- What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
Growing up, I was surrounded by a very athletic and healthy family. Both of my parents came from a swimming and running background, which lead me to try many different sports such as gymnastics, karate, ballet, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track & field, cross country, ultimate frisbee, yoga, snowboarding, and swimming. I fell in love with the sports that had the support of a team while letting me compete as an individual. Let’s just say, I’ve never been good with sports that required the use of balls because of my hand-eye coordination, but I’ve found that my skills with a barbell are quite the opposite!
When college came along, I no longer had a structured fitness schedule and I quit exercising thinking it wouldn’t have an affect on me. HA! Fooled by the idea that being young and having a high metabolism was going to stop me from gaining weight, it wasn’t enough, and I slowly started to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Throughout college I managed to avoid the Freshman 15 and skipped right to the Senior 25, which remained for the following year after graduation. My confidence was at an all time low. I lacked the energy to get out and do the things I really loved like hiking and snowboarding. On top of it all I got a job sitting at a desk for majority of my day making it even more difficult to lose the weight. That’s when I found CrossFit. About a week after starting the Evolution classes my relationship fell apart and I was afraid I would stop exercising and fall back into my ice cream-eating ways. Strangely enough, when I went back and picked up a barbell I began to feel more like myself at the box than I did anywhere else.
- What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally,emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?
My biggest challenges have been avoiding injury and finding patience.
I haven’t actually experienced severe injury doing CrossFit at this point, but I am a firm believer in protecting myself from it with good form and sufficient rest. I would say I’m a pretty competitive person so I will always try to push past my limits. When that happens sometimes I stop listening to my body and I’ll keep pushing through pain that shouldn’t be there. It’s difficult to tell myself I need a rest day when at the end of the day all I want to do is go workout to relieve stress.
As far as patience goes I like to find things (and there are a lot) that challenge me, then I want to tackle them quickly and efficiently but that’s just not always how it goes. It’s been difficult to tell myself that it’s ok to not get it right the first time or even the 50th time. There are some things I’m just not good at and those are the ones I have to work harder for. I’m finding myself getting more and more patient with certain movements and over time, I’ve noticed that I am making significant progress.
- What have been your greatest successes (physically,mentally or emotionally) since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
I have had so many successes since I started CrossFit! I can remember the very first WOD I did and how terrible I was. It was taught by Zach Martinez, whom I would like to say is a big part of why I fell deeply in love with the sport because of his unfaltering support and motivation. To give you some perspective, I started CrossFit at 169lbs. Since that moment, I have lost 25 lbs, I’ve gained more muscle, energy, mobility, strength and happiness than I ever have in any other sport in my life thus far. It’s an awesome feeling to try on my formerly tight pants and have them literally be falling off of me, although it just means I need to buy new pants with money I would rather spend on CrossFit gear. I never knew I could feel this confident and I never thought I would crave a workout as much as I do every single day. It’s a healthy addiction and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
- How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
CrossFit has given me my life back and then some. When I started CrossFit, I was at the end of a huge chapter in my relationship and I was the heaviest I had ever been and never hope to be again. I lacked confidence and energy. Now my self esteem is sky high and my energy is boundless. I get restless sitting in front of a computer all day so coming to the box is my greatest escape. I have never been this fit and strong in my life and that’s saying a lot! I can easily say some of my best friends have come out of the relationships I have built here. I always have something to be happy about even when something else in my life isn’t going well. I get excited and even more motivated when people notice my progress and they ask me what I do to stay in shape. The best part about training is that I can still eat my ice cream and not feel guilty about it.
- What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
The biggest advantage for me is the friends and support that surround me inside and outside the box. I can be the last person to finish a WOD and I never have to feel bad about that because I’ve got a whole group of people there to cheer me on. Then I find myself gasping for air on the floor, reaching my hand up for a billion high fives. I haven’t had that kind of comradery anywhere else.
The other big advantage is that every day is different. I get bored easily and I can honestly say I will never get bored of a workout. I’m always excited to do a WOD even if there are movements that are not in my wheelhouse. I get the chance to be a master of many movements instead of just one and that makes a world of difference when trying to get in shape.
- What advice can you give to others?
My advice to others is if you want it badly enough, just do the work instead of worrying about what you can and cannot do and most of all, don’t give up on yourself. When I started, my goal was to lose 15 lbs and I doubted myself every day about that goal. CrossFit made working out less about the work and more about the pure bliss I felt after finishing a workout. I stopped thinking about the goal as weight loss and more about how I looked and felt and eventually the pounds started shedding as an added bonus. It’s better to focus wholeheartedly on what is right in front of you, what you are doing in your workout today, than on the expectation of immediate results. Here I am, 7 months after my first CrossFit workout and I am setting new goals that reach way beyond the ones I set for myself initially.
- Any other details you would like to share about your experience would be great!
CrossFit has improved pretty much every aspect of my life. It gives me the ability to live a healthy and happy life filled with other healthy and happy people who have similar goals and ideas. Getting in shape is a process and it doesn’t come without failures at times, but pushing through those moments is what makes you stronger physically, mentally and emotionally and that fear you have right now, you created it, you can destroy it.
I feel like a better person because of what I do and I love to tell people that I am a CrossFitter. The best thing I have taken from starting this journey is what it means to be physically fit and beautiful. It’s not being skinny, it’s not wearing makeup, it’s disciplining and protecting the finely tuned machine that is your body. Take care of it, it’s the only one you’ve got!