The Chris Davis Project:  Week 8

This week – Joe and Chris express frustration and argue about Chris’ diet. It’s a tough week for Chris.

Chris Davis started out at almost 700lbs. He’s lost over 300lbs so far. Follow his Spartan journey as he attempts to get below 200lbs and complete the Spartan Ultra Beast in September.

Chris was at the New York Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY.  The day he filmed this video we asked him to tell us about it.  So he wrote the following journal entry included below.

 

 

6/6/2012:  The New York Spartan Sprint

Welcome to Wednesday.  I have been holding off writing my weekend blog for days, because I am still trying to process everything that went on this weekend.  To be honest I still have not processed everything, and it will take some time for everything to sink in.  I meet so many wonderful people – Spartan Race Employees, Volunteers, and Racers.   It is one thing to read the comments on facebook, the blog, and emails, but it is a totally different experience to meet some of these people in person.   I thought that I was ready for this experience, but clearly I was not prepared for the impact it had on my life.   I hope I get to go several more races between here and the Ultra Beast because I now have a new level of commitment to completing the Ultra Beast after this weekend.

Saturday started at 3:30 am, with everyone getting to the lobby of the hotel at 4:00 AM so we could leave for the Hurricane Heat.   On the way to the site, Jennifer and I were following Jeremy and we missed an exit and we got to the site about 15 minutes late.  We all went racing; the whole thing was like a scene out of a movie…

After getting my radio I meet up with the Hurricane Heat runners at the rope climb were Joe D. introduced me to them.   Shortly after saying hello, I headed over to my obstacle, the pancake carry.   This race the pancake carry way set up on the farthest run to the left of the ski resort.  The goal that Joe set for me was to carry the women’s pancake (25 lbs) up the mountain 50 times, and to help keep things going at the obstacle.  When I got there I grabbed one of the pancakes and headed up the mountain.   Since I was the first one there I had to make my own path up the incline.

Walking up the mountain sucked.  There were so many thorny patches that cut into my legs the entire way up.    When I got to the top, I looked out over what I had accomplished and I was so happy that I had made, and then it sank back in, I had to go back down.     But while I was standing here I heard everyone from the Hurricane Heat, so I headed over to cheer them on.   I bumped into Joe, and he said to head back because he wanted everyone to see me on the course when they showed up.   So I headed back and started on my way back down the mountain   I thought that heading up was full of thorn bushes- the way back down was a lot worse.  And to top it off there were several spots where there was exposed stone, and I slipped and fell a couple of times.

But I made it back down in time to head up as Joe had the Hurricane Head runners coming down the mountain.  Joe had each of the hurricane runners grab 2 pancakes and head back up the mountain, Red (40lbs) for the guys and Pink (25lbs) for the ladies.   They went up the path that I had just made a few minutes prior.

A little later the volunteer’s showed up and we got ready for the race.  We were far enough away that you could tell there was music in the background but you could not make anything out, but when the first heat left, you could hear them getting ready to start.   It took some time for the racers to show up, because we were near the end of the race course, but when they did it was great.   The trip up the hill was two tenths of a mile up and an elevation climb of over 300 feet.    So to say it was a long trip to the top is an understatement.

The one thing that surprised me was how many people recognized me.  You have to keep on thing in mind – I have spent most of my life as one of those computer nerds that does magic behind the scenes that no one ever sees.  So for me to be front and center, and in the spotlight is a very unfamiliar position for me to be in.  It took some time for me to get used to it, and within a few hours I started to have a lot of fun with it.   I was asking people if they were hungry, and when they would reply yes, I would reply great, I have a nice stack of Spartan pancakes; grab one and head up the hill.    It was usually about this time when some people would recognize me and say you’re Chris from the blog, and I would laugh and smile and say ‘yep that is me’.

Shortly after the competition heat started, I was helping some people out when I hear some yelling my name.  I look up and it’s my friend Margaret Schlachter, and she is in second place for the female racers.   I cheer her on as she passes me chasing after the first place runner who is still on the hill.  It was so cool to see her doing so well during the race.   Another really cool moment was when Hobie Call and Andi Jory both walked back over to the hill and walked another lap up the hill with me.    Talk about a reality check, here were both winners taking time  out of their day to talk and walk with me.  It will be something I will remember for a very long time.  Shortly after we got back down, Margret came back and talked about her race and I was thrilled to here that she came in second place.  Before she left, we also climbed the hill together.

