Today, I Am Me - Part One
TODAY, I AM ME....
BY: LORENZO HERNANDEZ
My name is Lorenzo Hernandez and sometimes life knocks you in the head so much that you finally stop and listen. This is the story of how I got here today. I grew up in Santa Fe, tried to finish school, but in the end was your average high school drop out at the ripe age of 16. I dabbled in sports during some of my earlier years but never pushed myself to my fullest abilities. I had no drive and no ambition to better myself.
Therefore, it’s no surprise my choices never led me back to school. Instead, it started me on my long string of dead-end jobs that supported my “I don’t give a f***” attitude. I had no real goal, I just wanted to be the “cool” kid… the kid that everyone would go to… for something… anything really. I was hungry for attention, so eventually going to social hangouts and outdoor parties peeked my interest. I was finally good at something: socializing. At least good enough to get the attention I desired.
The local fame was so good it carried on into my adulthood. I knew the whole town, I knew all the ins and outs of everybody and was constantly surrounded by impulse and selfishness… and I was directly in the center of it all. It was just the attention I had always longed for. But there was more to be had. So I crossed the line of the law and started pushing small weight around town.
Lightweight eventually turned to heavy weight. My successes moved me from Santa Fe to Austin where the lavish lifestyle followed suit. My life was a 24-7 party which had no end in sight. Silly me… January 9th, 2009, you could say shit got real. That night, a very large package made it into the wrong hands: Those of the Texas Drug Task Force. That’s when the Federal Indictment started to slowly build upon me and my partners.
I left Austin for San Diego in February of 2009 thinking I could fly under the radar, and just maybe the Texas DEA would move on. But I was already in over my head, I was just too blind to see it. Even still, my brush with the law was the wake up call I never saw coming. The one you can’t set your alarm for. I left the drug hole I was in, started to slow down on the booze and work a normal job. I began surfing and was enjoying life more than I ever had before. I was grateful for every little thing, and compared to the lifestyle I had just left, it was very little. But I was happy and I hadn’t felt like that in who knows how long. I was excited about getting healthy. Deep down inside I always knew I was a different man, I had just kept making the wrong choices and it had been leading me further and further away from the real me.
In November of ‘09 I was introduced to CrossFit at US CrossFit in Encinitas, CA. My first thought was “Meh, this looks boring…” as I was already very experienced in traditional lifting. But I said “Fuck it,” and went to a class. I believe the first exercise we learned was the damn burpee! We ran a mile to the beach, made lines in the sand 25 meters apart, ran back and forth and did 10 burpees for 20 minutes. I was instantly hooked.
You know sometimes when you’re going about your life and you start to daydream, you kind of wander off into visions of the future and different ideas or such? Well I would, and for some crazy reason I couldn’t see anything past the day that just happened. Just blank and desolate. Being that present was amazing but I knew something was missing… or coming.
On June 28th, 2010 that blank desolate space from TX came smashing through my door looking for me. That was the day everything became very fucking clear. I was going to prison for 60 months. I spent the next 3 months in different facilities until I got bonded out and moved back to Santa Fe. I immediately ran into my dear friend, Tait Fletcher, and he offered to let me train at CrossFit Santa Fe until I had to turn myself in. So for the next 3 months I trained hard and heavy. I loved every minute of it. It helped me stay in the present moment and kept my mind off the inevitable near future.
When you’re driving yourself to a 60 month sentence, the feeling really doesn’t register. I knew I was leaving my family, my loved ones, and my life, but I had to keep myself centered. I had to keep myself strong because the look on a mother’s face had wounded my heart deeply and I knew I had to make things right. My choice was to make a difference in my life and those around me. My desire was to be the man I knew I was deep down.