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Athlete Blog

Paul Lacoste Sports: Changing Mississippi

By | 2015, Athlete Blog, Fit 4 Change, Health Tips | No Comments

When I first met Paul and Clark, I weighed over 350lbs and things got off to a rocky start on day one of my very first session. At the check in at Milsaps College you were supposed to say your name so they could check you off the list. Clark had his head down when I walked up and said, “Last name Ever, first name Greatest” – he flipped page after page and got frustrated that he couldn’t find the name – so then I said, “Well, you may find it under Neely, Daryl which is essentially the same meaning.” Now we all know Clark to be “The Nice One”, well on day one I succeeded in turning the “The Nice One” into the “Incredible Hulk”. It was so rough that I almost said screw this and walked out – and 5 years and well over a 100 lbs. later, I still haven’t walked-out, thanks to Paul Lacoste Sports (PLS) and especially my fellow teammates. The thing about working-out is that you can convince yourself that you’re giving it your all.

The thing about training with PLS is that you WILL give it your all because your teammates and coaches will not allow otherwise. And because you’re giving extraordinary effort, you get extraordinary results.

I honestly believe that PLS saved my life. I wasn’t on any medications or having any health issues that I was aware of, but looking back on it my quality of life and potential quantity of life was low- very low. PLS changed that. Dropping the weight, keeping it off and making a lifestyle change has actually been pretty easy. Easy because just like the other things that you’re most successful at in your life – you don’t do it alone. Yes, you can replicate the workouts of PLS. Yes, you can do the same drills. But nothing replaces the motivation and pushing you to give it your all like having teammates does.

Being pushed to the NEXT LEVEL by your coaches and being in the trenches with others really brings the best and the beast out of you. At PLS, you’re never alone in the deal. At PLS, no one is going to lie to you to spare your feelings.

At PLS, you’re going to get pushed to and through the truth. And the truth is, you can go to the NEXT LEVEL. One drill, one station, one day, one week at a time. And that same attitude goes with you the rest of the day.

You find you somebody you can’t keep up with, and you give it your all to keep up with them. One day you pass them, and you just don’t set your sights on keeping up with the next person – you also encourage the person you caught up with to keep fighting and pass you. Sounds crazy, but it works.

PLS has provided me with a new lease on life. I’m healthier. I’m happier. I’m faster. I’m stronger. And that’s not just in the physical sense. PLS is mental. Very mental. The 5:00 a.m. workout sets the tone for the rest of the day. For the most part, nothing the rest of the day is as tough as that hour, but the rest of the day is more rewarding because that hour was so tough. When it’s done, you can’t wait to get out of there. But when the twelve week session ends, you can’t wait for the next session to start-up.

Paul often talks about the “ripple effect” of PLS; when you stick to it people will see the change in you and they will also begin to change – even if they don’t join PLS. In the past five years, my daughters have embraced healthier eating choices. The oldest even became a vegetarian on her own. My son loves to go to the gym with me and asks about drills and workouts. My girlfriend and I often do fasts or smoothie cleanses together, as well as encourage each other to eat right. And my mother, who has smoked my entire life, not only quit smoking and has stuck with it, but she purchased and now regularly rides her stationary. None of these things “just happened” – they are ripples of PLS. On some level it is all connected and attached to the PLS program and my participation in the program. The “ripple effect” is real. If you change, and stick with it, people around you will start to change too – even if it’s never spoken.

PLS can change Mississippi – I know because it changed me.

C. Daryl Neely

Fellow Athletes Blog About PLS

By | 2015, Athlete Blog, Fit 4 Change | No Comments

My Fit2Fat2Fit Blog is the journal of an awkward, unnatural “athlete” who is trying to live a healthier life for his wife, kids and community. Yes, that’s me. I write about my nearly daily struggles to stay fit.

I guess I should tell how it all got started.

I have been an on-and-off athlete nearly my whole life. In my early 40’s, I got serious about exercise after a family member had heart surgery. I even trained for and ran The Marine Corps Marathon in 2010 (and raised $13,000 for melanoma research). I weighed 195lbs. and had a 36-inch waist. At 42, I was in the best shape of my life.

Then the wheels came off.

When I got home, I was made part-time and had to take a second job to survive. I was required to come into the office before 6 a.m. and didn’t get off from my other job until 7 p.m. that night. I was depressed and exhausted. So I ate fast food and drank soda for the cheap energy to keep me going. In less than a year, I had gone from running a marathon to not being able to walk up a flight of stairs. I had gained over 50 lbs. and my waist had ballooned to 42 inches.

I was the poster child for a heart attack — and was stressed, angry, fat and miserable. That’s when Paul Lacoste and my wife did an intervention on me.

Paul’s son went to Amy’s school and one day in carpool, he told her he really wanted to train me. She since she really didn’t want to bury me, she encouraged me to sign up for his bootcamp. So within a week, I was at Jackson State, in line 8 and thinking I was going to die anyway. (When Paul said train, I think he meant make me feel like I had been hit by a train.) To get through it, I began writing a daily blog about my PLS misadventures. I was brutally honest and talked about my failures as well as my successes. Within two weeks, Paul moved me to Line 2. I died another death. But my body began to respond. And the weight melted off.

By the end of the 12 weeks, I had lost the 50 lbs. I was back.

Life didn’t get any easier. But it got better. I was fired from the radio job (I now have a new one I enjoy). I have written a couple of books. I travel. And I have a good relationship at my morning job. I am now busier than ever. But now I am ready for it. I eat better. I gave up sugary sodas. My mood is better. And I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in — even better than when I ran the marathon.

Yes, I’m still writing about it. Running and PLS allow me the opportunity to not only train for fitness, they also provide me a level of mental toughness I’ve never had before. I also see more of life’s wisdom. My fitness has opened up new worlds for me.

Paul talks about the Next Level a lot. I’ve tried to define it a few times but let me just say this, the Next Level is when you have the strength and friends to handle anything life throws at you. Like Paul said this morning, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” Life occasionally punches me in the mouth. But I have the strength to get back up and keep going.

That’s why I exercise and write about it. Because I never want a Fit2Fat2Fit2Fat blog. (And I enjoy having a 34-waist.)

You can read my blogs at