My name is Michael McTate, founder of lifestyle wellness program Chilled Out Wellness. Friends and family call me Tate (recently changed name to merge with wife’s last name and create a new family tree) and I have a beautiful wife and two sweet little girls. I am based out of Fort Collins, CO and I love exploring the beautiful natural wilderness areas of the region. I am a Certified Instructor of the renowned Wim Hof Method and a certified fitness trainer through ISSA as wellness & fitness are major components of my life. I also have 10+ years of corporate sales/management experience in digital marketing & telecom and have a Google Analytics certification (SEO and spreadsheet nerd).
When I’m not training clients or giving workshops I enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, soccer and pretty much any other outdoor activity. I view wellness & fitness as an ever evolving practice that needs to be structured yet flexible as we, as humans, are always changing physically, mentally and emotionally.
In 2009, I started having severe pain in my lower back/left leg and hip area. I shrugged it off and tried to “play through the pain” for about 6 months continuing to abuse my body everyday in the gym thinking that was the only way to train. Then I went down like I had been shot by a sniper while jumping rope at the gym one day. While I stared at the ceiling in immense pain, it was that moment that I realized I was going to have to do something about this. Ten minutes later I was finally able to get to my feet (I was in an empty jiu jutsu room by myself… of course) and gingerly walked out, tail tucked and humbled. The next day I was getting x-rays/MRIs and confirming what I already knew… I had structural damage to the L5/S1 disc (annular tear), Degenerative Disc Disease in L5/S1 space resulting in sciatic nerve inflammation, and a 12% grade scoliosis. I was devastated. The thought of having to take time off from being physically active in order for my back to heal seemed like an unattainable goal. I mean, my entire life had been based around some sort of sport or physical activity… what was I to do now?
The next several months consisted of me mindlessly taking the medication, pain killers and muscle relaxers the doctors had prescribed me. I didn’t think a thing about taking them either since it was “doctor prescribed” so I popped those pills like Skittles and went about the physical therapy regimen that I was placed on and limited my physical activity to pretty much walking. The pain wasn’t getting any better so the “solution” the doctor had was to take stronger pills. So I did as they said, not realizing the damage I was doing to the rest of my body as I tried to heal my back with their methodology of NSAIDs and muscle relaxers. I got to a point where I just couldn’t function at work, or life for that matter. I was always in a muscle relaxer daze and since I had limited my physical activity I felt more stress than I ever had in my life. Next up was getting rounds of corticosteroid and other injections as well as taking place in a research trial program in attempt to get the tear in the disc to close and the disc to heal. All efforts ended with me still being in pain. The doctor’s solution at this point was a choice of invasive disc surgeries, spinal fusion or artificial disk replacement and neither was a guarantee with a possibility of it being worse… no thanks.
Through this journey I became determined to heal myself as natural as possible as I knew the human body is capable of extraordinary feats, I just had to learn how. (I witnessed it first hand as my little brother Jeran made an amazing recovery from a severe frontal brain lobe injury in a motorcycle accident.) I began seeking various natural and alternative treatments such as chiropractic work, massage therapy, acupuncture, & yoga.
I knew inflammation played a major role in my pain and I knew that my dieting wasn’t the best. I have never had the strongest stomach in the world but in addition to the back pain I began having serious digestive issues that prompted their own attention so after years of experimenting with various diets (I have tested the following diets out on myself with varied results across the board: Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Candida Diet | Eat Right For Your Blood Type | FODMAP Diet | Nutritional Ketosis | Intermittent Fasting | Warrior Fasting | Paleo Diet | GAPS Diet ) I went to a naturopath to have an analysis completed. I found out I had a major gut bacteria imbalance with potentially pathogenic bacteria outnumbering the good. Thousands of dollars later I was still having issues with my stomach and digestion and was getting even more nauseous from all the supplements I was ingesting. Oh yeah, still having back pain.
Through the physical therapy side of the healing process I knew that stretching and building strength were going to be integral in my recovery. There is a very fine line in pushing yourself and overdoing it, and any physical activity I engaged in the downside to overdoing it was chronic pain that I couldn’t escape… awesome. I began exploring yoga for healing and I immediately became obsessed. There were days when I would overdo it and be extremely sore in my lower back area, but I could tell the benefits of incorporating a yoga practice into my daily life, even if I could no longer do any of the other activities I loved to do as often as I would like (i.e. shoot hoops, kick a soccer ball, golf, tennis, toss a football, frisbee golf, boxing, jiu jitsu, hiking, backpacking, paddling, etc etc aka everything I ever enjoyed doing ever).
The worst part of the journey was the mental anguish. It began to affect every aspect of my life. I was miserable. I would dedicate myself to dieting protocols and training/therapy for my back but nothing seemed to provide a long term solution. Maniacal are the days you are sitting in your cube, your sciatica nerve is lighting your left leg and hip up like a Christmas tree and THERE IS NO POSITION YOU CAN GET IN OR NO MOVEMENT YOU CAN MAKE TO GET IT TO STOP. Talk about going down a deep dark rabbit hole.
Then a good friend of mine advised of the Wim Hof Method and told me that I should give it a try to reduce the chronic inflammation. I researched online for about three months before purchasing the online course. During that time I read every paper and watched every video on Wim and his method that I could find as I became fascinated with what he had achieved. Since I began practicing the Wim Hof Method daily I have never felt stronger, happier or healthier.
I became excited to learn more about how the body and its systems function and how to truly optimize those systems to be the best I could be, or atleast put forth a valiant effort. I continue to learn more and more everyday about the mind and body and I will continue to research and experiment with what I learn in an attempt to continually optimize the human body in this life experience.
The Wim Hof Method and physical activity/movement (especially in nature) has had such a profound effect on my body and life that I felt compelled to share this with people who are also motivated to change their life for the better. The result is this website and our wellness & training programs…. Enjoy!
If you are interested in learning how the Wim Hof Method can help you like it did me then please don't wait... Contact me today. I am excited to share this journey with you!