First off, let me explain the reason for the title of my column. For the past 12 years football has played a huge role in my life. From barely touching the field in Grade 9, to playing in front of thousands of fans at Alumni Stadium in Guelph, to walking off the field after being beaten by McMaster in the 2012 Yates Cup, football, especially over the last 5 and a half years is what I lived for. There are 3 downs in Canadian football and I will be writing 3 columns throughout my time participating in NAL Insurances Healthy Trucker pilot program. My goal in the program is to drop 30 LBS. The column will provide some insight to what I am changing, interactions with my dietician and fitness coach provided by NAL and just general updates on how I am progressing towards my goal.
I played offensive line for 5 years for the Guelph Gryphons. It is necessary at the university level that successful offensive lineman are Big and Strong. When I was recruited out of high school I was around 265 LBS and one of the bigger kids in the high school football loop in Haldimand Norfolk. On my recruiting visits to different universities, a standard question from coaches was “Can you get up to 280 or 290 before training camp in 10 months?” I couldn’t just gorge Big-Macs, I needed to get bigger, but I also needed to get stronger and fitter to make the team in the fall. When my first training camp rolled around I was 280 pounds. I competed for a dress spot my first year but didn’t see any game action. I hit the gym hard all season and off-season and by my second training camp I was just under 300 lbs. and made some serious gains with the amount of weight I was lifting and my speed and quickness. I played in 7 games my 2nd year at U of G. Over the next 3 years I started every game and played at anywhere between 295 and 315 pounds. I had to be that big. I went up against opponents that were anywhere from 260-345 and I needed to be able to move them to make space for our running back or stop them from getting to our Quarterback. I had an amazing time playing for the Gryphons, made some awesome memories and had great teammates. I wouldn’t change a thing from my time at Guelph (other than reversing the finish of the 2012 Yates Cup and having us come out as champions).
Now that my playing days are over, there is no need for me to be weighing 300+ pounds. It’s time to cut down. I had a great routine going once back at work full time in January. I was at the gym 3 or 4 times a week before work and I was down about 12 lbs. It was all good until NHL Playoffs rolled around and I was staying up until 1:00am on a regular basis to catch all the games. Because of this I wanted the extra sleep in the morning and stopped with the morning workouts. It’s been harder than I thought to get back in the routine.
When the folks from NAL approached me about being part of the Healthy Trucker Pilot Program I jumped at the opportunity. It’s a great program they’ve put together. They provide a dietician that works with you on an individual basis, a fitness coach, and most important for me, this program provides motivation. In the past, my motivation has been the fact that if I didn’t eat right and hit the gym hard, I could lose my starting spot on the field. I don’t like failure, and this program forces me to set a goal and do whatever I can to achieve that goal. In football games the offense starts with the ball and they’re in a first and 10 situation. Let’s pretend I jumped offside twice, pushing the offense back 20 yards and I’m starting at first and 30!
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Guelph, Richardson played five years of football for the Gryphons captaining the team in his last 3 years. He started working in the trucking industry at age 5 washing trucks and 20 years later his career is now in the industry with KRTS and The Rear View Mirror