Rickson D’Souza was morbidly obese at 130kgs. He was in a cycle of bad habits to the point where it was literally dragging him down and affecting him as a father. Today Rickson is 39 and at his fittest stage in life. So, how did he do it?
Rickson shares his incredible journey …
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your story before starting CrossFit?
A: I used to train regularly for a year with Hanan Wehbi at a gym in Dubai where let’s just say there were a lot of “doctors” around. Super large guys/girls just pumping iron and grunting a lot. It was a strange environment for me. I’d also do boot camps at night with Jordan Branford and that was great too. After that I began training for a year with a buddy of mine and we depended a lot on each other to show up to train and if one of us bailed then it just didn’t work out. I think work and life got in the way and it slowly fell apart. I felt the urge to be surrounded more by like minded people who could push me and drive me to get better. Hanan suggested that I should give Innerfight a shot and I did and I have a hard time doing without it now☺
Q: How did your journey first lead you to CrossFit?
A: I used to be morbidly obese at 130kgs. For years I tried various things from crash diets, to personal trainers (in hindsight maybe unqualified ones) and it mostly got me to lose some weight and then put it all back on again. I had some knee injuries due to my obesity too. I think every time the knee acted up, I’d ditch the healthy eating too. It became a cycle and I never got out of it. I decided to undergo a Bariatric sleeve surgery which gave me a jump start on my weight loss and in a span of 4 months I lost over 40 kilos. I then began my fitness and training regime from twice a week to (at its peak) 12 times a week. I decided to turn one of my rooms in the house into a gym and bought some basic equipment and trained more whenever I had the extra time. It became an obsession admittedly due to vanity too☺Months later I discovered CrossFit and functional fitness and I came in for a few sessions which I was slowly incorporating into my fitness regime anyways. But being here at InnerFight and seeing all these inspiring people fighting everyday to stay fit and become stronger was just phenomenal and the energy carries you.
Q: How has InnerFight and the program helped you?
A: InnerFight has a great community. Just amazing people showing up everyday encouraging you to get better at life. I love the community. I’ve trained at a few other CrossFit boxes in the UAE and when I travel and I surprise myself today how I compare to other people in other boxes. I think the programing here is more intense than a lot of other places and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I feel like I’m getting more than my money’s worth. There are so many movements that I used to suck at that I can quite confidently do now. And there are so many more that I want to be able to do and I’m confident that I will through this programing. I just turned 39 and I feel like I’m in the fittest shape of my life. I now encourage my friends, my family and even my clients and business associates to be part of this awesome community.
Q: What advice would you give to others who were in your position?
A: My advice is learn more. I think most of the time I failed in the past to get fit or lose weight had to do with the fact that I thought I was doing the right thing and it wasn’t working. In reality when you learn more about food & nutrition and about exercise and training, it becomes easier to get to your goals. Food in my opinion is 80% of the battle. Finding the right program, the right coach, the right community, the right inspiration, the right people who will keep you on your course, is very important. It is easy to slip and go back to old ways if you’re not in the right environment. Life is challenging and we tend to take it out on ourselves through food and drink habits. Learn more. Eat clean (most of the time), train hard.
Q: Can you us the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the last year?
A: Change is constant. Situations arise that need you to give more time to than other things in life. I went from owning and running 2 businesses to selling my shares, dealing with the messy exit from one business to working with a group of people that I could always see myself with. Through all this mess, I needed my time in the gym to clear my head and be myself. Just showing up was half the battle won. There’s a calm that came from the aftermath of a workout. Gives you a sense of accomplishment. Taking part in the CrossFit open and just being part of that energy was so big for me. If you met me 6 years ago – Naaaah you’d never see me this way today.
Q: What do you still hope to achieve?
A: So much. In the gym and for myself – 12% body fat, handstands (so I can do them with my daughter). Compete and participate in more events. I hate running, but hearing Jonny & Omar speak and go through that experience makes me want to do the Marathon de Sables just to experience the hurdles along the way and to have an awesome story. I have this urge to get more productive with work and work less…. I mean way less. The 4 hour work week is goal in the next 4 years. I’ve begun cutting down the amount of time I work and I know by the end of this year I will be down to working 4 days a week. It’s a start. My family is really important to me. I want to spend a lot of time with them, helping my kids get better at life.
Feeling inspired after reading Rickson’s story? Of course you are! If you are new to CrossFit then come and sign up to our NEW STARTER program and we’ll get you on the road to your new adventure.