Instructor Highlight - Brett Smith!

Instructor Highlight - Brett Smith!

Hi there. My name is Brett Smith and I’m a fitness and Krav Maga instructor at Fit and Fearless. I’ve lived in Austin for about 3 years. I’m originally from Lubbock, Texas where I went to college at Lubbock Christian University. In Lubbock I worked in the nonprofit and education worlds, where I found it wasn’t really my passion, so I pursued a career in the firearms industry. I worked in various retailers as a salesmen and manager for years before I started at my job here in Austin, with a large corporate holding company of pawn shops. The essential focus of my job is to ensure the compliance of pawn shops with all federal, state and local regulations to make sure that firearms stay out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them, we operate in compliance with all regulations and keep our communities safe. 

Firearms are a big part of my life and a personal passion of mine.  I love to go to as many self-defense/tactical trainings that I can get to. I also love a chill morning with some fresh coffee and a sunrise at the range. I like to customize everything I have and use my experience and background as an artist to add a little “flare” to all my guns. Guns aren’t my only hobby though. I love to make fitness programming for myself and others. To see how hard I can push myself and what goals I can challenge myself with constantly. Another great love of mine is the outdoors. Whether it’s a trip to the Colorado mountains or paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, the outdoors is where I naturally find my peace and my home. If I want to “escape” without really going anywhere you can always find me with a good post-apocalyptic fiction book in my hand or sitting around a table with my party playing some D&D. My wife and I also have two beautiful children (FINE they’re dogs) that are my world. I have Sadie, a pit/lab mix that I found abused in a rough area of Lubbock, and Charlie, a blue heeler mix that I found as a puppy. They are awesome. Don’t believe me? Ask around the gym about them. They’re pretty famous. Actually, people might like them more than me, and honestly, I GET IT.

My fitness journey is a long one. I have played sports since I was a little kid, baseball above all else. Really, my world revolved around sports. School, friends, weekends, college, it was all about baseball to me. Our high school team went to the state championship twice and because of my personal merits (as well as the team’s) it offered me many different college options through athletic scholarships. Ultimately, I decided to stay close to home but realized that I was no longer enjoying the sport I was raised playing. My father had always told me, before every game or tournament or try out, that above anything else “baseball is a game and games should be fun”. Since I was no longer having fun I decided to get out. So, as I went to school I was on my own. Everything so far in my life had been about working out, getting stronger and faster and eating right so that I could conquer those athletic goals. Well, once those goals were gone, so was the discipline. I stopped working out entirely. I ate and drank everything I wanted. Within my first semester of college I put on 25 pounds. I went in to college at about 180 pounds. When I graduated I was sitting closer to 220 pounds. And the weight didn’t stop there.

I spent years after college trying all kinds of things: at home work outs, fad diets, extreme calorie cuts, etc. I would see some benefits and some weight change, but it always came back. I never actually made realistic life changes and never pursued knowledge on how the body works with food. So, I just kept getting heavier. By my late twenties I was up to almost 260 pounds. I was eating like crap, going to the gym to “work out” (ok pretty much just walking on the treadmill and taking a real long time to lift a little bit), and it hurt me not only physically, but also emotionally and mentally. So as my weight went up, so did my negative attitude. 

It was at this point in life that I knew I needed to make some realistic and long-term changes. So, I started small. I cut out sodas. That’s it. Just sodas. And I felt great. So, I cut out more. I decided, if a restaurant has a drive through, meaning their food is pre-cooked and can be snagged within minutes while I don’t have to leave my car, then I never go back. Oh boy, did that completely change how I felt! Once I started cutting out drive throughs, it forced me to either cook food or go to nicer places. It only took off from there. Eventually I was cutting out sugars, processed carbs, certain other foods. I started tracking my food and understanding how many of each of the macronutrients I was putting in to my body. 

