I grew up right here in Madison, MS. Like many young people in the south I fell victim to biscuits and gravy, sweet tea, and lack of physical activity. By the time I registered for class at Ole Miss I weighed over 300 pounds at more than 35% body fat. I was a fat kid. I found motivation in the armed service and lost over 100lbs throughout college. I graduated and commissioned as an Officer in the Air Force and served for five years. I realized during my service that my true passion in life is Health and Wellness. While on active duty I earned my Master's Degree in Exercise Science, Human Movement Rehabilitation. I am recognized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and I am a Licensed Massage Therapist. Since I found CrossFit in 2007 I have firmly believed in the effectiveness of functional training. I've tested and retested just about every diet and exercise program you can imagine...CrossFit works.
I was into sports as a kid, playing just about anything until high school. Then I found video games and Chinese buffets. Something had to change. My sophomore year in college I got into being a normal gym rat, doing bicep curls and bench press, thinking Crossfit was silly. Years later I met Coach Stephen and he convinced me to come try Kudzu. I was hooked from day one. After two years of full time Crossfit training I acted on my love affair with Weightlifting. I have since trained Weightlifting full time and helped found Kudzu Barbell, acting as the Club Director.
What's up! I was born and raised in Rapid City, SD. Just like Coach Stephen I overcame the massive hurdle of childhood obesity. I spent 10 years working in the restaurant industry; in 2010, CrossFit changed my life. The deeper I plunged into my fitness studies, I gradually discovered that I wanted to move away from an industry that is counter-productive to my real passion: peak physical fitness. I decided to read and learn more about the human body and obtained my Level 1 Trainer certification. Prior to my pilgrimage to The ZU, I coached at Black Hills CrossFit in Rapid City for 6 months. My goal here is to answer any and all questions within the realms of training, nutrition, mobility, etc that any level of athlete may have; to form relationships that will help you be a more well-rounded and effective athlete in the sport of life.
John-Michael Stribling, Kudzu Barbell Director
I have been active my entire life. Either playing some type of sport or working out. I’ve pretty much tried it all. Mid-40's, I realized that I was not in shape. I was 30 pounds overweight and starting to have mobility issues. I started by making small changes and eventually found CrossFit on the internet. I did it in my garage for several years before one of my neighbors talked me into trying Kudzu. Being a part of the Kudzu community took it to a new level for me. It became a lifestyle. I decided to become a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer to further my understanding and because I enjoy helping others have that aha moment of when they finally get a movement or do something they did not think they could.
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