Colin wants you to realize that you can do whatever you set your mind to. He is living proof! as someone who used to be extremely obese, he made the decision to change his life. Life is all about balance—and cheese fries, funny movies, and cycling are perfect examples of that! Ride with Colin if you want a challenging dance party with killer music!
Colin Korsmo “had a doctor look me dead in the face and say, ‘If you do not change everything about your life right now, you’re going to be dead by 25.'”
Colin Korsmo celebrates each birthday with a tattoo.
“My most recent one is this rose on my arm,” he said, having been freshly inked to celebrate his quarter century milestone.
The rose, too, is a symbol for new beginnings.
Korsmo added, “I use it actually to cover up some scars that I have.”
Scars from a time when life was wrapped with more thorns than flowers.
“I had a doctor look me dead in the face and say, ‘If you do not change everything about your life right now, you’re going to be dead by 25,'” said Korsmo, who was born and raised in a small town outside of Amarillo.
“Everyone goes through a struggle,” Korsmo said, before peeling back layers of his life’s journey.
He graduated high school weighing close to 300 pounds.
“I’ve been on every diet: I’ve been on South Beach; I’ve been on Weight Watchers; I’ve been on Atkins,” he said, describing his frustrated efforts.
Shame weighed down Korsmo even further.
“I was a pack a day chain-smoker. I was also a massive whiskey drinker.” His voice trailed off, “I hit a really bad low back in 2012.”
By age 18, Korsmo had high blood pressure, was hooked on pills and found himself giving up on life.
“I just remember having breakdown after breakdown of why am I not good enough? Why am I still fat? Why am I still miserable? Why am I still taking anti-depressants and drinking and chain-smoking? Why am I doing all of this?” Korsmo became one of 13 percent of adolescents to experience some type of major depressive episode.
While it seemed impossible to rebound, on a whim Korsmo tried an indoor cycling class.
“It was at 6:30 in the morning,” he recalled. “I remember feeling like I was about to die! I was like, I can’t do this. I was so close to leaving.”
But he didn’t leave.
“I didn’t grow up in fitness,” Korsmo said. “I didn’t even grow up doing a sport. Really, it was just the right timing, and ever since then it’s just been non-stop.”
With support from therapy and surrounded by friends making healthy life choices, Korsmo set small intentions for himself– including the goal of becoming a spin instructor.
“For someone to stand up [in class] and be vulnerable and say, ‘hey this wasn’t always me … it took years and it took work,’ — I think to be that real… most people can relate with,” said friend Brandy Leyva.
Fellow fitness instructor Angelica Walters applauded Korsmo’s consistent effort.
“The fact that he wakes up every day and decides to be healthy is awesome,” Walters said. “That’s something to look up to. Now, he’s motivating other people to do the same.”
Korsmo quit smoking last year and stopped yo-yo dieting.
“I am under 200 pounds for the first time since probably… since I was a fetus,” Korsmo joked, acknowledging his weight at 195, but adding that it’s not all about the number.
“Being healthy and being fit aren’t about looking good,” Korsmo said. “It’s about feeling good. I feel great. Every single day, I wake up like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it!'”
Korsmo turned 25 in March, and as a nod to that doctor, he celebrated by teaching a 6 a.m. spin class.
“I’m sitting here on this podium, teaching class, and motivating people when seven years ago, someone said to me that I shouldn’t even be alive,” Korsmo said with tears welling in his eyes.
His story of struggle may not entirely be over — and he’s okay with that. A gentle reminder inked on his arm that it’s not about being perfect, but instead about being present.