ryan_howleyBefore I met Ryan, I was incredibly self conscious about the way that I looked. I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror and felt only one thing, disappointed. I was convinced that once I reached high school, I would automatically receive the muscular physique that is so often associated with a teenage boy my age, but that notion was completely false. Everyday I would wake up hoping for a drastic change, and every morning I was again disappointed. I would try and convince myself that I didn’t look that bad, but that just made me feel even worse. My self confidence was close to non-existent and I was having trouble keeping a steady group of friends. On top of this, I didn’t have enough energy necessary to complete my school work and would end up taking two to three hour naps in order to refresh myself and continue studying. Because of this I had mild anxiety and depression issues that culminated in my missing two weeks of school at the end of my junior year. Then I met Ryan Branson.

Ryan was a very understanding guy, but he knew what I needed and pushed me through the ugly parts. I still remember the first time I lifted with Ryan, I was so embarrassed about how weak I was, but he didn’t even seem to notice, and the environment in his club was one of support, and not of judgment which also helped a lot. It was hard, and took time, but it was something I could take pride in. I was no longer sitting and waiting for change to come, I was doing something about it. There is no such thing as the miracle diet or exercise program, getting into shape takes work and dedication, however that journey was made so much easier with the guidance and support of Ryan. Now I am confident and feel strong, alert and energized. I am no longer afraid to try new things because I feel athletic enough to not look like a fool. I have made new friends and am much more relaxed in who I am and what I want to become.

This is easily on of the single most important life-altering experiences I have had to date, and I am so grateful that Ryan was the driving force behind it.