Throughout the rest of the day I would walk up the hill with a sandbag, and relax at the top of the hill welcoming people to the top (where about 50% would stop for a break) and it was funny once they would catch their breath.  I would start talking to them, and every once and a while someone would take a double take when they realized who I was, and they would ask ‘are you Chris’. I would smile and we would continue to talk.

By the end of the night I walked up and down the hill 15 times.   On my last lap, I noticed that one of the runners was having some problems, so I walked to her and started talking to her.     I could tell that she was so exhausted.  When I go to her she looked up and she recognized me.   I talked to her and her friend for a few minutes and we started back up the hill together.  After they started making progress, I told her I would see her at the finish line.

I closed up the obstacle and headed back, but instead of going to HQ I headed up to the finish line.   I wanted to be there when Tavora and Jessica crossed the finish line.   After a little while I heard over the radios that they were nearing the fire pit.  I got a finisher medal ready for them and I was able to give Tavora her medal once she crossed the finish line.   It was such a cool feeling for me to be there considering I was the last one to cross the finish line in Atlanta just a few months ago.   By the time we made it back to the hotel it was almost after 10pm and I was exhausted.  I had been up since 3:30 and I could not see straight anymore so I grabbed a quick salad and went to bed.

* * *

On Sunday I got to sleep in until 4 am because there wasn’t a Hurricane Heat.   When I woke up I was so sore from Saturday, and I had a decent sun burn going.   When we got to the lobby we were welcomed with a boxed breakfast that included a bagel, a fruit box and an apple,   You would be surprised how many people will trade you a apple for an bagel at 4:30 am.   So I headed out with a couple of apples.  When I got to the site I grabbed a few bottles of water and headed back to my hill.

I started out the day with the goal getting another 15 laps in, but I was so exhausted that I had a hard time making it to the hill.   Once I got there, I ate a couple of apples and had some water but I was still not feeling great.  By the time runners made it to the hill I was feeling better, but I was losing my voice.   So I did the best I could to help people out for a while,  I had made it up and down the hill twice when the Spartan Chicks stopped by to do a photo shoot in there high heels.    I was talking to Jennifer and Margret, when Jennifer asked me to join them for a photo.   I had my original pants with me so I pulled them out and we took the coolest photo: I still cannot believe I had 4 Spartan Chicks in my pants. What an incredible experience.

A little after they left, I started to get a little light headed, and I started to having some problems with ringing in my ears.  Since it was near noon I headed back to HQ to get something to eat and get some water.   The closer I got to HQ the worse things got and by the time I was there I was in bad shape.   I sat down and got something to drink.  After my third bottle of water I started to feel a little better.  I saw Margret and Jennifer and I asked them to check me out for dehydration and they confirmed that yes I was dehydrated.  They told me to relax for a bit and keep drink water.    So I followed their advice and stayed out of the sun for the next few hours and drank as much water as I could.

Towards the end of the day Joe had me head back out, but this time, instead of going to the pancake hill, he sent me out to be a gladiator till the end of the day.   This was great for me because it allowed me to be there when Kristina crossed the finish line closing out the Spartan Race for Sunday.   We talked for a few minutes, and took some photos.   I was so proud of her for making it to the end and not giving up.

When we got back to the hotel, I staggered to my room and just sat under the shower for at least 15 minutes.  Then I headed down to get something to eat only to find the restaurant in the hotel had closed for the night.   So I joined a bunch of my fellow Spartan Race Staff to head out to dinner.   It was good to sit back and relax after two incurably long days of work and exercise.   It was so worth it all the work because I got to meet so many great people at the race.   I am looking forward to getting to work at the next race.

Right now it looks like that is going to be the Death Race here in Pittsville VT, on 6/15.   I hope to see some of you there.

