How I was able to play soccer with my daughter again

July 28, 2021

“Daddy! Hurry up! Hurry up!”

Those words punched me in the gut. There I was, barely 31, out of breath in my own backyard.

The culprit? Playing soccer with my 4-year old daughter. How was it that my girl went from barely crawling on the floor to schooling me with a soccer ball? She’d kick the ball, we’d race after it, and I’d be winded after ten seconds.

That’s when it hit me: I needed to make a change.

I needed to get in shape.

Let’s back up a bit

I’m Mike. I’m 31 years old. I’m married to an amazing gal named Sophia, and I have a 4-year-old girl named Lucy. These two ladies are the loves of my life.

When I met Sophia back in college, I was in pretty good shape. I had played baseball in high school, and that sweet 20s metabolism kept my pants size in check even as I ate my weight each day at the dining hall. College, man.

But once I got out of school and found myself punching in a 9-5 (who’s kidding, an 8-6) with barely enough time for a walk around lunchtime, my body started to suffer the consequences. My pants got a bit tighter, going from a 34 to a 36. That 3-mile run I used to do a couple of times a week? Heck, I’d be lucky to do it once a month. 3 miles became 2 became 1.

And that’s before Lucy showed up.

Once we had Lucy, she became our world. When I wasn’t working, I was home, playing with Lucy, changing diapers, reading bedtime stories…the whole fatherhood gauntlet. She’s my everything.

And when you’ve got an everything, going for a run seems a little selfish. Who has time to run when you’ve got a baby and a job?

So that monthly run became an occasional walk, and those 36 pants became 38 pants. And it never seemed to really matter, until Lucy wanted to start playing with that soccer ball.

And then, suddenly, I found myself in a position no parent wants to find themselves (especially before their kids are in high school): my kid was faster than me. I couldn’t keep up with my kid.

Like I said: I needed to get in shape. For Lucy. For myself.

CoPilot

I wanted to get in shape, but I wanted to do it on my terms.

What were my terms:

• Flexibility

o I’m a new dad. I need to be able to take my workouts at weird times of day.

• Customization

o My body isn’t what it used to be. Jumping into something hardcore was a hospital trip waiting to happen. I needed a workout built for my body.

• 1-on-1 training

o Classes never worked for me. I need the motivation from a 1-on-1 trainer to help me stick with my plan.

• Remote training

o I didn’t want to go to the gym. I know that “judgmental gym rats” are an overblown fear of mine, but I wanted a stress-free, judgment-free zone to get in shape.

Judgment-free, 1-on-1, flexible, customized workout plans. That was what I needed. I looked into traditional trainers. Whewww. Too expensive for me.

But that’s when I discovered CoPilot.

CoPilot checked off all my boxes. It’s a flexible, fully customizable, 1-on-1 training service that matches you with your ideal trainer who curates your personalized workout plan.

How does it work? Let me walk you through it.

How does CoPilot work?

CoPilot uses remote training. This gets you world-class training at the fraction of the price of in-person training.

All you need is an apple watch or an iPhone.

Using your smart device, CoPilot tracks your movements as you go through the workout. I’m not talking just heart rate, I mean the physical motions you’re making. And let me tell you, I was making some serious mistakes. These motions are sent to your trainer, who offers you automatic corrections, enabling you to learn from your mistakes.

And it’s really your trainer talking to you.

I found that hearing my trainer giving me guidance on my workout, even at the wee hours of the night when my daughter was sleeping, really helped motivate me to keep pushing through my workouts.

Plus, in addition to these remote training sessions, you get access to weekly video chats and infinite text chat. These, unlike the remote training, happen in real-time, meaning you get live, uninterrupted access with your trainer. When you add these up with the remote, anytime workout regimen, you get an engaging, motivating workout experience.

So that’s how CoPilot works. I signed up for a free, 14-day trial, with the goal of getting back down to a size 34 in 2 months.

Did I make it?

Follow along to find out.

Week one

Ok! Week one. Downloaded the app, off to a great start!

First, I had a few questions, namely about what my fitness goals were. After taking this short quiz, I was given 3 trainers to choose from: Juan, Felix, and Sandra. I chose Juan because it seemed like he had great success in helping new parents like me achieve our fitness goals.

Juan and I decided on 3 workouts per week. I originally wanted to go for 60 minutes at a time, but after talking with Juan, we decided to start at 45 minutes, just to see how things went. If 45 was too easy, I could always push up to 60.

Workout one

Juan curated 3 workouts for week one, which I easily found on the CoPilot app. I wanted to tackle the first workout as soon as possible, but that proved easier said than done. I had to work late on Monday, so my post-work workout became a post-putting Lucy to bed workout.

It was 9 pm. Not the perfect time for a workout, but it was the only time I had.

