Against All Odds
My name is Logan Lacombe, founder and creator of Gymday.com and this is my GYMDAY® transformation story.My gym journey began in 2008 after I proposed to my now wife and we made our plans for a destination dream wedding in Mexico. That’s when it hit me that everyone I cared for most and loved would be attending this wedding, friends and family, all there for a week where my 130lb self conscious body would be on full display! SH*T! So I joined the gym!
After years of working out, the gym became an addiction! Through the years I vowed to never miss a gym day and if I had to for a special event, rare sickness or occasion that I just could not avoid, I would make up for it with double days the next week as a self "punishment". Nothing could convince me to skip the gym. Not friends, not family, nothing!
I became comfortable with sacrificing my social life in order to continue with my gym journey as it was what I was passionate about. My gym day starts at 3am! Why? because it's the perfect time where there was literally ZERO excuse that I couldn't go at that time in the day. I wasn't working then, I didn't have any plans at that time of the day and it kept me from staying out late and drinking as I always new I had to be up for my 3am gym session... till this day almost 10 years later, I still go to the gym at the same time!
Through the years of training, diet changes and supplementation I was able to transform my body from a skinny little bitch into being confident and comfortable with my body. Not only has my strength increased by great amounts and my body changed but my overall health is 1000x times better now. Prior to starting I was at a high stroke risk with extremely high cholesterol and triglycerides as being a skinny/fat kid that ate Mcdonalds, donairs, smoked, and literally binge drank at least once every week, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week which was slowly killing me.
My diet was so out of control, I could stuff down 2 jumbo donairs no problem in one sitting. My usual Mcdonalds meal consisted of a quarter pounder meal, supersized with a side of 10 nuggets. On occasion I would opt for the double big mac (yeah that's 4 patties) plus super sized fries and 10 nuggets. Finish that off with a supersized soft drink (often would add in some spiced rum) and a smoke... this was one of many meals a day. For dinner I would scarf down a hot and ready pizza with a side of crazy bread... don't forget the 6 beers minimum that went with that daily dinner. Drinking was my worst enemy. I became so tolerant that a 750ml of spiced rum was what I drank before hitting the bar. That's a lot for a big sized man, now try an 18 year old, 130lb kid.
The thing that I took for granted was that I did not gain a lot of weight and sat at around 130lbs all the way through high school doing this, I had an amazing metabolism! One that most people would only dream they could have now, including me...
But its never too late to change!
I started with a routine I could stick to. Once I got in the habit of going to the gym I worked on my diet. From there I started to add in supplements and perfect the diet and the routines. From that day back in 2008 when I first set foot in a gym, nervous, uncomfortable and literally wanting to turn around and give up, till now.. I am a completely different person. I hate who I was and I am proud of what I have become! I now go 6 days a week, eat clean, know supplementation as if I was schooled for years in nutrition (my current supplement stack) and I even started working for myself as a web designer from home! My entire life changed for the better since I stepped foot in that gym and all my dreams were coming true!
But my gym journey and struggles didn't end there...
When I was finally hitting my goals and becoming something I was proud of, even started to get my feet wet in the fitness business when I first built a blog for Gymday.com in 2015, I was hit with a giant speed bump that literally took everything away from me that I worked so hard for! At this time me and my wife just planned a small around the world trip as everything was going so well for us, until...
In August of 2016 I contracted viral meningitis which spread throughout my brain causing severe encephalitis (swelling of the brain) causing me to have multiple seizures in the hospital which in the end left me with permanent brain damage. I was in the hospital for a full month, vomiting up to 30 times a day and struggling with focal seizures almost hourly. My entire life was put on hold, I could barely walk to the bathroom without remembering where I just came from. I had to carry a notepad with me as my memory was so bad from the brain damage. I was told they almost lost me more than once... Heart went into failure, liver was struggling to keep up with all the muscle breakdown and from what the one specialist told me "I was lucky to be alive" as the rare times he has seen cases as severe as mine, the people did not survive.
There were days when I would have rather died in that hospital than see what my loved ones went through. I didn't feel I deserved those worries, their sadness, love and especially the tears they shed. Nothing worse than waking up to a crying wife at your bedside. There were days that I wished I had just died so my wife could move on and find a better husband, I held immense guilt that I hurt these people around me and if I would have died that day, all I would have left them with is hurt. Or worse, my wife would have to live with a brain damaged husband that couldn't even feed himself or remember who she was.
My wife was given flyers on how to speak to me as if I was going to come out mentally handicapped. Doctors were shocked at how well I was acting when I woke.. I was even joking around with them.
When I got out I was told I had to stay off the computer or any screens which made work impossible and I lost all my current clients which I depended on with working for myself, which also meant I had no way to collect employment insurance or anything to cover my lost income. My memory was so shot that I couldn't get through an email without forgetting what I just read, I had to re-teach myself how to build a website just to forget everything I read within the hour. I would shower multiple times a day, sometimes within 30 minutes of the last one as I just couldn't remember that I already showered earlier. I was told my creativity would be effected (temporal lobe damage) which was how I was making a living designing websites... first thing that was taken away was my job.
They also threw me the curve ball that my license would be suspended for a minimum of 6 months after every seizure so I could not even leave the house if I wanted to.
The next thing the sickness took away was the gym. My only place to release my anger that I had in myself and my only true passion in life. I lost over 30lbs of muscle and all my strength while I was in the hospital and when I was told I could not return to the gym for a while I just couldn't handle it all... I almost gave up.
