How a Sole Elliptical Helped Jon Take His Life Back

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100%…Last fall, I was told by a former friend that he was, “100% certain I couldn’t go on a diet and lose weight.”  Over the past 11 months, that comment stayed with me. I used it as inspiration, motivating me to lose 140 pounds since January 1st.

I was a 33-year-old, 400 pound, pack-a-day smoker. I was downing Chinese food, pizza, Mountain Dew and boneless chicken wings like it was my job. I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in my knees in August.  Wholesale changes were in order.  I walked away from cigarettes at midnight January 1st and started Weight Watchers for Men the following day.  All that remained was coming up with an exercise routine that would stick.  I had never used an elliptical, but felt it was the best idea considering the damage I had done to my knees over the years.  I did some research online, found Sole, and by the middle of January was bounding for glory.  Parking in the middle of my living room, the elliptical was impossible to ignore.  I figured, put it somewhere I couldn’t ‘conveniently forget about it”.

Jon Street

Jon Street Before

Over the next couple weeks, I mixed in kettle-bells, mace-bells, and steel clubs from Onnit.  I also mixed in elevation training through the use of a training maskThe variety kept me interested. Doing whatever felt good at the time, I had no official routine.  I’d sometimes go a week or two without swinging a kettle-bell, but I’d still use my elliptical 3-5 times a week, even if it was just for warm up or cool down. By August, I had lost enough weight and strengthened my leg muscles enough to actually run outside.  Far different from using the elliptical, I lasted .75 miles before experiencing “digestive pyrotechnics” on the sidewalk.  I didn’t care.  After roughly 34 years of treating my body like an amusement park, I had taken my life back. 

Jon Street

Jon Street Now at ‘Tough Mudder’

The pinnacle of my journey came on October 19th when six friends and I completed my first Tough Mudder.  Outside of meeting and marrying my wife, it ranks as one of the best experiences of my life.  I can’t even really put into words what it meant to me. Eleven months prior, I was having to catch my breath after walking up the 14 steps in my house.  The thought of running 10+ miles never crossed my mind, let alone all the obstacles involved. It’s a feeling of pride that I will never forget; I’m 100% certain…

Since finishing my event, I have decided to get a season pass to participate in as many Tough Mudder events that my work schedule will permits. I’ll also be attempting my first half marathon in December.


We couldn’t be any more proud to have Jon not only as a customer, but also as a contributor to our blog. We’ll be staying with him on his journey– he’s done such an amazing job already, it’s truly inspirational. If you have questions for Jon, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll be sure to be in touch. If you’re having doubts about your ability to get healthy- remember Jon’s story– we know we will! -Sole Team


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