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Meet Kyle - The Man Inspiring Many

While many want the attention of others for themselves, it's rare you find somebody who is there for everybody else. Somebody who's main goal is to make a difference, to empower and to encourage. Enter Kyle, the owner of Be Defiant, and one of these people.

Back in school, I was the kid that skipped P.E. I had a note every week that excused me from that day’s lesson (usually crafted in the lesson prior). I was always picked last in any sort of team.

I didn’t like physical exercise.

My fitness journey started at around the age of 24, for 2 years I was part of a local Kickboxing club. I started to realise that I enjoyed the burning in my lungs and viewed the sweat build up as a result of hard work. The issue was that this was once a week and I wanted to work out more than just once a week. A friend from Kickboxing mentioned CrossFit to me, I turned up at a local box and haven’t looked back since.

There is also another reason I started my fitness journey and CrossFit in particular. I came across an article that spoke about CrossFit helping to cure chronic illnesses without medication. I thought to myself “If these people can beat Chronic Disease by performing constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity then why can’t I use it to beat my condition?”.

For those unaware, I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease - NHS:

"Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a group of inherited conditions that damage the peripheral nerves. It's also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN). The peripheral nerves are found outside the main central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)."

The main symptoms of CMT are:

  • Muscle weakness in the feet, ankles and legs at first

  • Having feet that are very highly arched, which can make the ankle unstable, or having very flat feet

  • An awkward or high step and difficulty using the ankle muscles to lift the foot, which makes walking more difficult

  • A lack of sensation in the arms and feet

  • Very cold hands and feet, caused by poor circulation

  • Wasting of the muscles in the lower legs, causing legs to have a distinctive 'upside-down champagne bottle' shape

  • Feeling tired a lot of the time, as a result of the extra effort it takes to move around.

I don’t suffer that badly and just get on with day to day life, I am lucky as at present I am only mildly affected. However, CMT is a progressive condition meaning the symptoms slowly get worse, eventually making everyday tasks increasingly difficult.

The NHS state the following regarding the long term effects and cure for CMT.

"There's no cure for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), but therapies are available to help reduce your symptoms and enable you to live as independently as possible."

"As CMT gets worse over time, you'll need to be assessed regularly to check for any new developments in your condition. How often you're assessed depends on the type of CMT you have and the severity of your symptoms."

Training hard with a defiant mindset is how I am going to beat CMT, I don’t need a cure.

I don’t train to be an Athlete, I train so that as I get older I can live each day of my life to its fullest. I am going to build muscle, stay fit and not let my condition stop me doing anything in life.

My advice for maintaining a good healthy mindset is

  1. To know what your goal is and to reassess that goal daily. The approach may change but never change the goal.

  2. To expect and accept setbacks they will build your character, be defiant and take these challenges on.

  3. Be true to yourself and your own values, not the values of others.

  4. Surround yourself with people you aspire to be like. You become the company you keep.

  5. Lastly, to never lose faith in yourself. There are people looking up to you that you are totally unaware of.

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