Ruben has an incredible story of transformation, both in health and fitness. After gaining a lot of extra weight, not managing his lifestyle well and receiving some not so good news about his then current health conditions, he decided that he must commit to change. Since the day he walked in to Behemoth, he has been consistent, pushed through discomfort, and has transformed into a healthier, fitter and more confident version of himself . We are blown away by Ruben's progress and excited share more about him below!Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself or something that would surprise us.
My name is Ruben Melendez, I am 45 years old. I am originally from Mexico, but grew up in west Texas. I moved to Houston about five years ago because of the great healthcare career opportunities in the city of Houston. I work at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a nurse practitioner. I am a nocturnal person and have worked night shift over 20 years, which does not offer many benefits to my health, but I love working night shift. I have tried to be a normal day worker, but my body does not like it.
How and when were you introduced to Behemoth?
Three years ago I decided to make big changes to my lifestyle. I was the heaviest I had ever been, was up to 260lbs and started to have the health issues accompanied by obesity. I had been diagnosed with hypertension 10 years before but kept it well controlled with exercise. When I went back to graduate school my fitness regimen took the back burner and I slowly gained a lot of weight and developed bad habits. My blood pressure got out of control and the doctor told me I either needed more medication or to make some lifestyle changes.
After that conversation with my doctor I decided to make some lifestyle changes, I began watching my diet and running consistently. With some discipline and consistency the weight started coming off and I was able to increase my weekly mileage drastically. I realized that since I was not doing any other form of exercise, I ended up with an injury. My chiropractor suggested I do some strength training and that's how I ended up at Behemoth. I had heard about CrossFit, but many of the people I knew had different opinions about it. I looked around and ended up at Behemoth and from the first day I walked in this place I felt like I belonged here.
I had never done any kind of strength work in my life. I had no clue how to lift or do any of the complex skill work we do here at Behemoth, but Aja, Aryan and Leah took me in and immersed me into this great CrossFit community. Their approach to bringing new people into the Behemoth community is not only professional but very well thought out. They really focus on helping you be successful.
What are you most proud of, physically, mentally or both since beginning with us? Why Behemoth?
It is not hard for me to describe how I feel since I joined Behemoth. The changes I have seen in my body and the way I feel is incredible. I never imagined exercise could make you feel so good. Although I was running a lot of miles before I started CrossFit, I still felt tired all the time. My runs were rough, I remember especially after my long runs that I would need at least 2 days rest. After I joined Behemoth and showed up consistently, my energy levels increased dramatically and my runs became so easy that I enjoyed them even more. I have had my best run times since starting CrossFit and I can run a half marathon and still feel so good during and afterwards.
What next? What are you excited about pursuing here in the future?
One of my goals is to continue to grow and become more skilled in the sport of CrossFit. I plan to make this a permanent part of my life for as long as I live. Being part of the Behemoth community has given me many positive changes to my life and I now know that you can do and accomplish anything as long as you put some effort into it.
“3, 2, 1…Go” Mad Lib section
-My favorite lift is…
My favorite lift is the power clean.
-My most frequent class I come to is…
I alternate between the 5 PM class and the 9:30 class.
-I have always wanted to…
Travel the world, hopefully one day I will be able to do a global tour - my big goal!!
-When I’m not crushing weights, my favorite thing to do is…
I love to hang out with my girlfriend and my family. I also love to hang out with my two 9 year old nephews, they are full of energy and keep me moving.
-Favorite “application of fitness” outside of the gym is…
I love food, and love the challenge of preparing good tasting healthy meals. I also love to run and to train for races to keep myself motivated.
-Favorite Pandora station…
I listen to I heart radio- listen to Spanish rock the Mana station.
-Beast mode engaged when this song comes on…
My beast mode is engaged when Glycerine from Busch comes one.