2a2d01aecfdeac47065beb5e4288fe7b_f431Athlete; – noun. A person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

9 months ago no one, especially myself, would have considered me an athlete. While I did enjoy working out daily with P90X and running up to 5 to 7 miles a day I was nowhere near fit. I was just going through the motions of what I thought was a work out. I was becoming disenchanted with exercise because as hard as I was working out I saw no improvement in my fitness and I had injured my shoulder by performing the workouts with poor form, one of the many disadvantages of working out without a coach.

I heard of CrossFit from a nephew who is a Police officer in Arkansas. He had been doing CrossFit for some time and what a difference it had made in his fitness! So, I decided to give it a 3 month trial and met with Shawn. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Successes for me seem to come at almost every WOD; my first big success was during a team challenge. I have never been able to climb a rope, not in school or while in the military but one day James took a few more minutes with me (as all of the coaches would do) and I climbed that rope all the way up without any difficultly! It taught me that I can be strong and fit, it’s not too late for me to change, and it proved to me that I want to always be healthy and fit. Only 9 months in and it’s already made me feel like a more efficient human being in everything I do.

Outwardly I stand taller, make confident choices and have a willingness to try things I’ve never considered before. I can push harder, lift heavier and work longer that before. Now I also enjoy long road bike rides with my new friends from CFJ and am looking forward to hiking this summer. Why have this fitness and not get outside and use it?

The results of doing CrossFit are much more than the physical results that I can see in the mirror. I cannot tell you how many times I have faced a tough situation and thought “I can handle this, it is not nearly as painful as Fran, Fight Gone Bad, Filthy Fifty or any number of other CrossFit workouts.” It has given me the determination and the stamina to complete both physical and mental challenges. Now when I have a bad day I just want to get to the box so that I can pick up heavy things, throw them to the ground, grunt, and pick it up again. What a stress release and mood enhancer.f2f879ca62481acb90eda92cc84e041b_f432

One of the biggest advantages of CrossFit and CFJ of me is the sportsmanship. The biggest takeaway has been the sense of community and feeling of belonging with fellow CrossFitters, for an “individual” sport it sure has the “team sport” mentality down. What a feeling that comes over you when while you are pushing yourself through a workout and then your coach yells your name for you to keep on pushing yourself but better yet when you hear another athlete doing the same workout encouraging you as they are there doing the workout with you!

We just finished another CFJ challenge, after teaming up with others involved in the challenge to support and hold each other accountable for our diets (Paleo/clean eating which is another success story on its own!), workouts and core WODs for 3 weeks, my reward came in losing over 3 lbs. of fat and 7 ½ inches overall but it was the team work and support that helped me to achieve my goals.

I still have my nemesis such as those dreaded double unders and while my shoulder continues to improve I need to modify quite a few WOD’s but I still get a great workout and I know that in time I will succeed.

To anybody thinking about trying CrossFit I would advise you to step up, get your shoes on and hang on for a great ride. You’ll feel so great after the workout trying to catch your breath, lying is a pool of sweat alongside your new sweaty friends. When I have a day without CrossFit I don’t know what to do, I just love it!