As the new-year has begun, I realized today that January marks my one year anniversary with CFS. I was reflecting over the past year, and thought I’d share some insights with you.
I compare who I was before CFS to who I am now, and I am astounded at the changes I’ve made with the help of this community. I had never played a sport before in my life – the closest I had come was the marching band in high school. I always grew up as an academic. I struggled through gym class and avoided any social sports or games at all costs. I was self-conscious about being judged by others for my lack of athletic ability, and hyper aware that I was not very coordinated. I hid behind books and stuck to what I was good at, because I was afraid to fail. When I was 13, I started smoking…and smoked for 10 years before quitting. I used this as a scapegoat as to why I was not physically active. It was much easier to back out of a 5k because I smoked than to admit that I was afraid I couldn’t finish.
Before CFS, I had never run a mile. I had never done a push up. I had never done a pull up. In my early adult life I had started to branch into physical activity, which consisted exclusively of the elliptical and sit-ups because I had no idea how to work out. The machinery at the gym made no sense to me, and I was too proud to ask. I tried and failed several times to take up running (which I hated), do yoga (which I was terrible at), and try videos (which I could never follow).
A few friends of ours turned us on to CrossFit, and Dre was ultimately the one who brought me in for the free class. I was terrified. Glenn, you were so patient, kind, and thorough that I began to have hope that maybe this was something I could actually do. I remember Linda spent about an hour with Dre and me after the class, answering questions and getting to know us. Chris taught our foundations class at a pace that actually made sense to me, taking the time to explain not just what we were doing, but why we were doing it. I was hooked.
I’ve had some ups and downs in the past year, including a car accident that put me out for a month. I look at how far I’ve come with this community. I did my first pull up last month. I can now do 100 push-ups in a WOD. Today, I got my first double under. I ran my first 5k ever over Thanksgiving and came in at just under 26 minutes. These are achievements that I never thought possible. Though simple, these small athletic accomplishments are beginning to define me. I am an athlete. I can do this. I will not give up. I am strong. For the first time in my life, I care more about how I feel than how I look. Strong really is the new skinny.
CrossFit speaks for itself – it gets results. I could get fit at any CrossFit gym in the country. However, it is the community at CFS that has made me successful. The coaches give you just the right balance of pushing you to your limits, but not pushing you over your limits. I know that every single coach genuinely cares about me as an athlete, but also as a person. They care about my goals and achievements. Beyond the coaches, I look to a community of fellow athletes. The support that the athletes have for each other at CFS amazes me. The mentality that we are all in this together, all supporting each other though triumphs and struggles, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. There is never judgment, only encouragement. With the help of coaches and athletes alike, this band geek has finally found herself in the athletic world.