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39 Responses

  1. avatar

    Hey Chris Thanks for the mention, meeting you and being able to finish was such a great thing, and your motivation keeps me motivated, and I hope one day we can race side by side, keep going I know I will!!

  2. avatar

    Weight loss can be extremely frustrating. It’s hard to know that, while I lost 4.5 inches in 5 months, I’ve only lost half a pound. Know that, if you’re working out, you’re hopefully just gaining muscle which may fool the scale. But even though I’ve lost so little, I got stronger and was able to take a minute off my 5k PR without much running the three months prior.
    You can do it, don’t give up!

  3. avatar

    Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1)
    He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He
    will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
    (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout
    all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
    the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and
    is not interfered with by the sovereign.”
    I believe you can succeed!

  4. avatar

    holy smokes you have come a long way !!! keep eating the 2 eggs and stay off the scale for awhile !! its all about how your jeans fit !! keep goin bro !

  5. avatar

    Damn Chris!! Props to you, Warrior!! Keep up the good work and keep giving back that good Karma!! You are amazing!

  6. avatar

    “I still cannot believe I had 4 Spartan Chicks in my pants.” Best. Line. Ever. :-)

    Keep up the amazing work, Chris. You’re accomplishing amazing things, and for people like myself, it’s immeasurably impressive and inspiring.

    You friggin rock. Don’t ever forget that.

  7. avatar

    Chris,

    I have to thank you for being at the NY race on Sunday after a long day on Saturday. I recently started my own weight loss journey and on race day, I was terrified.

    By the time I reached the end of the race, I saw you there getting ready to pummel me and I thought, oh no! I felt bad because I did a lot of burpees that day and realized I had a long way to go in my training.

    When I approached you, I asked you for a hug (instead of a thump) and you were awesome and gave me a hug.

    That hug was the perfect way to end my first Spartan Race–so THANK YOU! And thank you for continuing to be so encouraging through your blog!

    Joanne :)
    #18585

  8. avatar

    Chris,

    What you are doing is incredible. Stay focused on the goal at hand. Know what you came from and where you are going. Believe in yourself as others believe in you and know that your goal is possible. I’ve been training for a year straight to join get a pipeline military contract for special ops and my goal is actually to gain weight and I’ve managed to only gain 5 pounds in the last 12 months. But I’ve seen results and get stronger everyday. Training and diet everyday can be draining mentally but feed off of the people who support you to drive through it. The human body was meant to for so much more and we can prove to ourselves that we can work harder then we ever thought possible. You have an amazing story. Now give it the ending it deserves.

  9. avatar

    Im proud of u. Keep up the good wk. I know that diets suck and working out is hard but stay focused;) yOu are worth it.

  10. avatar

    Chris, you are by far the bravest person I have me! I want to thank you for encouraging me to try harder! You my friend if I may call you that, are an inspiration to us all! Please don’t give up, because your actions are no longer yours alone, they inspire people! I am thankful for what you are doing! As soon as my leg heals from surgery I’m gonna hit the gym! Because you inspired me to! You have showed me that we own our fate! You are my inspiration! Don’t give up! You already won! Never surrunder, never retreat. That is spartan code!

  11. avatar

    You are amazing! Stick with it…. You should be so proud of yourself. The hell that you are putting yourself through, is truly that of a Spartan!

  12. avatar

    Hey Chris you have lost alot of weight and you are doing a great job! Keep up the hard work I know when I was at AIT I hit 204 and couldn’t figure out why I just couldn’t make it under 200 I was so close but it was just one of the plateaus and Ive gained alot back but I keep checking in on this to see hey someone else is struggling and working hard to loose weight too and man you are working you’re butt off. I got lazy for a while and went from 215 to 270 and you are inspiration for me to change my habbits and work my butt off to get in shape. Thanks man Keep it up you are awesome!

