T Nation

The Harajuku Moment


Hey Everyone,

I stole this idea from a forum that I visited. I thought this would be a great discussion. Please see below:

"...I am reading the book 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. In the book, he has a chapter called The Harajuku Moment or the catalyst that causes one to change for the better. I'm curious, what was your Hajajuku Moment that made you say enough is enough and start working out?

Bonus question: How do you keep the fires of motivation going as well?


Several things that happenned all at the same time :

1.During a walking trip thatbshould have been easy i was struggling to keep up with my partner and carry my load. I was clearly out of shape,very heavy and certainly not fit for purpose.

2.On the same trip my partner took a photo which showed me what i had turned into ie a fat overweight but skinny limbed mess.

3.A bout of clinical depression which had me thinking either change or give up and turn my face to the wall.


First moment:

I grew up skinny, soft, weak. I couldn't keep up with the other kids at any games. I was the last one picked for every team. I hated it. Was in and out of hospitals for the congenital heart condition. Had 2 cardiac catheterizations. After the second (I was 15), the doc said the condition had healed itself and I looked good. I asked if it would be OK to exercise. He looked me in the eye and said "If anything, you don't get enough exercise".

From then on, I did calisthenics in my room (no weights anywhere). When I got to college, worked with a Universal machine for several years, but nothing happened. Didn't get any stronger. Started to slide.

Second moment:

In my early 20's, took couple years of karate. Worked hard at it, attended all the classes, trained kata at home. Progressed through the belts. Finally took the brown belt test. Really worked at it, thought I did great. Found out I failed. Asked the instructor why. He hemmed & hawed & finally said "You weren't strong enough".

Walked out the door, enrolled in a gym, and have pounded mercilessly ever since.


Had a inkling something was wrong with me when I would run long distances or wrestle or basically any muscular endurance type of activity. So I learned I had to train harder for my sports at the time: Wrestling,football and boxing.

As I got older 20's and early 30's I would get tired easier than everyone else at my level Bjj,Boxing ,Sambo and MMA style fighting so I trained harder had longer camps leading up to a fight or competition.

At 32 had my first episode with Atrial Fibrilation causing me to have a minor Heart attack and go unconsious while playing Paintball. Thought it was due to Dehydration...

At 37 was diagnosed with Polysplenia had another Heart Attack and my Pacemaker was installed to keep me rhythmic and pacing (60bpm) above my normal heart rate of 30 bpm. Doctors told me flat out if I was not in the shape I was in I would have Died.

Reason I would get tired more easily when I was younger is due to the fact of having only 1 1/2 lungs and Atrial fibrilation happens over 120bpm.

So my Harajuku moment is when I realized that it was my Force of Will that kept me alive and I have a gift of teaching and a passion for fitness. So I quit my full-time job and became a PT to help people attain the extrordinary for themselves.

It kills me everytime I hear "if only I had your Genetics" I tell them that the mortality rate for my Congenital heart defect is 95% and if are alive after 20 they are severely hand-capped! LOL

I have a motto I live by: Good,better and best. Never let it rest, Make your good better and your better best

Sorry long story.


Great story fischer..


Wow...thanks everyone for sharing...all of your stories are inspiring! I know there has to be more people here at the forums that can share...stop hiding y'all! LOL