Running errands today, I saw runners out, that lead me thinking about how many hours I have back in my life since I gave up long runs on the weekend or the hours spent on the elliptical at the gym. Then I realized, it's coming up, 4/11, is my CrossFit Birthday!
5 years ago I tried something totally outside my comfort zone. CrossFit was the opposite to what I was used to. A workout for me was hours long, solo, slow distance running. I was going to be doing short, high intensity, group fitness that included a barbell and weights.
For a long time, thanks to distance running and the idea that runners were to be skinny and light to run faster, I fought with my body. I did everything I could to stay at 100-110#. I ran half marathons or further each Saturday morning. I ran 2x days 3-5x a week and I are chicken and plain pasta. I was my lightest my junior and senior years of college. (2003 photo).
Two weeks after graduating with my under grad, I started my master's while working full time and learning how to balance all that is adult life. There was not time for hours at the gym several times a day. So I ate lots of fat-free "food" and kept training and running marathons. We bought a home, planned a wedding, got married and I graduated with my masters from July 2006-Sept 2007 (2007 photo). These things were all stressful but I was able to stay under 120# which was "my goal".
After that things slowed down, we were just 2 working adults who owned a home, trying to figure out house projects. We got back into the gym together, i kept training for races. I was frustrated that I wasn't leaning out or getting faster. Nick, who knew all about lifting, but I wasn't going to lift "those weights" with him, so he had me watch these YouTube videos of CrossFit, he said "you should do that, that will make you fast because you need muscle."
I did my research on CrossFit for a few weeks, back then there were only 2 boxes in the area, made a decision to commit to it for 3 months and see what would happen. I emailed the box and took my first class on Monday, 4/11/11 at 5:30am. I did a short tabata of push ups, sit ups and air squats. I had no idea that a workout that lasted for minutes could leave me so sore. I began seeing results in a few months, I became hooked on learning about CrossFit and how to feed my body for results. I did a lot of googling on: "What was a benchmark, how long until I could do unassisted pull ups, could I grow biceps and lats, can I ever do a handstand on the wall, will I ever be able to do an Overhead Squat with a barbell and weights?" These things take time but the answer is "yes" to all those things.
I talk all the time about tracking your results, it's small progress over time that gets you where you want to be. I forget where I started, and I didn't record anything until almost a year into it. So in 2012 my 1 RM clean was 70#. I remember the day I was able to clean over 100# and I told everyone that would listen about it. Celebrate those little goals.
Or looking at benchmarks like "Grace," 30 C&J for time. There's 3 before the 2013 one, not listed, that are also not rx weight and took me even longer!
5 years later, I've accomplished so much but what's exciting is that I've got so much more to do. I've got gymnastics to work on, my form can be fixed on many lifts, I can lift heavier and move faster.
I believe CrossFit has been a game changer for females. It has shown us that strong is beautiful. We are focused on hitting a PR instead of a thigh gap or staying a specific non-realistic weight. It's given us women like Annie Thorisdottir, Brooke Ence, Stacie Tovar, Julie Foucher, to admire. They are beasts in the box but they are successful in other areas of their lives too. Female do the same workout as males each day, we compete against each other and beating a guy in a WOD is so much fun.
Mentally & physically I feel so much better than I did when I was 21 or 25. I am confident, I am determined, I will take charge of something is not how I feel it should be. It give me freedom to be ok with eating a donut, drinking some wine, & spending time lifting with so many great people on a daily basis is the best social hour I could think of.
CrossFit has allowed me to find parts of myself and set goals for myself that I didnt know existed or was possible. I can't wait to see where you all will be in 6 months, in a year, in 5 years. Tell me when your CrossFit Birthday is! Don't know the date, ask me and we will look back and find it.