“When are you due?” a customer asked as I was helping her find the mascara she was looking for. After I stood there in shock for a couple of seconds, I quietly responded “I’m not pregnant”. That was hard to hear, but I needed it. She made me take a long hard look at myself and come to terms with the fact that I hadn’t just gained “a couple pounds since high school.” When I graduated high school I was 135 and I had gained about 35 pounds since. For a while I tried to tell myself that the weight gain was because of birth control, thyroid problems or stress. But in reality I had gotten caught up with life. Since graduating high school I became a manager and now worked 40 hours a week, I found love and I had a house to take care of. I didn’t think about what I ate and I worked out maybe 6 times a year, even though I had a membership at a gym that was open 24/7.
As I was browsing Facebook on my lunch a couple days later I saw that my friend knew some people who were opening a CrossFit gym and classes were free for 2 weeks. I had heard about CrossFit before, but I didn’t know much about it. So I decided to set up a time to try it out, and I even convinced my co-worker, Kasee, to try it with me. August 3rd 2013 was the most terrifying day of my life. From the moment I woke up I knew what awaited me when I got off work. I was going to try CrossFit. I had butterflies all day and I had never been so scared to work out before. But I knew I needed to change something and maybe this was going to be it for me. As I pulled up to the gym my butterflies got worse, but I stepped outside my comfort zone and took a leap of faith.
I managed to live through my first work out. I could hardly walk for 2 days but I did it. So I decided to sign up to finish the on-ramp classes. Over the next month I discovered so much about myself, although mostly my weaknesses and fears. Even the warm ups tested my will power. I couldn’t jog 400 meters or even jump rope. I had a lot to learn. The work outs didn’t get any easier. I had never touched a barbell before; let alone thrown a bunch of weight around. I was awkward with the barbells. As Doug described it, I was like a bumblebee. According to physics, I shouldn’t have been able to do the movements; but somehow I managed to do them. With each passing on-ramp I kept getting a little more comfortable.
When I finished my on-ramp classes, I was still terrified. Now I had to do the real workouts. I would always tell myself “I can’t do that!” so I wouldn’t go. I would “cherry pick” workouts. I would only go to the ones that I thought I could manage and nothing that really challenged me. I would always rely on my workout buddy to go with me. As much as I was starting to love Crossfit I wasn’t truly committing myself. If Kasee decided to cancel the class most of the time I would too. I used her not going as an excuse to not go myself. The first 4-5 months were rough, I went maybe 2-3 times a week. I wasn’t improving as much as I wanted to and I wasn’t losing weight. I had actually gained weight when I first started (I know it was muscle but still). Kasee eventually stopped going all together and although I was sad to lose my workout buddy, it was probably the second best thing to happen in my journey. I started committing myself more.
I started coming in consistently and not just here and there. I made myself come in 3-4 days a week no matter what was happening at work, home, or if there were wall balls in the workout. I was shocked by the PRs I had in such little time. I felt amazing, I no longer had to use a training bar for everything and other people were noticing how well I was doing. I have been able to PR almost every movement I have tried and I’ve even crossed off a goal on our 2014 goal board (20lbs PR!). I hadn’t really noticed how much better my wod times were until Amy and Doug brought it to my attention. A workout that would have taken me 17 minutes 3 months ago took me 12 minutes now. I went from using a black band for pull-ups to a red band in 2 months.
Not only were my lifts getting heavier and I didn’t have to scale my workouts as much, but my clothes didn’t fit anymore. My weight loss hit me fast. I hadn’t lost more than 5 pounds in the first 4-5 months I was doing CrossFit, but as soon as I started going consistently I started losing weight. The weight loss came as a surprise to me, I didn’t notice much change when I looked in the mirror and I hadn’t really weighed myself in months. My mind set had switched from weight loss to getting my lifts heavier and being able to do a pull-up. Easter weekend I stepped on the scale and I was shocked, I had lost 25 pounds in just a few months. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but I was so happy.
Initially I hadn’t changed my diet much except I stopped eating fast food and drinking soda. When Amy told me they were doing a nutrition challenge I decided to do it. I had gone Paleo before, not as strict as the challenge but what did I have to lose? During the challenge – from March to June – I felt amazing and had so much energy. I slept better and I excelled at the wods. I didn’t get as tired as I used to and I didn’t get as sore. Whenever I went to eat something I would hear Doug in my head “Don’t eat a meal unless it has protein.” During the month of the challenge I lost an additional 7 pounds and I couldn’t believe the lifting gains I had just because of my diet. I still haven’t come to terms with how much weight I have lost and how strong I have gotten. I still shock myself when I make a lift that I didn’t think I could make. After the challenge was done, I had lost a total of 37 pounds since I first started CrossFit.
It has been a physically and emotionally difficult journey. I remember wanting to break down in tears because I couldn’t do a handstand or because I missed my PR. CrossFit has taught me that failure is acceptable and it gives me something to strive toward. As I get stronger my lifts are feeling more and more solid and I feel like I am making progress. It is now turning into a mental game for me. I find myself saying “I can’t do anymore” or “I can’t lift that much” but then I do. I am really focusing on pushing myself past what I think I am capable of, whether it is attempting a lift with more weight than I think I can do or getting more reps than I think I can. Even if it’s one more rep or 10, I am going to push myself harder. I am so excited to see how much I improve as I am about to start my second year of CrossFit and I can’t wait to see how much everyone else improves. I am happy that I have such amazing coaches and a wonderful CrossFit family who will help you achieve anything you want.