Athlete of the Month - Chris Simms


I’m honored to be selected by the TNT family as the athlete of the month. This truly is a family, it’s not a gym. Ive worked out in gyms all my life. Never have I been in a place that encourages, pushes, builds you up regardless of what shape you’re in, enables, and truly helps you find strength like this family does. It’s not just the coaches, the workouts, the equipment, the atmosphere, it’s the people. Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, no matter your size, ability, strength, skill, this family will help you better yourself.

I truly have spent my life in gyms. Growing up spending the majority of my weeks in a wrestling room I’ve always been working out in some form or fashion. Working hard to be better. That dedication earned me my childhood dream of wrestling for the Army at West Point. While there I suffered my third concussion while boxing. I was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury. I spent the next two years in and out of the hospital and doctors offices working to get back to where I once was. Where I was as an athlete, a student, and a soldier. This injury was so severe that it was determined I never would get back to being that person. I was given a medical discharge and all that I had planned for my life, the way I had envisioned it was no more. My body didn’t respond the same way as it used to. I suffered severe headaches and migraines, dizzy spells, short term memory loss, stuttering, loss of feeling, hearing loss, all of which I still deal with today. I was told that I would never be the same as I once was. These effects left me more sedentary than I had ever known I went from weighing 225lbs at 10% body fat to eventually tipping the scales at almost 300lbs. It wasn’t till I was about 30 that I started trying to get back in the gym, running and working out. I started dieting. I started doing triathlons and working towards eventually competing in a full Ironman triathlon. I spent countless hours training and working out. Always trying to get just a little better just a little bit closer to the athlete I once was.

Since that time my life has gone through many stages. It’s always time and wisdom from either failing or over coming life’s challenges that allows you to see the plans laid out for you well in advance. I truly have been blessed even through my trials. I’ve met a lot of great friends and reconnected with old ones on my journey to better health. I just had never been able to get that strength and overall physical health back. Well until my brother and sister in law told me to check out TNT. Thank you Mark and Angie! It’s been two years now since I’ve walked into TNT and did my first one on one with Oscar. In just those 30 mins he gave me some encouragement and confidence I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. Then stepping into the CrossFit classes with Coach Oscar, Lyndy, Ashley, Mike and eventually Courtney, they encouraged me and pushed me to challenge myself and give it a little more, go a little deeper, get a little lower (yes that’s for you Lyndy!). But it wasn’t just them, the others in the class immediately started helping build me up and encouraging me. The entire gym family helped me grow in my strength, flexibility, speed, functional fitness. Growing in a way I haven’t experienced since before my injuries. No I’m not the person I was 22 years ago, but I’m extremely encouraged and proud of the person I’ve become. No it wasn’t easy and I still have a lot to go but thanks to my family both at home and my TNT gym Family, in the words of Toby Keith, “I’m not as good as I once was but I’m as good once as I ever was!”

Thank you to the coaches and gym family at TNT for helping me get back to a physical health I haven’t seen in over 22 years.