Nick Coffmanis 34 years old and his current title is Field Operations Supervisor/Paramedic. He was one of the finalists in the FFR Challenge.
Nick came to his first workout at Fit First Responders at the heaviest weight he had ever been…350 pounds! He was never any kind of athlete, and the idea of a gym environment was not something in which he was comfortable. He says, “I didn’t feel like that was something that was ‘fit’ for me.”
Mentally Nick was at a low point. In 2015 he became very ill when his colon ruptured and gave him an infection. He had several hospital visits, the longest lasting almost a month. He had to get a colostomy. He had home health nurses who had to visit him at home to help care for him. He was on antibiotics for three months and sat with a resting heart rate of 120 BPM. He spent every day sitting in the chair, until he moved to the bed. Then, back to the chair. Nick shares, “I felt like I had lost my identity. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t take care of my family. I couldn’t participate in most things with my family, even sitting at the table with them for meals. When my body healed, the mind didn’t. I would spend each day, trying to “run out the clock” until I could get back in bed. I pulled away from friends and my family.”
Nick shares his story on video:
At work Nick was going through the motions. He spent each shift continuing to run out the day. He didn’t want to be there. He says, “I had embraced the negative mindset and surrounded myself with the types of influences that supported my negativity.”
FFR brought many changes for Nick. Physically he is down 60 pounds and feels much better. He explains, “I feel confident I can do my job on the physical side for the first time in years. Before, I didn’t feel like I belonged with the other responders. Today, I can hold my head up and walk along side them. I am down three pants sizes… Three shirt sizes!”
Nick is mentally is better than he has ever been. He explains, “I look at my life and career and see only possibility. I look back at the guy I use to be and don’t even know how to relate to him. It feels like a whole other life now.”
Nick shares, “I am so blessed to be part of the FFR family. The support has been amazing. My family is overjoyed with the change they have seen in me. My kids love having Dad back in there life. My wife is excited for the changes I have made. We are closer than we have ever been before. Our relationship is stronger than ever.“
Recently Nick’s family unit was tested again. He shares, “My son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. We had to go to Memphis for testing and surgery. It was devastating for us. We were able to stand strong and he is now on the mend. The mental strength I learned in the program is something I was able to fall back on, when I was overwhelmed with the events. I was able to share and process my feelings, and not lock them up like I would have in the past. The foundation I laid through the FFR program and the support of family and friends made that possible.”
Nick finds he is more motivated and driven than ever before at work. He can see possibilities for the future of his career, instead of looking to the end of the shift. He is looking to the future on how to continue to grow in the field.
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