Pushing the Limits: The Story of a True Y Competitor

May 21, 2019

As a personal trainer here at the Exeter Area YMCA, one of John McLean’s roles is supporting members’ peak performances through wellness practices. John works hard to ensure each client receives optimal education and encouragement in reaching their goals. As an athlete, John’s focus for the last two years have been on building his mind, body and spirit as a competitor in the NH Granite State Open. With a lifelong goal to push the boundaries of fitness to an extreme level, his success came in a multi-dimensional way for, in his words, “the greatest opponent is yourself.”   

Why would someone push themselves to the absolute brink of physical and mental exhaustion? “Goal setting is important in my job and this is something I have wanted to do for many years,” John said. It takes a laser focus to transform oneself as an athlete and a trainer. The desire for total immersion into a grueling six -month long program in an attempt to sculpt the body was fueled partly by available resources, which the Y made possible through its well-equipped Wellness Center and functional training room. John’s co-workers helped with words of encouragement each day that helped keep him on track. “I knew if I was going to do this, I had to completely give it my all 100%. It took extreme dedication of my time, energy and nutrition.” 

Natural athletes adhere to strict rules governing what is allowed nutritionally in their bodies. “Carb depletion was one of my biggest challenges as the goal was for my body to be as conditioned as possible,” John said. “I painstakingly designed my meals, paying careful attention to the macro-nutrient split. Everything is put into glass containers. No salt. No chocolate. And definitely no going out for pizza with friends!” The science behind this training includes chemistry, biology and physiology. Only minimal supplements are allowed for the immune system so the human body is able to capture its own resources for health.  

John is grateful for his amazing coach and team this year. It is this “wholeness” of mind, body and spirit that will keep John engaged with his family of teammates and community of co-workers and clients at the YMCA. A huge congratulations goes to John for placing second and third at the 2019 Organization of Competition Bodies Battle of New Hampshire. Way to go, John! Please stop by the Wellness Office and congratulate our competitor.

Southern District YMCA is a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.