J. Mykel will never forget the day his fitness transformation began: March 15, 2013. As he was pushing his team's race bike from the paddock to Pit Row at Daytona International Speedway, he almost dropped the machine before it even saw the track. He was so winded and out of shape that he had jeopardized the weekend's racing before they even got started. Coming in at 250 lbs., J. Mykel considered this a low point in his life. At 6'4", he was wearing XXL & 3XL shirts and a 40" waist. At this point, he knew he to make a change. In the beginning, he changed his diet by eating 6 small meals per day. He started making better dietary choices and quickly lost 40lbs in 3 months. Although he continued to enjoy his favorite craft beers and meals on the weekends, he was actually starting to read nutritional labels and beginning to understand what he was eating and how it affected his body. Later that summer, he decided to attempt a 5K race. He completed the Ditka Dash along Chicago's lakefront in November, but not after setting his sights on another challenge. November 2, 2013, he heard about the Spartan Race at Miller Park. As a Milwaukee Brewers fan, he was quickly motivated to enter the race and accepted the challenge. After all, he would get the opportunity to see the underbelly of Miller Park! After checking out Spartan Races on YouTube, he realized he would need to improve his strength if he truly intended to complete the race. In February, he joined local gym Dynamic Fitness (DFC) and began strength training. Before he could even really begin his fitness transformation, he was very nearly derailed. A fellow gym mate, Heather, was training for her 1st National NPC competition at the same time. He was struggling, but completing his bicep curls. Heather asked if she could use the same dumbbells he was using and easily busted out her sets of curls. He was devastated, but viewed the experience as a lesson, and a stepping-stone to another adventure. That year, he completed the Warrior Dash in June and following conversations with some others training at the DFC, he joined Team Motiv8nU Elite with the intention of competing in a Men's Physique show before turning 44. That gave him exactly one year to prepare for the extension of his fitness transformation into his bodybuilding debut. When he joined the team, he weighed 206 and was eating approximately 2000 calories per day. His coach, Staci Boyer, increased his calories to 3500 and began the process of building muscle. He had many struggled with bulking, as he was putting back on the weight he had just worked so hard to lose. After many conversations, he understood and began to trust the process.
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