The year was 2003 and I hit a low point, I was extremely depressed, emotionally numb, drinking a lot, and 260 pounds. I started to swim, bike and run in order to lose weight and stop smoking. The physical pain was helping me understand a few things and I started to change. Deep inside I want to go another route, but I got obsessed with getting my perfect body (since I was always a chubby kid), and I wanted to be perfect. So, I took that route and started to race Ironman professionally. I ended up racing 18 ironmans in 12 years. Ironman for me was a self-discovery journey that around 2013 I started to rethink everything, since I finally got it my “perfect body” but I was not happy because that was not the answer. All this year I was searching for something and something never came. The case of the Mondays was only increasing and getting super intense.
During the winter Solstice in 2014 I had a major insight of what I was searching for: A family! That was the answer, I wanted to be a Dad but at the same time I did not know how to express that and one of the biggest crises of my life happened in the begging of 2015. When I finally went over the hump and expressed my feelings and decided to have a kid, we got pregnant at first try! However, I still had lots of challenges such as business and racing. In 2016, the year Luke was born, in January I did my last ironman, a local one, which I won. I tried to go back to training, but it was not working, my soul was screaming for a change, so I stopped racing and started to reconnect with my true self. For my 36th birthday I got a guitar as a birthday gift. Guitar and Rock have been a passion of mine since I was 5 years old (as far as I remember). I can easily say that Rock saved my soul since so many times Rock prevented me for doing something stupid.
During the pregnancy I created an email account to my son, where I wrote things that were happening. In all those emails I referenced music, without even realizing. I played many songs for him while he was in the womb, all rock songs.
Luke was born and my world changed completely. He was born with a physical challenged, and that is when the real changes started to happen in my life, I looked to myself and asked how can I tell my son to accept himself and his challenges if I can’t accept myself? due to our stay in the hospital I lost 95% of my clients and later on my wife lost her job. Life was just pointing us in another direction, and for the first time I started to listen to my feeling and intuition.
We moved from Florida to Colorado, in this new place I started to find myself again. Next to my apartment there is a skate park, so I got a board to exercise and lose the weight that I gain during those stressful times. One day driving around my apartment I saw a sign for the School of Rock but nothing was done until one day after a deep therapy session. That day with tears in my eyes I stopped at the school of rock and sign up for guitar lessons and the adult band program. Since my first big crises in 2003 I started to search the reasons why I was emotionally numb and the physical pain of Ironman training and racing did that. The fact is, I have always been a sensitive kid (Empath), to a point that my music as a kid was “Boys don’t cry”. My friends made fun of me crying so much but that was not the issue, the issue was nobody to tell me it was ok to be sensitive. Including religion that is supposed to give us comfort and love, and what I received was the opposite. In fact, I was told I was going to hell because of my music taste. Also, “special needs” parenting and religion can get super weird, with things like cure and miracle. Bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with my son, he has needs like everyone else. Yes, he got his challenges, but who doesn’t? We all got challenges some are visible some are not!
After a lot of work I decided to my soul and Rock-it-ology was established in January 2020.
Richard Wygand and Luke Wygand-Founders