OPEX Gyms Client: Michael Boice | Cancer Survivor Turns to OPEX
OPEX Gyms Client: Michael Boice
Cancer Survivor Turns to OPEX for Answers
Michael Boice was a PhD student in New York studying cancer biology and genetics in 2011 when he got the bad news: He had stage 3 testicular cancer.
The news soon got worse. The cancer had metastasized into his liver, his neck, and his lower back.
“It put me on my back for an entire year,” said Boice, now 36 and living in California. He underwent two surgeries and four rounds of chemotherapy in 2011 before going into remission in 2012.
“One of the side effects, though, was it basically hampered my ability to do anything. I had always been fit and active. I grew up playing soccer all my life, in High School and in college, and suddenly I couldn’t do much,” he said.
“I had bad cramping in my legs all the time. I couldn’t even squat. It was really hard for me emotionally because I was used to being athletic. I was really frustrated all the time,” he added.
When he moved to California two years ago, he came across OPEX Kura (https://opexkura.com) in San Mateo and started working with Coach Melissa Guitron.
Considering what Boice had been through in recent years, he liked the idea of a personalized fitness plan, he explained.
“(Melissa) really understood what my background was, what I was dealing with, and everything is tailored to that, and to my goals and my schedule,” he said.
To say the OPEX training program is working for Boice is an understatement.
“I used to get cramps in my legs by doing any kind of squat. Now I’m lifting more, squatting more, and I credit this to Melissa,” said Boice, who can now back squat 325 lb. and deadlift 400 lb.
“When I started, even squatting 95 lb. was a struggle,” he said. “I definitely can do more than before I was diagnosed with cancer. No question.”
The monthly lifestyle consults with Guitron have been particularly useful for his development, Boice explained.
“Melissa separates (our meetings) into three categories: The next training cycle, my diet, and personal things going on in my life,” he said. “She has helped shift my diet quite a bit to more of a Paleo-type diet of meat and protein, and some healthy carbs like sweet potatoes…. My goals have been about gaining weight and muscle and strength.”
Changing his diet and getting enough fat and protein in his diet has helped the 5-foot-6 Boice increase his bodyweight from 145 lb. when he started at OPEX two years ago to 175 lb. today.
And though he’s excited about his physical progress so far, the far bigger piece of the puzzle is how Boice feels today compared to two years ago.
“I used to get super frustrated and upset that I wasn’t able to do things. It was really hard on me emotionally, really hard to swallow,” he said.
He added: “My entire outlook has changed now. I’m just a happier person overall.”