  13. avatar

    Chris,

    I dont often comment on peoples blogs as I usally dont have anything to say. This is an exception for me much as you are the exception to most of us out there. Your commitment to your health and you personal betterment is rare and amazing. What you are doing is nothing short of a miracle and I want you to know how inspiring you are and how proud I am of you. I know I am a complete stranger but as someone who has always struggled with weight you make me want to train and to do what I can to make it to spartan running fitness. I tried so hard to get ready for the Indy race. I dieted, I worked out, I went super strict on my sleep schedule, everything but just couldnt do it. The commitment fell to the wayside and I stopped. I was ashamned that an ex soldier such as myself had let myself go. I have gained roughly 45 pounds since my days in the army before I retired due to injuries from Iraq. I will try again. I will beat this. I will make my self a spartan and I damn sure know you have this september goal in the bag. Stay strong and when you get discouraged feel free to hit me up. I got your back and am right behind your slim ass headed up that hill!!!

    V/r

    Phillip

  14. avatar

    wooh!!! this is an awesome entry chris!!! keep it up, I mite see you there. :)

  15. avatar

    Keep kicking ass Chris! You’ve already accomplished something a very small percentage of the population could… Might as well finish it off and reach the 200 lb. goal. Cheering for you man.

  16. avatar

    Hi Chris….I’m not sure how to start this as I am in awe by your journey! Reading your blog helps me get the motivation I need…because I too know how you feel! I am 2 years into my weight loss journey and I’m down a total of 123lbs! How!? A lot of sweat and hard work! I still struggle everyday and I’m coming close to my goal, but not quite there!

    I have signed up for the spartan beast in September, in VT! I am scared Sh*tless!! I will train and push myself everyday to be better than the next! However seeing your journey and knowing what you must be going through makes me realize I have someone else there that knows what I’m feeling!!

    Good luck in your journey!! You are doing amazing and you motivate everyone around you to be better!!

  17. avatar

    Chris, I have watched your videos and read your blog and I want to tell you that you are doing such a great job. I, too, have struggled with my weight. I understand the frustration when you think you have done everything right and there is a gain. If only there was a magic fairy that could tell us exactly what to do right and what not to do. I am planning to do my first (of many I hope) Spartan Sprint next summer. I will use your story as an inspiration. Thanks for being a good example of determination! Tania

  18. avatar

    Just Freakin AMAZING!!

    WTFG

  19. avatar

    Chris, just recently started following ur blog. CONGRATS ON THE WEIGHT LOSS!! Keep it up!! Plus not having done a Spartan race yet….u truly are an inspiration! Thank you!!

  20. avatar

    When I feel like giving up I remember how hopeless I feel When I am lazy. That feels worse than the effort it take to do a good work out! Keep fighting because it’s worth it?

  21. avatar

    Chris, I have been following your blogpost and vids, I think you are amazing ! The scale is just a number, don’t let it rule your life. Be the best you that you can be, go for health, not numbers and you will do fine in the end.
    Keep on going at it mate, you got this, you can and will accomplish what you set out for. Go Chris!

    (posting here, Spartan FB page wants me to register a creditcard? wth?)

  22. avatar

    Dude, I used to be 300 lbs and thought getting to where I’m at now would be impossible. From an experienced perspective I can tell you…you have more than enough motivation to get where you want to be. It is going to suck at time, as I’m sure sure you’ve already seen. But its also going to you a feeling that’ll you will never forget when you reach your goal. Keep pushing brother,. Hope to see you at a race one day! Sgt Eric King, U.S. Army.

  23. avatar

    Good for you Chris for sticking it out. I have been fighting my weight for years. Yes it is frustrating to gain weight or plateau. But I know that you will make this journey. You could have left awhile ago. But know that you are an inspiration!

  24. avatar

    I remember all of this so clearly! I remember seeing you at the pancake hill and I remember you asking if we were hungry! I ran Sunday morning, I’m so glad I got to see you before you had to leave the hill! I hadn’t ever read the blog before, but you inspired me to run the Super in September! I look forward to seeing you cheer us on there!!

  25. avatar

    Diet truly is the key and identifying those triggers. Be it eggs, snacks, whatever. Losing tht much weight takes time, and I know you are working hard, try not to get discouraged if it doesn’t come off as fast as you’d like.

    Good luck

  26. avatar

    Chris you’re doing something straight up amazing.

    Carry on sir, you have a choice and you make the right one for you.

