This past year has been a very difficult time in my life. I was involved in a car accident, had emergency surgery in February, which involved spending 10 days in the hospital, and experienced an abrupt end to my 25 year marriage. Back in September of 2011, when the downward spiral began, my weight was at the highest of my life, over 200 lbs on a 5’4″ body. I was hypertensive, had hypothyroidism and type II diabetes, heading for medication therapy for all of those. I had been going to a cheap ‘self-serve’ gym, but lacked any motivation, and instruction from staff was non-existent.
My nephew, Andrew, had been coming to CFS for about 10 months, and I had witnessed an extraordinarily positive change not only in his fitness level, but his attitude toward life. He encouraged me to attend a free class. I was immediately hooked.
I was extremely skeptical about starting such an intense workout at my age and weight. I was so afraid of being ‘judged’ and ridiculed because of my size and limited abilities. My very first official WOD after Foundations included several rounds of 200 M sandbag runs!! I remember struggling to keep my feet moving, my chest heaving with every breath, and casually joking (sort of) that “I am too old for this”. Needless to say, CFS has proven me wrong!!
These last 3 months have seen a dramatic change in me, both physically and emotionally. I’ve been able to avoid medication for diabetes, and am working with my doctor to reduce my blood pressure meds. I shudder to think in what condition I would be now had I not started CrossFit when I did. The feeling of accomplishment when I complete a WOD, or PR, is indescribable. What thrills me the most (yes, I said thrills) is the sincere excitement and pride I see on the faces of the incredible coaches and my fellow athletes when one of us exceeds our previous time or weight. I’ve never experienced such an atmosphere of true friendship and community, especially in a gym! CFS has helped me regain my long-lost self esteem, and I’ve met people here who truly care about one another’s progress and aren’t afraid to show it. I love the feeling of collapsing on the floor after a WOD, watching everyone fist pound and high five each other.
The coaching staff at CFS is amazing. I thrive on the challenges they set for me, yet they also have the instinct to know when I’ve reached my limit. Each and every WOD is a learning experience. I’m still scaling many things at this point, but no one makes me feel less important because of it.
I plan to continue being a CrossFit Athlete (yes, I consider myself an athlete) for as long as my body is able. Based on the improvements I’ve experienced these past few months: a 30+ lb. weight loss, progression through multiple scale levels, several increases in PR’s and my soaring self confidence– I won’t be stopping for a long, long time.