I want to stress this though. I am writing this blog now, a few weeks from my 32nd birthday. I am still not entirely where I want to be with my weight or my body composition. I started really getting serious about understanding my health by understanding my nutrition at 28. It has been four years. Let that sink in for a bit. For me to make steady changes, for it to be sustainable, for this to be a life change, it took YEARS. Weight loss is hard. Fad diets and social media make it look easy and quick, and sure you can get some quick responses and see some crazy physical changes with extreme diets and workouts. But that’s not sustainable. In the end, it takes dedication and discipline above anything else. As I learned, it wasn’t about my workouts or what personal trainer I had or what plans I had. It all came down to me. It all came down to being accountable to myself and understanding that I am responsible for my own health and I am the only one that decides what I eat. 

I started to see some awesome things once I was understanding my nutrition, but I knew I needed to do something better as far as working out. I was gaining discipline with my food, but I was lacking the ability to push myself working out. And wouldn’t you know, fate had something coming my way. An incredible community and a gym were waiting right around the corner for me. 

I joined the gym in early 2017 after my wife had done a 6-week fitness challenge. She loved the community and the people there. In fact, she went on and on about these people. Eventually, she dragged me along to a monthly meet and greet, where I met several instructors and members: Jeff took me right under his wing and made me feel at home, like we were old friends and Eva was thrilled to find someone that wanted to go play a bunch of zombie shooting games with her, Amy and Ryan offered to grab me a beer. So needless to say, I loved the community too. The friendships and how inviting everyone was is the motivation that encouraged me to actually join.

So a few weeks later I showed up to the 6AM All Levels class with Amy. WOW. It was INCREDIBLE. I felt so strong and encouraged. I walked out of my first class soaked in sweat, my arms heavy and my heart pounding, but 100% happy. It was like a weight came off my back. I knew immediately that not only did I find an awesome place to push myself in fitness, but I found a group of friends. I don’t think I knew how lonely I was since I moved to Austin until I started going to the gym and seeing firsthand the power of being involved in a community. So, I dove in. Head first. Full faith in my instructors and my new community. And I loved it. Something clicked for me. Sure sure, I go on and on about the community and believe me this group is truly my people, the tribe I never knew I was missing until I found it, BUT, finding self-defense and fighting answered something inside of me. It was like picking up something the first time and it just makes sense to you. Krav Maga, the realistic nature of fighting, the principles in the system, it just…clicked. And it’s been full steam ahead since then. 

As far as classes I still attend, I’m typically an early morning person and a weekend attendee. So 6am All Levels and Combative Conditioning (when I’m not teaching) and the weekend classes like Level 2/3, Yoga and Open Mat are staples for me. When I have time, I love to go the evening classes like Level 2 and Level 2/3. So, if you’re looking to catch me in a class to train along side me, those are your best bets! 

As far as classes I teach, Tuesdays and sometimes Thursdays at 6am Combative Conditioning is where you’ll find me. I semi-regularly cover random Level 1 classes throughout the week, so look for my face in those classes because you’ll never know when I may pop up. If you’re looking for an intense workout to start your day off right, come see me at 6am at Combative Conditioning. We do a lot of HIIT, circuit training and AMRAPs, focusing on full body movements while doing both strength and cardio. 

So, get to the gym. Go to classes. They don’t even have to be my classes, just go. Schedule a private lesson. Meet new people. Go to the monthly meet and greet hang outs. Be involved. Don’t just show up and go through the motions. Show up and work. HARD. Then stay around and get to know some people. Point being though, if you’re looking for a new routine for fitness, we got you. If you’re looking for some self-defense skills and the ability to protect yourself and maybe find some peace, we got you. If you want to get to meet a CRAZY diverse group of people and meet new friends, we got you. But either way, show up. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your significant others. Drag them to things. Drag yourself to things. You never know, you may end up finding a piece of yourself you didn’t know was missing. I look forward to seeing you at the gym!

You can find me on Facebook

Instagram as “Firearms Fitness ATX

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