I started my CrossFit journey in the Spring of 2013 after having tried it almost 10 years earlier. Prior to that I was a recreational runner, cardio queen, and had done traditional weightlifting. I was used to spending one or more hours in the gym or running distances to stay in shape and I worked out regularly because I was not only afraid of gaining weight, but mostly because it was mental therapy for me. I used to say to my kids: Gym=happy mommy; No gym=crabby mommy! Even still, going to the gym often felt like another job for me and I didn’t often enjoy it.
When Debi asked to meet for coffee one morning, I suggested that I join her in her workout before meeting. I didn’t know she had started CrossFit and was nervous to “try it out” again. I had no intention of sticking with CrossFit when I showed up that morning, but after one WOD (workout of the day) I was hooked! I honestly thought CrossFit was reserved for 20-something superstars, not a 40+ year old mom, but I instantly fell in love with the coaching and CrossFit environment!
CrossFit has tapped the inner athlete in me that I didn’t know existed, and allows me to become stronger than I ever thought possible. But the best part of CrossFit for me is the community of athletes from every walk of life and every age group coming together to perform the same workout and cheering each other on to the finish. There are days when I don’t think I’m physically capable of doing the WOD, only to discover that my body can do much more than my mind thinks it can. At 44 years old, I am in the best shape of my life and love the world of CrossFit.
My favorite moves are box jumps and back squats and one day, the wall balls and I will become friends.
It wasn’t until my mid 30’s that I finally incorporated a real fitness program into my life. I have a long list of reasons (excuses) why it took me so long, but the important part is that I finally discovered the value and benefits of consistent exercise.
Once my boys were potty trained and in preschool, I didn’t find time for me, I made time! I joined a gym, bought my first MP3 player and started with some light weight training and cardio. For the next 10 years my commitment to physical fitness was relatively consistent, even if my eating wasn’t. I dabbled in a variety of exercise modalities, but working out with a personal trainer gave me my first taste of pushing myself beyond my perceived limits…and I liked it!
At the peak of my physical fitness, I injured my shoulder in a ski accident. On my journey to recovery I discovered yoga, and fell in love with everything about it. It could be gentle, or intensely demanding. It taught me focus, acceptance and how to be really present in the moment.
Sadly, I let the circumstances of life slowly take over, and allowed the importance, value and benefits of exercise to drop to the bottom of my priority list. I hit rock bottom again, with both my eating and caring for my body.
In the Fall of 2012, a friend shared that she had started CrossFit. The thought of CrossFit terrified me, seriously to the point of having nightmares. But I knew I wanted to start moving my body again, and I needed accountability and partnership to reestablish exercise back into my life. So I did it – afraid!
It was physically hard and emotionally painful at times, but I discovered that WOD by WOD I was rebuilding myself from the inside out. I finally found a form of exercise that didn’t feel like something I was supposed to do, but rather something I wanted to do. The greatest gift I’ve gained from CrossFit is a new found mental strength that I get to practice both in the box and out. Strong mind and body is my new skinny!
The accountability and partnership went from the one friend that introduced me to CrossFit, to my entire CrossFit family. They stick by me as I struggle through my weakest skills, and celebrate with me when I achieve long sought after milestones.
I’m in the best shape of my life, both physically and mentally, and that’s a priceless feeling!
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