    Your frustration is a good sign, it means you care enough to keep pushing and be driven. Not everyone would come nearly as far as you have in this journey, this week, this day.

    Looking forward to your next blog.

  27. avatar

    You are doing fantastic!!! Keep up all the hard work, dedication, and determination!!! You are an inspiration to many!!

  28. avatar

    Keep up the great work buddy. I hope to see you at the PA event and at the VT Beast. Rock on! AROO!!

  29. avatar

    You’re doing a great job Chris, keep up the good work. It’s a life changing process, mentally and physically, but you can do it. Remember, you’ve got the entire Spartan nation with you…pushing you when you need motivation, lifting you up when in doubt. AROO!!!

  30. avatar

    Wow, I thought I had a great weight loss journey! I’ve lost a total of 75 lbs so far and completed my first race at the TriState Race.. Which was awsome! Keep up the great work! It’s worth it! Pain is momentary! The Achievement lasts a life Time!
    Aroo!

  31. avatar

    Never quit chris, NEVER. Think about the feeling of success when you reach your goal, IT WILL out way the pain your going through right now! Embrace The Suck to Achieve Success!!

  32. avatar

    Chris, I just discovered your blog and I see some of myself in you.

    In June 2003 I weighed 396 pounds. I decided I did not want to die. So I got serious about training and nutrition, and got down to about 240. Have kept it off since then. A couple weeks ago, my girlfriend, who has been an elite athlete for much of her life, signed up for her first Spartan.

    Tis week decided I’m going to lose the last 30-40 pounds and start running, which I haven’t done in 35 years. I’m not going to be able to get into shape in time to race this season, but the goal is to do at least one Spartan next year. I’ll hope to see you on the circuit next year. Maybe they’ll establish a bracket for former behemoths and we can compete head-to-head!

    If I can offer one piece of advice: the hardest thing you’ll face once you get anywhere close to your goal weight is to figure out why you ate and how you let yourself get so out of control that you got up to your former weight.

    Believe me: if you don’t handle that, you are at high risk of gaining back at least a small portion of the weight, and maybe even all of it. It took me years of therapy after my weight loss before I could look myself in the mirror and say that I was safe, and that there was no risk that I would never go back to eating the way I did before.

    Best of luck to you!

  33. avatar

    Chris everything that you have done is truly amazing, It would be an honor to be able to meet you next spring at the Spartan Race in Indiana. The milestones that you have reached are far suerior than any I have ever heard in my entire life. You as a SPARTAN should be proud of everything and I know I am proud to be a fellow Spartan with you. Keep up the great work and maybe I will get to meet you next Spring Good Luck! Daniel Morrell

  34. avatar

    Chris you don’t know me from shit. But I know you from your blog. You’ve got it in, you can do this. Earn it, you can. This matters. You matter. You can change you, it’s just some old thinking cropping up. You’re amazing. My thoughts are with you.

  35. avatar

    Way to go Chris. Keep it up and remember that none of us are perfect so if you take a step back, thank God that you have the option to take two forward.
    God Bless!

  36. avatar

    Dude, YOU ARE A TRUE HERO AND AN INSPIRATION.

  37. avatar

    Chris,

    I met you at the NY spartan on the pancake hill. As I approached the top I wanted to tap out. I was inspired and pushed through. At the bottom of the hill, you looked over and said “Good Job” that pushed me even further through the rest of the Race. It was Great to see you, amazing to read / watch your story. You are a GREAT MAN! Keep up the hard work! I hope to see you at a Spartan again! You sir, are an inspiration and your story is true motivation!

    Andrew

  38. avatar

    Been keeping up with your blog from the get-go … keep at it, Chris! I know the plateaus are frustrating and even moreso when someone else is questioning your food choices. Maybe Joe’s right, maybe he’s not. (though, a two-egg omelet is huge especially after putting all those veggies in it apparently Joe’s never made an omelet :P )

    It never hurts to try new things, sometimes our bodies get too used to the things we’re feeding them and changing things up just a little can do wonders.

    You keep at it, and don’t give up!

    K

  39. avatar

    and every once and a while someone would take a double take when they realized who I was, and they would ask ‘are you Chris’

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