But thanks to CoPilot, it was no big deal. I went into the app and followed through the series of workouts that Juan planned for me.

Turns out, 45 minutes is a really long time when you’re out of shape.

By minute 20, I was suffering. By minute 45, I was ready to crawl right into bed.

Throughout my workout though, even way late at night, CoPilot provided feedback and encouragement on my form, my speed, my heart rate, all of it. It kept me motivated, and helped me make each rep one that really counted.

Juan was right. 45 minutes was plenty.

End of week one

I don’t know how I managed it, but I squeezed all three workouts in! My body was sore, but nothing I couldn’t handle! In fact, I felt proud! I hadn’t been sore like that since playing baseball in high school. To me, that was immediate proof that CoPilot was working.

Week 3

Good news! My pants fit a bit better. I’m not saying I was rocking skinny jeans by week 3 (and honestly, who wears skinny jeans these days?), but I felt good. Sure, my body was a bit sore, but man, was I getting the best sleep of my life. Going to bed after a workout rocks! You hit the pillow and you’re out like a light.

Most of my workouts were after I put Lucy to bed – I found it was the only time of the day when I could squeeze these in. But that was ok. Juan provided excellent feedback through our weekly calls, and we adjusted the workouts to target my legs and my endurance, so that I could keep up with Lucy while playing in the backyard.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll coach that kid’s soccer team one day.

Week 4

Week 4 wasn’t so great. I only managed to squeeze a single measly workout in.

Dad life is hard.

And I was pretty mad at myself at first, I felt like I had fallen off the wagon. But, I realized that while I wasn’t able to get all three workouts in, I was able to play outside with Lucy a lot more easily. Running to get the ball? Not nearly as hard as before. Sure, I was still sweating through my shirts like I’d run a marathon, but “dad, hurry up” was getting replaced with “again! Again!”

Not much beats that.

And once I realized that, I knew that CoPilot was working. And I knew that CoPilot would be there for me next week, even if I didn’t get all my workouts in as I had hoped.

Week 5

Oh boy. I did something crazy.

I tried to make up for missing 2 workouts last week by doing 4 this week…all an hour long.

Juan and I talked on our video chat, and he was excited, but he cautioned me not to overdo it. He let me know that it’s important not to increase your exercise amount by more than 10% each week. But, since I insisted, he changed up the workouts to be longer, but less intense. I thought this was a good compromise.

It still kicked my butt though.

Remember how I talked about how great it was to go to bed tired. Well, this was a new level of tired. This was the “I can’t fall asleep because my muscles hurt” type of tired.

Juan was right. I pushed myself a little too hard. Mentally, I was proud of myself for going the extra mile, and it was so easy to change up those workouts with CoPilot’s customizable remote training. But physically? Whew. I needed to be careful.

So at the end of Week 5, I messaged Juan and told him I needed to recalibrate. He totally understood and helped me reorient the next few weeks of workouts.

Week eight

Two months! I finally got that pants size down from a 38 to a 36. Heck yeah!

Now, I know my original goal was to get back down to a 34, and I still really hope to get there soon, but losing a pants size was a big deal. I hadn’t gone down a size maybe ever in my life. Certainly not since college.

And while I was beyond excited about trimming down a little, that wasn’t why I started CoPilot in the first place. I did it so that I could keep up with my kid.

I didn’t want to be the dad who couldn’t practice soccer with my girl – not while I was only 31 years old.

2 months in, I could finally run laps around my backyard. Hefting my kid in the air to play helicopter? Piece of cake.

Sure made things a bit easier around the house too. Sophia certainly has appreciated having an extra set of actually capable hands to lug that vacuum around, heft those boxes into the garage – you know, the actual house stuff you’re supposed to be able to do.

2 months in, I no longer felt like dead weight. Instead, I felt like I could achieve anything.

CoPilot: my success story

I’m still using CoPilot because I’ve learned that taking just 45 minutes a couple of times a week makes a huge difference in my health. I’m stronger, no longer out of breath, and a bit slimmer than I used to be.

I had hoped to finally get down to size 34, back to my “college bod,” but that didn’t quite happen. And that’s ok. I’m a dad, and I got a dad bod. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What matters to me is being able to keep up with my kid as she plays and grows. Thanks to CoPilot, I can do that.

Juan was a godsend. By customizing my workouts each week, based on my previous performance, we were able to create unique workout plans that targeted my specific goals at the pace I needed to go.

Thanks to the remote training feature, I could do these workouts late at night, when I had free time. Fitting working out into my busy schedule is so important to me, and I’m so glad I found CoPilot for that reason.

It’s been almost three months now since I joined CoPilot, and I’m not looking back.

Here’s to many more workouts!

Mike.

More Journeys