What is your name and age?
My name is Alain Mikael Frankiewicz, and the spelling of my name was inspired by the French race car driver; and, yes I like to drive fast! I am 41 years young.
When did you join Elite MMA?
I joined Elite MMA on April 4, 2018.
Why did you decide to start taking martial arts?
My overall goal was to become healthier and more fit again after a long hiatus from exercise. Specifically, I wanted to build strength in my atrophied muscles and lose excess weight piled on due to lack of exercise and a plethora of medications. I have a rare medical condition called exercise induced urticaria. This condition causes me to have anaphylactic reactions to any level of exercise recently after eating. I tried various medications, steroids, inhalers, antihistamines, and not eating 4-6 hours before any activities. My doctors informed me that the best treatment for me was cessation of exercise as well as avoiding any stressful activities, including temperature changes, and emotional stress. Like that is possible-right? My thoughts exactly when I learned about my condition at the ripe age of 27.
Even though I was born and raised in Houston Texas, at the time, I was living up North playing and coaching ice hockey. After a year of close death encounters from anaphylaxis while exercising, I returned home, where I was officially diagnosed and began a treatment regime of several medications, including prednisone steroids. To top it off my doctors prescribed no exercise as I was experiencing severe hives and breathing problems just walking from the car into a location. In addition, I developed other severe food and environmental allergies.
Of course, I was in denial and tried to continue to exercise for several more years resulting in numerous hospitalizations and yet more waves of steroids and other medications. Over a decade of frustration, mutiny by my body, mental anguish, and lethargy flew by until I had become someone unrecognizable to myself. Growing up I never had any medical issues and I played competitive ice hockey at the highest level, including the Division I collegiate level, National team and Olympic team. So, naturally, I was like most children/young adults who believe their body is invincible and they can conquer the world. In fact, my passion and love of sport was my way of life as I was coaching at the Division I level until my acute medical condition showed up for no known reason and forced me to leave the sport, career, identity, and physical life that I had cultivated over the years.
In short, there are a myriad of reasons why I wanted to start taking martial arts but I think at the core of my decision was the hope that I could find a sport that allowed me to exert energy through controlled physical movements while enjoying the spirit of a team again without exciting a medical reaction. Also, it helped that the gym is considerably cooler than the outside temperature and there are fans!
In the past what had caused you not to take martial arts?
Although I played a stereotypical ‘rough’ sport of ice hockey, which at the NHL level, may include many fights, I was not much of a person to enter a boxing match on or off the ice. I thought martial arts was about taking down an opponent, which included karate kid style bloody battles and broken bones. So, my naive perception of the sport, coupled with my other interests led me elsewhere for sport.
Is this your first time taking martial arts and what classes do you take?
Yes, this is my first time taking martial arts and I mostly enjoy the Kickboxing class. However, I have tried out other classes like Fight fit, Self-Defense, and Jiu Jitsu classes. All the instructors are really great and all the classes have been a lot of fun.
If you had any concerns about joining Elite MMA, what helped you with your decision?
For me, if you can imagine, I had a lot of concerns, but all the staff members were very helpful at Elite MMA. First, I was allowed to try out some classes, including a personal one-on-one lesson for free, without any commitments. This was especially important for me considering the unpredictable nature of my medical condition. Also, I think the flexibility of my membership to honor my medical condition as well as to train at any of the four different locations was very appealing and ultimately drove my decision.
Since you have been a part of Elite, please share what you have been able to accomplish?
Prior to Elite MMA, I had been walking at Memorial Park, but I did not really see the results I wanted in terms of physical benefits and my appearance. I knew I wanted more muscle to burn more fat so I actively sought out Elite MMA. Since joining Elite MMA, I also went to a nutritionist because of my condition with exercise and food. My Elite MMA regime coupled with clean eating resulted in almost 50 pounds of weight loss. I have accomplished a more sculpted and shaped body as a result of the targeted moves in class. So, overall, I have been able to work out at a more rigorous level fairly consistent again, gained strength, toned my muscles, and lost a considerable amount of weight.
Anything else you want to share with someone who is looking to get involved with martial arts or looking to change their current lifestyle?
I think my best advice for anyone who would like to change his or her current lifestyle and assuming that lifestyle is an inactive one, would be to try it out for a week. Regardless of the level of your fitness or competitive nature, if you think of fitness as a competition with yourself, I guarantee that you will be proud of what you accomplish on a daily basis.
Too often, we get caught up in fitness as competing with someone else, or striving to reach someone else’s goals due to lack of self-awareness and general knowledge. Personally, I do not see fitness that way at all anymore. Instead, I see fitness as getting better than myself from the day before. It is a very simple idea but it motivates me to stay the course no matter how much my body may try to fail me. Further, I am very thankful for my beloved father who instilled in me a great work ethic and taught me that the toughest, hard- working muscle we possess is our mind. You are only as strong or weak for that matter as you think you are at any given moment. If you exercise your mind and adhere to the proverbial Nike saying of ‘Just do it’ then your body will follow. Also, I am so very grateful for my mother who is not only inspirational to me but also an avid role model taking Tai Chi, Yoga, and Silver Sneakers!
Lastly, if you are already living an active lifestyle or a youngster looking to be involved in an organized sport, I would also, encourage you to try out Elite MMA as the team work and camaraderie enjoyed on the mats really pushes you to the next level of personal health and fitness. As the great Wayne Gretzky used to say, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”