worked our behinds off but it felt good.  It seems that they know exactly when to stop and give us the slightest break but the breaks don't last too long.  Can't wait to see what's in store for tomorrow.  

Last night was our weigh-in.  I am happy to say I lost 7.8 lbs last week which brings me to a total of 11.8 in 2 weeks.  I am happy but I know there is a lot more in store for me.  Hard work and determination will be crucial to my success.  I am ready.  

Saturday April 8, 2017

This morning we all met and had our weekly walk at Deer Ridge. It was a bit crisp outside but that didn't seem to kill the energy that this amazing group has. The amount of energy and enthusiasm that is present is amazing. We all gather together and stretch first and foremost. We have to be limber so we do not injure ourselves. Rick was being funny this morning. Tina was ragging on him for his effort..LOL. But I will tell you they are the first ones to make sure you are doing what is right. Mari was great. Her laughter and smiles just seems to put a lot of people at ease. The alumni that join us gives us motivation to carry on. The walk started down Scott Road toward Covington Road going up and down hills and even crossing a bridge. Around the fire station we go and boom our 15 minutes is up and time to turn around. It wasn't too bad at first until that dreaded hill. Man that thing doesn't seem to be bad until you get closer. My shin splints were telling me that this is rough but I carried on walking with my new friends. That's right, we are all friends now. I take small strides so I seem to walk a little slower. Towards the end of the road my teammate Marcus decides to take off on a little jog with Tina talking "smack" was quite what did Steve do? Steve took off jogging to and suprisingly as I was passing Tina I see her look over and say whoa!..She had to grab ahold of my coat and slow me down as I was feeling good. Time will come to jog but now we must walk. It was a great morning. We get back and back to stretching we go. We have awesome people everywhere you look. There is not one person who does not care immensely about our health. As we walk back to our vehicles the alumni are getting prepared to go on a 2 mile run. I can't wait until I am able to do that but one step at a time. FWSW has a plan for us all and we must follow their guidance. Weigh-in on Monday night again. I am hoping for a good night. Until the next time--everyone have a great day and God bless. 

Tuesday April 4, 2017

Well last night was the weigh-in. I was expecting a loss but honestly not as little as I had hoped. I lost 4 lbs. I will say that I have noticed my clothes fitting a little looser so that is a good thing. I am hoping that my body is getting used to the change and there will be a better loss come next Monday night. Workout today was really good. Getting back to doing it after really a 3 day break is a little rough. Tomorrow should be better. Our team did great. We are still encouraging each other every step of the way so that helps. We had to do a wall sit today at the end of the workout and we were told to get down really low or they would come and sit on our laps...that wasn't happening. I got down pretty low for me and sat there for a min and 15 sec. It felt good but man when we were done my leg was so sore. And of course I had to work today so I left Spiece and headed to work. This is the first time I had a chance to sit down since about 5:20am..this boy is tired. Tomorrow is a new day for all. Let's all keep our heads up and push forward. 

Monday April 3, 2017

Well, today is the day. Tonight we have our first weigh-in since workouts started and I will tell you my nerves are getting the best of me right now. I can feel that I have lost weight for sure however I am not sure how much. I have been told that it looks like I have lost also so I am pretty confident in that. The worst part about changing my eating habits is basically I have to eat more. I was never really hungry before and was lucky to eat two complete meals a day. Now I must eat and even snack in between to be successful which is my overall goal. Reading other teammates food diary has given me some other ideas as far as food combinations to eat so that is good. Water consumption has not really been a problem as you will normally see me with my water bottle now. I have been asked how do you drink so much water? Simple answer..I want to get healthy and lose this weight. My success depends on me making the right choices now and water is my choice. You should try it. We had our first walks this past week and they were not that bad. I have some small aches in my shins but the trainers and running coaches have given me some ideas to help alleviate that so that will improve. I take such short strides that sometimes it feels like I am not going anywhere unlike some of the other guys with long legs that take much longer ones. My teammates are wonderful. We encourage each other throughout the entire workout and seem to never give up. Sometimes we just have to speak up because it can get so loud in the gym , which is great, but then it can make hearing the trainers harder to hear...except a couple of them. It's all good. I am still in awe that I am here now. I was chosen to make a difference and given the opportunity which I am truly blessed. That is all I have for now until I get my results tonight..Stay tuned for the latest. 