I didn't accept what the doctors were saying! I took my health into my own hands trying everything possible from brain supplements, extreme dieting, brain training and number 1...Back to the gym! It may have been dangerous and against doctors orders but it was mentally empowering for me, it built back my mental and physical strength! When I stepped into that gym I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and told myself "challenge accepted! You picked the wrong mother f*cker to try and kill, and you failed! Now it's my time to show you how great I am and I WILL beat this thing"
My brain and memory may not have been working properly but there was still one thing I didn't forget, the only thing I felt like i still had control over... The GYM! I would stare myself down in the mirror every day angry, pushing my limits, blacking out, throwing up all over myself during pullups and constantly forgetting how many reps or sets I just did. So I stopped counting! I pushed till I couldn't push anymore. I had side effects where I couldn't feel extreme heat or cold. Instead of complaining I decided to start running outside, in minus 30 degrees! I used to call it my superpower, not my disability!
When I spoke to a second neurologist only a few months into recovery, he was shocked I could hold a conversation, that I could dress and feed myself! When he first looked at my file his initial thought was that I should probably be in home care! Instead of this being a bad thing I took this as a positive as obviously what I was doing was working! So I pushed more!
I wanted to prove to those who were hurt that they had a reason to worry and those tears were not wasted. I had to show them how great I could be, how worthy of their tears I could be and that I would do what the doctors said couldn't be done... I would kick this epilepsy's ass!
From everything I can see, and from what every doctor and specialist can all agree on, is that being in shape and healthy played a huge role in my recovery and to keep it blunt, from letting this illness kill me! I have to thank the gym for literally saving my life!
Over the course of the next 6 months I overcame all odds that were stacked against me! I was back to my full strength and hitting new personal records and my body was in the best shape ever from the extreme new anti-seizure/brain healing diets I was implementing. I cut all dairy, corn, soy, gluten, refined sugars, white high starch foods, aspartame, msg, caffeine (and yes that includes chocolate) and last but not least alcohol, many of these have been known to be seizure triggers and impede brain healing so I just cut them all! I bounced back so strong that I am now on the lowest dose of anti-seizure meds that my doctor would allow, literally 1/6th the amount and no signs of any seizures! I imagine one day I won't even need them at all.
GYMDAY was now being re-built to become a place of motivation and bringing motivational products to fruition that I have dreamt to do for years now... until..
Speed bump #2 hit!March of 2017 I was rushed to the hospital for emergency appendectomy, right before I wanted to open the new and improved GYMDAY store to the public and show all the hard work I put into everything. Because of this second speed bump I was losing muscle weight, having surgery complications.. as in my entire (no other word to describe this but) JUNK turned completely purple from internal bleeding that pooled there (not exactly something you want to wake up to!) and told not to lift anything heavy for 6 weeks! Not to mention any core work now holds a high risk of a hernia since they surgically went right through my abs. By week 3 of recovery I was already back in the gym, stupid you say? probably, but when I was told I can lift 10lbs for the first few weeks, well then I am going to lift 10lbs 1000 times over! Nothing is going to stop me from completing my journey!
Fitness really is the only true passion I have and GYMDAY has been a long time dream to accomplish but I kept procrastinating from the fear of failure. I now feel that I was hit with these rare sicknesses because I was able to handle it! I was given a second chance as a wake up call to get off my ass and show people with hard work you can accomplish anything! This is my second (or 3rd if you are counting) chance story and if I can leave this earth knowing that I at least inspired one person to pursue theirs dreams, I can leave in peace. Hitting rock bottom was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, only when I lost everything was I free to do anything. I need to leave a legacy to make those around me celebrate when I die, not mourn. I want stories to be told about me to inspire others when I die, not stories of sadness.
The word GYMDAY now has a whole new meaning to me...
Every gym day was my therapy, was my place to release my anger and frustration with the universe and every gym day I put in was the reason I am still here today... I owe my life to the gym.
Luckily for me I also have an amazing wife that refused to leave my side and supported me through everything! Even though it was dangerous, even though I took a risk in setting myself further back with more seizures pushing myself at the gym. She knew and is one of the only people in this world that knows just how important the gym was to me. She would get up at 3am every day to ensure I could still go to the gym (as I was medically banned from driving) and had to watch me struggle, watch me getting sick and even scarier watch as my eyes would stare blank as I was blacking out or having seizures holding onto machines at the gym. I can never thank her enough for standing by me and I will forever be sorry for what she had to endure. She is the strongest person I know and since she is lifting heavy every damn day along side me in the gym, she is literally the strongest woman I know!
And to "death", nice try but you failed more than once now, obviously you had no idea who the f*ck you were dealing with, I still have a few of my 9 lives left so... Challenge accepted! I plan to make 2017 my bitch so you better step aside, as well I WILL beat this epilepsy nightmare!
Follow my progress on Instagram @ GYMDAYDOTCOM
Almost dying pushed me to pursue my passion, which I hope everyone else reads this and thinks to themselves "am I wasting my life ignoring my dream?" as you never know just how long you have left... Don't die with regrets.
My personal story inspired me to create the Epilepy Strong designs. I know there are other people out there that suffer with epilepsy which is a terribly hard thing to cope with. I am here to show you that epilepsy may knock you down but it won't keep you down unless you let it!
If my story relates to you, or at the very minimum gets you even thinking that you should get off that couch and start working! Please help me help others and share this story. We need to help motivate people, especially the ones that aren't surrounded with the support they need. My dream, my personal mission and the reason I created GYMDAY is to inspire at least one person! Every share is a validation to me that I inspired someone somewhere, and I thank you for that because every person that I inspire motivates me to push harder and gives my life real purpose.
It's GYMDAY, you know where I will be and I hope to see you in that gym pushing yourself, changing your life and conquering your dreams.