“Never say that you can't do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can't be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.” – Mike Watson
The brick walls are there for a reason.
You can let them win… let them conquer you… or you can fight like hell to move through them. That’s exactly why one of APEMAN’s central philosophies is to never give up. Ever.
Every part of you is in the fight. There will be no quit. There is ONLY FORWARD.
APEMAN Bryan Watson has encountered a plethora of brick walls in his life – including some that seemed insurmountable.
“In my 36 years of life, I’ve seen more than a lot of people will see in their lifetime,” Bryan said. “I grew up an only child to a single mom. We lived with my grandparents who would watch me while my mom worked to help pay for expenses. She did a great job and taught me that hard work pays off. I started working at the age of 14 and worked part-time through high school. I tried college, and failed, and that’s when I enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in August of 2001.”
Joining the Coast Guard was Bryan’s way of committing to something greater than himself – something he knew he needed to do. He signed on the dotted line and promised them four years. But he never imagined he’d experience what happened next.
“When I joined, that was the first time I was placed on a scale in a serious fashion,” he said. “They told me I was too heavy to ship out and I needed to lose weight. It was the first ever weight issue I encountered. It was humbling, but I started to eat better, running and building my strength.”
Bryan served honorably for nearly five years. However, once his time in the Coast Guard was up, Bryan let himself go again. He started to eat whatever he wanted, began smoking cigarettes and his weight skyrocketed.
Knowing a change needed to be made, Bryan applied for a job in law enforcement. This time, the brick wall that Bryan encountered was a literal one.
“I still wasn’t that concerned with my weight at the time,” he said. “But in the academy, we were required to meet a Police Officer Physical Aptitude Test (POPAT), which consists of multiple physical tests. One of the tests is to go over a 6-foot solid wall. I didn’t make it. Even after several attempts.”
Bryan immediately thought back during his time in the Coast Guard when he would see or hear about people being so out of shape that if a partner was hurt, they would die because you couldn’t help them.
“That was an eye-opener, again,” Bryan said. “I eventually passed the test and became a police officer. But after about six years as a police officer, I let myself get heavy. Again. I was at a place of eating my feelings or as most call it, ‘stress eating,’ and drinking often.”
Working as a law enforcement officer is insanely difficult. Needless to say, being a cop can take its toll on you. Bryan says the evil and sadness he saw on a daily basis was mentally and physically exhausting. At this point, Bryan had married his high school sweetheart and had a son. Once again at brick wall, albeit a metaphorical one, Bryan was faced with another life-altering decision.
“I saw how large I looked in pictures with my son,” Bryan said. “This was the tipping point. I was at 319 pounds. I was on blood pressure medication and felt tired all the time – literally all of the time.”
Bryan knew he needed to change. And that’s exactly what he did.
He dug down deep and found a program that teaches you how to eat better. He learned how to discipline himself, eat healthy and focus on adding years to his life. Over the course of the past year, he’s lost 85 pounds and become a better husband and father.
He credits APEMAN and Ryan Bader as the central motivating figures in his journey.
“I’ve followed APEMAN and Ryan Bader for years,” he said. “Seeing Bader represent a brand that means to dominate and be bold is amazing. Now it is my turn to pursue health, be a better me and get that Bader bod! I am working hard every single day to be APEMAN STRONG. It helps me stay focused and keep my head up.”
On behalf of all of us at APEMAN, thank you for your service, Bryan.
We have no doubt you’ll get that Bader bod in no time.