Wednesday March 29, 2017

Oh my Gosh..i am sore right now. This morning we were blessed with having CiCi running the She worked us so good that the burn was amazing in her exercises. I was unfamiliar with that..LOL.. We all had a great day. The amount of smiling faces around was very encouraging. There were a couple different times that i had to stop for a few seconds but I got right back in it. Our team is amazing. The amount of motivation and uplifting that was given is great. I have been eating very good. Water has become my best friend and honestly I do not see that changing. Tomorrow is pool day but I am not expecting relaxation like some of you on spring break. We are going to work just as hard tomorrow as we did today. The alumni is so encouraging and pushing us to complete it is great. 


Tuesday March 28, 2017

Wow. First day in the books. I cannot believe how much support there was this morning. I am totally blown away by the amount of alumni who not only come out to workout but who come out to cheer us newbies on. I got to Spiece around 5:20 am and immediately started walking around the gym. It was surreal at that point. 6 am came around and it was time to get down to business. The warmups got my blood flowing and I will say it felt really great. We then separated into two groups in which our group was assigned the track. I was thinking ok we are going to go up and walk around and get our legs moving...NOPE, i was wrong. We were there to do our first timed mile. I was honestly scared a little. No pressure was ever put on us to run but it was encouraged to do our very best and see what we can do. Alright..Game on. I started out walking a little bit then jogged some and back to walking. I did this repeatedly around the track 9 times which constitutes a mile. LOADS of encouragement from coaches and nutritionists alike. We come up around the starting line again and we were getting cheered on like we were running a race. It was great. I rounded the bend for my 8th lap and it was on from there. Steve had to finish strong. I wound up running/jogging across the finish line in 16:37 which I thought was pretty good seeing how I haven't ran or jogged or anything that has to do with a mile except drive in over 18 years. I was tired but I will say it was great. Things will only get better from here that is for sure. Come July 1 I will conquer the half-marathon---who is with me?


Tuesday March 21, 2017

Went today to get fitted for my running shoes. I cannot express enough at how great the staff at 3 Rivers Running Company are. They were truly amazing as soon as the door was unlocked. Smiling faces. There were 5 of us there this morning and I was in and out within a half hour. First they size your foot. After that they will go back and gather a neutral pair of shoes and have your try them on. Once it was my turn to hop on the treadmill I was pretty excited. First time on a treadmill in quite a while. Even though it was for about 30 sec-1 minute it felt good. They will take a video of you walking or running and gather the information to pick out a few pairs of shoes. Once I was finished with that part the staff went back and gathered 5 different pair of shoes. Trying them on it was evident that they felt amazing on my feet. They were so light and I could tell that I have been definitely wearing the wrong shoes. Time for me to pick a pair out. Another contestant Shawn Kinzer was there as well and wouldn't you know we both picked out the exact shoe, size and all. We were both fortunate to be able to get our shoes that day. The pricing was wonderful. It was with such gratitude that they allow us to get a 25%off our purchase. I will definitely be back there probably getting some compression socks unless these shoes will alleviate that (I hope). Such a wonderful experience that I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for new shoes. 

Sunday March 19, 2017

Wow, what a day. Waking up knowing that today will start a journey of a lifetime and knowing that I was selected out of many and many a people is encouraging itself. Orientation today was awesome. Taking pictures and seeing myself as I am today is not only frightening, it is quite the discouragement knowing that I let myself get this bad. Having Rick and Tina stand up in front of with the words of encouragement is enough to make me smile.   Performance Purple is ready to rock this.  With a huge backing and support system from not only family, friends and co-workers, the entire staff of FWSW is ready to show us what we can become. I just want to think everyone first and foremost for the most exciting opportunity and journey of a lifetime. You will not be disappointed.....just wait.