OCR Transformations- Jeremy Cooper

ORM presents the series of stories on OCR Transformations. Runners and athletes whose mind body, and spirit have been altered through obstacle racing.

Jeremy was born and raised in a rural area of Pensacola, FL. In the neighborhood he grew up in, sports were an everyday affair. He participated in several sports growing up such as baseball, basketball, football, boxing, and track. His older brother was a group fitness trainer at the time and they would go to the gym and run together every night. Growing up his family lived a relatively healthy life style including a set dinner time with a well-balanced meal. Junk food and snacks were a very rare occasion. His dad even grew a garden for the family to always have fresh veggies. Jeremy and his brother would hunt and fish with their father so they always had fresh food available.

As he grew older, Jeremy’s parents separated and he began hanging out with the wrong crowd. He began getting into trouble and he had to stop playing sports because his grades began to slip. After finishing high-school, Jeremy continued to play football and do some boxing, but that became less and less the older he became. At 21, he took a sales position and began to live a very social lifestyle which including drinking and partying. He would drink, stay out late, and ate whatever was convenient (which was usually junk food). Before he knew it, Jeremy was working extremely long hours, drinking a twelve pack of coke a day to stay awake, and eating fast food for every meal. Needless to say, his health was put on the back burner.

Jeremy and Father


There were several events that helped Jeremy put his life back into focus. First, his son Jaxon was his motivation to become strong so he could be the father for him he always planned to be. The second was that his father had become diagnosed with terminal lunch cancer in July 2007…he passed away only four months later.

Jaxon and Jeremy


When Jeremy lost his father he turned his emotions to food and alcohol. He had become very depressed and did nothing to make himself better. His close relationship with his father is what helped push Jeremy back to the right path. He now uses his memory to push himself through the tough times because he always wanted to make his father proud.

Like most people do when setting goals, Jeremy would continuously set a goal for himself and never start it. He would tell himself he wanted to change and then never would…just excuse after excuse because he knew the work it would take to get where he wanted. However, one morning he woke up and decided that was the day to start and he was determined to see it through. Jeremy woke up, got dressed, and went for a run.

Jeremy Before

Jeremy’s next step was to sign up for a mud run with a group of friends. His first mud run was his wake up call for how out of shape he was. Jeremy knew he needed to ramp up his workouts and exercise routine if he was ever going to do another event. Through mutual friends on Facebook, Jeremy found a group fitness club named Pensacola Fit Club that offered free group fitness classes. He messaged back and forth with the owner (Fermin Banawa) on several occasions, but never gathered the courage to actual go to a class. While attending the Pensacola Mud Run, Jeremy ran into the owner of the Fit Club and a group called Team Dynasty OCR.

Jeremy and Fermin


He made sure to show up to class the next week. Although he felt very uneasy about going to the classes, he quickly became hooked. The team/family atmosphere is what changed his mindset. In just a few months, Jeremy had made massive amounts of progress and he had become even more determined to push himself harder. He was able to swap out his addiction to food for something healthier.

After his first Spartan Stadium Sprint in Tampa, FL…Jeremy had no idea how much his training was about to change. After having no clue what a burpee was, he quickly found out what they were! This OCR event turned Jeremy on to trail running, pull up challenges, Crossfit, along with speed and agility training. He even added in a Training Mask and weighted vest to his workout routine to add the extra challenge. His focus became to compete in obstacle racing and no longer solely about the weight on the scale or his physic. Becoming faster and stronger was his goal and he was determined to reach it.

Beach Workout 2015


Jeremy’s most memorable race was the Spartan Super in Miami 2014. The atmosphere was perfect, he nailed the rope climb for the first time, and he had an enormous calf cramp! He learned a lot from this event though, such as how to train by mixing cardio and weights. He also learned the importance of hydration and how it affects performance. Overcoming obstacles has also pushed Jeremy to try new adventures and to continuously push his boundaries. In August 2015, he participated in his first ever Xterra Off Road Triathlon and he is now training for a trail race series which ends with a 50k trail run on February 2016.

Group Trail Run


Jeremy owes a lot of his success for his transformation to his crazy group of fitness freak friends that have quickly became more like family. Fermin Banawa and his wife Jasmine have really pushed him to do things that he never thought he would even attempt. They have inspired him along with many others to push beyond their limits. Arnel Banawa (the GoPro guy) has also pushed him on his trail runs by yelling at him during his competitive heats and during elite races. Jay Owens has helped keep him in the loop on nutrition and is always ready to run no matter the weather! Last, but not least his sister Chrissy McPherson for always pushing him in the gym and all her positive support. Facebook and Instagram have also played a huge motivational role because of all the support he gets from his followers.

Black Water Trail Series 2015 (Fermin Jasmin)

When he first started OCR (and seeing the fast results) he did take on the sport head first which wasn’t necessarily the best way to approach it. This caused him to have a lot of injuries from over training such as hurt wrists, knees, ankles, etc. He really had to teach himself how to listen to his body and be sure to allow for proper rest, hydration, and always be sure to stretch! “Health and Fitness is definitely a life style change, you have to surround yourself with positive people, set small goals and complete them one by one. Before you know it you will have completed them and moving on to things you never even knew you wanted,” says Jeremy.


In 2014, he became a Certified Personal Trainer and he currently manages a construction equipment supply company. Due to his busy and ever changing schedule, Jeremy makes sure to get his work out in before work each day so he doesn’t get stuck with an excuse to not get it in. He would like to take on even more adventures and try back packing adventures, rock climbing, and even a possible month long primitive camping trip to discover new places.

Batte Frog BFX 2015


Jeremy’s current training schedule includes a recently completed phase of Insanity Asylum with a combination of trail runs to up his speed and agility. He is also weight training three days a week and trail/road running three days a week with and without his elevation mask. This month he has also started back with his Crossfit workouts to add more to the mix. He has been able to find that his body works better when he “confuses” it with a mixture of workouts. Jeremy also keeps a detailed food log and he increases his calorie and carb intake based on his daily training (he may even meal prep for an entire month to make sure he has healthy meals always available).

He has also tried other training programs in the past such as: P90X, P90X3, Insanity, Insanity Max30, Insanity Asylum, Body Beast, Crossfit, and tons of trail running!

before and after

Jeremy was his unhealthiest at 279 pounds with a 44” waist back in 2013. He is currently a solid 190 pounds and rocking a 32” waist (plus he can help push you up a 10 foot wall when you need help…trust me I know).

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Allison Dacus

Allison Dacus, aka RunUncensored, is a half marathon lover turned OCR addict. She loves the sport of OCR because overcoming obstacles is a part of every day life. Her goal is to inspire herself and others to be THEIR best! Allison is also the contributor for the OCR Transformations Series.
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  1. I just wanted to say how proud of you I am bro. You have accomplished so much and inspire so many. I myself am struggling with weight gain and lack of energy/motivation. But when I read about stuff like this it helps push me in the right direction. Keep up the good work old buddy!

  2. Jeremy is an inspiration I went to kindergarten thru highschool with him he was always chunky so was I. I applaud him and very proud. But if he ever got on the basketball court again my chunky butt would still cross him up and shoot his eyes out, but he still got better body and can run farther than me,

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