My name is Julie and I am 42 years old. My CrossFit journey started over 5 years ago.
When I moved to Pueblo, CO over 13 years ago, I had just been diagnosed with a heart valve problem. To make matters worse, I was overweight. I am 4’ 11” and weighed 173 lbs. I was on blood pressure medication and my cardiologist made it very clear I needed to lose weight. Like most people, I tried everything. I finally found Weight Watchers which worked for me, but that wasn’t enough. I needed to start exercising, but I wasn’t good at working out on my own. I needed a group of people that would hold me accountable.
In June 2010, I decided to join a gym. I wandered into Pueblo West Total Fitness and it seemed to be a good fit. There were different classes offered and one of them was a boot camp class run by Chris Carter. It was different and definitely gave me a total body workout. When Chris left the gym to start Devil Dogg CrossFit out of his garage, I went with him. What Chris was doing for me with CrossFit was so much better than any “gym” could do for me.
I have never been the best athlete, but CrossFit isn’t about being the best athlete. For me, it has been about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone physically and mentally. I love what CrossFit has done for my overall health. It hasn’t just physically gotten me into the best shape of my life and off my blood pressure medication, but mentally it has given me confidence that I never had before.
I have done things physically over the past 5 years that I never thought would be possible. I’ve hiked mountains, climbed up the Incline in Manitou Springs over half a dozen times, gone on 15-mile bike rides, and even done 5K’s. For people who know me, that is probably one of my biggest accomplishments since I do not consider myself a “runner.” Being able to do this is not just because of CrossFit, but because of the support system I have found at Devil Dogg CrossFit.
Over the past couple of years I have faced more physical challenges and setbacks. Since starting CrossFit I have broken my tailbone, fell off the rig at my box, and partially tore the ligament in my elbow. But the biggest setback is one that cannot be fixed. The strongest part of my body is my legs. I am not the strongest woman at my box, but everyone knows that I love when squats are part of a workout. In fact, we had a competition to complete 300 squats for time and I finished in under 6 minutes!
About a year ago my legs started to bother me and after a workout they would feel heavy and tired. I had some varicose veins so I decided to have them looked at. I was told I had some of the worst veins they had seen. I had a total of 5 procedures to close off the veins that were causing the trouble. I had two laser surgeries and three injections. However, my left leg was not getting better. I recently found out I have Chronic Vascular Insufficiency. This can’t be fixed so I have to wear compression socks for the rest of my life to help with swelling and circulation.
I also found out that I have developed some umbilical cord hernias that will require surgery to fix. Not only has this been hard on me physically, but mentally as well. However, I have an amazing coach that has made it possible for me to continue CrossFit. He modifies my workouts and I have learned to listened to my body.
CrossFit for me is about staying healthy and getting a good workout. It also helps that I have amazing people that support me at DDC. I have pushed through those challenges. I have met some incredible people that have become good friends and like a second family to me. The best part of this journey for me is that I am now able to share it with my 16 year old daughter Kelsi. She is doing Crossfit and has done several Hero WODs with me. Being able to do this with her has been so fun. I am forever grateful to DDC and CrossFit for changing my life!
Thanks for sharing your story Julie!
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