Sandy Springs Member of the Month for April 2016: Mark Shields
Mark Shields has come a long way. It wasn’t long ago that his doctor told him that it was imperative that he take action to improve his health.
“I started walking 20 mins a day at the recommendation of my doctor and eating better (more leafy green foods, eating less overall) at the recommendation of my dietician back in March 2015. Day by day I walked further in those 20 mins until I eventually felt I should start interval jogging. I spent 6 months training to run a 5k using two different couch to 5k programs. Two months after I started BJJ, I ran my first and last 5k in ~38 mins. I gave up jogging for full-time BJJ”
For Mark, it wasn’t just about his health but also about improving the quality of his life.
“I wanted to find a sport that would keep me engaged in regular, routine exercise and my weight loss journey (I found it!). I’ve lost 35 pounds since I started.
I was also looking for increased flexibility, endurance, and strength for sport bike riding. I had the biggest grin when I threw my leg over my bike; three months of training made a huge difference.”
Hearing Mark’s testimony is what keeps us excited about what we do. His excitement about his life improvements is what we strive for, and Mark is a prime example of what SBG is all about.
“I enjoy the approach SBG takes to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu; coaches are fair and supportive yet still challenging. I can always count on class to help me unwind and process the day, even if that day has been particularly tough. I’ve gained self-discipline, fitness, friends, and self defense; there’s no reason you can’t have the same. And of course, we always need more white belts.”