Terry Chen: The Tortoise, Not the Hare

The first time Terry joined Reason in 2015, his goal was strictly to lose weight. He had been training at 24 Hour Fitness, but he felt that they focused on developing muscles for aesthetics, and was very interested in Reason’s functional fitness approach. He trained at Reason for 2 solid years. It was the fittest time of his life, because he was focused on losing that weight and doing so as fast as possible (like a “Rounds for Time”-type workout). He victoriously achieved his goal weight and felt he was the fittest he’d ever been.

But all it took to halt his progress was needing a minor operation on his leg, and Terry stopped his regular workouts at the gym. “I sort of used it as an excuse not to come to CrossFit anymore; I stopped working out,” he recalls. Terry’s fitness deteriorated. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, he found himself sitting around at home, unhealthy and extremely depressed. As the infected rates in LA rose and there was still no vaccine developed, he read that the high risk group for COVID was largely people who were unhealthy. He witnessed a family member get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. 

In a moment of self-reflection, Terry realized something – while he had no control over the circumstances of the pandemic, the one thing he did have control over was getting healthy again. “Instead of being depressed, I realized I could look at things positively,” Terry remembers. He then asked himself, “How can I make the best of this?” Then he went back to Reason.

Terry came back in June 2020 when Reason was running workouts outside in accordance with COVID-19 protocol. A lot had changed, and so had Terry. He talked out a plan with Drew, his Hybrid coach. This time, he didn’t focus on losing weight as fast as possible, but rather on building a good foundation. The first 6 months, he’d dial in on counting macros for gaining muscle and attempt to reach Women’s Rx programming! His entire nutrition plan changed, too – eating more to fuel his workouts and energy during the day, not to limit his calorie intake. This outlook went from the as fast as possible hare mentality to steady and sustainable tortoise. It was a challenge to return to discipline. “The first 6 months of going back to logging my food and feeling guilty about it was more harsh than any of the workouts,” Terry says with a laugh. It was a very mental process, but Drew continued to give him achievable goals every week with just the right amount of accountability, and Terry stuck with it. 

It’s been a year so far, and with every step forward, Terry’s winning his race. He looks back to the first time he hit his goal weight in 2015, and notes that he lost both fat and muscle on his aggressive sprint to lose weight. This time around, Terry’s Inbody scans are consistently showing that he hasn’t lost half a pound of muscle over the year, but he has been losing fat. He looks at CrossFit as more of a lifestyle instead of a means to an end now. He continues to appreciate the Rx standards in the programming because they give him something to strive for, as they’re not easy to achieve. Terry gives a shout-out to the Reason community: there are times when he wants to give up during a workout, but he chooses to keep going, because he knows other people around him are busting their behinds during the workout, too. 

Behind that mask is Terry’s smiling, positive face and some very good advice to all of you out there pursuing health and fitness: 

Be honest with yourself as you work towards your reason, whatever moves you. Figure out what you really want and stick to it. Be honest when you log what you’re eating. There are a lot of ways to get fit, but there are few ways to do so in a way that lasts. Be mentally prepared — losing fat, gaining muscle, hitting Rx goals — that all of these things can and should take time, and not be rushed.

Because, as we all know, slow and steady wins the race.

[Note: Terry thanks the coaches for paying attention to us. Particularly Drew, thank you for adjusting your coaching style to my needs and mentoring/accountability. I’m very appreciative of being able to work with you to reach my goals.]

Schedule Your free intro
Talk with a coach about your goals, get the plan to achieve them.


fill out the form below to get started!

Take the first step towards getting the results you want!

Learn more about our privacy & cookie policy.

This website or its third-party tools process personal data.
You may opt out by using the link

learn more about our membership options

Fill out the form below to get started.

Learn more about our privacy & cookie policy.