“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”
– Tommy Lasorda
What does it take to become the top Expresso rider in the world? Jason Baker of Anytime Fitness in Salisbury Downs, Australia can answer that question.
When the Top 100 was introduced early last month, it marked the first time that teams of virtual cyclists could see how they were doing compared to their peers around the globe. When I found how many miles Jason Baker had ridden, my jaw dropped. I asked him to tell me a little bit about himself, expecting to learn that he was an ultra-marathoner or fitness nut. Instead, I found out that Jason was simply determined. Determined to overcome injuries and health problems. Determined to reach a goal that he had laid out for himself weeks before we met. Determined to ride more than anyone else. I hope his story inspires you like it has me:
— FROM JASON —
I have been overweight for the last 15 years. I used to play sports all the time, basketball, rugby, and Australian rules football, but I had to have several operations on my feet as my joints grew incorrectly and started to be too painful. The first operation seemed to go okay, but after a few short months I was back in again for another, and then another. I couldn’t play sports anymore — I couldn’t do much of anything. Life changed and I started putting weight on over the years.
I had been a member at Anytime Fitness for over a year but never really used my membership. In September of this year I decided to make a change. On the 17th I started myself on a program. I exercised, worked hard, and stuck to it. I saw the Expresso bikes at the gym but never used them. I would ride the other bikes but it felt like I wasn’t achieving anything.
This is where things changed. Dylan, the manager, was talking to me and said I should try out the Expresso bikes as he knew I rode a lot. He told me they really make you work hard and how they keep track of everything you do. He also told me about the competitions they run with the bikes so this way I could be rewarded for my efforts. I thought I would give the bike a go.
“WOW” is what I remember saying after riding the campus loop track. It was so different and I loved being able to look at the watts, RPMs, speed, Calories, and heart rate all on one screen at the same time. Also,the gear changing takes place rapidly. As I have issues with my feet when I exert too much pressure, they can start to hurt but as soon as I change the gear down on the Expresso bike, it is automatic. With some bikes I have used in the past, I have to stop peddling and wait for the gears to finish shifting.
I was hooked and disappointed that I didn’t get on these bikes earlier. I love how I can track everything online. I like to set goals for myself and sometimes forget to write them down or take a picture of my efforts. Now it’s one less thing I have to worry about.
The thing that motivates me the most is that I have Type 2 Diabetes and I am overweight. I have had health issues for so long I can’t remember what it was like to have a healthy lifestyle. I let myself go. It got to the point where my cholesterol was very high, my triglyceride levels were the highest the doctors have ever seen in someone my age, and my blood sugar was slowly killing me.
Next month, I will be moving to another State to study. I knew with the health issues that I had I wouldn’t be able to do it as I was spending a lot of my days visiting specialists, having blood work done, or other assessments.
I started my journey on the 17th of September and weighed 275.35lbs (124.9kg). At the ten week mark I currently weigh 216.27lbs (98.1kg). 22lbs of that weight loss is due to the Expresso bike. I wished I had changed machines earlier. I still have another 3 weeks left on the program I created and am hoping to see some good results at the finish.
Jason has been documenting his journey on Facebook! Please give him a like and some encouragement to keep riding! Here is the link: 91 Day Weight Loss Challenge