Just about a year ago, I joined my crossfit gym, CrossFit Takeover (CTO)…check them out here…http://www.crossfittakeover.com (seriously, best gym ever!!). I’ll be honest, walking into the gym on my first day was so intimidating. I had contemplated joining one for years, but had heard so many negative things about the people there and the movements, etc. It wasn’t until my mom and I signed up for a Whole30 seminar last January (2014) for an April class that I found CTO. It was five minutes from my house! I knew I had no excuses! I had knee surgery in May 2013 for a torn ACL and torn meniscus (don’t ever have one, for real!). So come January 2014, I wasn’t quite back in shape or where I wanted to be and I still didn’t have full strength back in my knee or the muscles around it. My first step was emailing the coaches/owners at CTO and Andy immediately responded. He was so kind and answered all my crazy questions. I felt so silly asking him my many questions, but he was accommodating and made me feel welcome…yes, even through email.
So February 9th, I walked into CTO for the first time. CTO has on ramp classes to get you used to the movements and to see where you are starting from. So I walk in, thinking it’s going to be this big class and I was going to make a fool of myself by not knowing exactly what I was doing. Instead, it was me working with Andy one on one. He explained what CrossFit was and we went over some of the movements we would be doing. I then did a quick workout (I don’t remember exactly what I did), but it wasn’t too bad (think bodyweight movements and no weight on the barbell). Over the next two weeks, I continued back for my full six on ramp classes before I “graduated” into the regular classes. Working one on one with the coaches was one thing. I felt invincible (ha) and like I could do anything.
So I walk into the 6 am class on a Monday after my “graduation.” The workout was “Jackie,” which is a 1000M row, 50 thrusters (with a 33 pound bar for women), and 30 pull-ups. Holy crap. What was I getting into?! I couldn’t do a pull-up! So here I am, still a newbie, and I went all out on the row (can we say tiring??). The thrusters weren’t *so* bad, but the pull-ups. Oh, the pull-ups. I used bands to get me through them. The whole workout took me 16:35 to complete…and yes, I was the last one to finish. But you know what the coolest part of it was? Everyone in the gym was there, cheering me on! Nobody left or made me feel like a weakling for being the last one finished. Nobody knew my name, but it was still so empowering to have everyone cheering for me to get that last pull-up! I don’t know how I found the strength to return the next day, but I did. And I keep going back…every week, just about every day.
CTO has become my second family. The people there are amazing, from the coaches to the other members. I’ve made some great friends and even met my amazing boyfriend, Scott. Not only has it helped me build some wonderful friendships, but it has also helped me get so much stronger and faster. I’ve run my two fastest 1.5 mile times for work since joining CTO. And I can see and feel the difference in my body. I’m so much stronger now than when I first started. I love seeing my PRs (personal records) increase every week! And I love how it has brought so many great things into my life. All because I felt the fear and did it anyway! I can tell you, at least in my experience, CrossFit is not full of meatheads and people who think they are better than you. We lift each other up and help one another, not only in the gym but out of the gym, as well.
So if you’re unsure if CrossFit is right for you, but you’ve always been curious, reach out to your local CrossFit gym and see what it’s all about. Most of them allow you to visit and get a workout in without paying so you can experience it. I promise, you won’t regret it! There are scales for EVERY workout! Don’t think you have to lift as much as everyone else or that you have to be able to do all the movements. The coaches will work with you at your level to ensure you’re getting a great workout without hurting yourself! And in the end, the only person you’re competing against is yourself! Your aim, in CrossFit and in life, is to be better than you were the day before. That’s it!
And now, just under a year later, Scott and I competed in the scaled co-ed division of Team Grit, a local CrossFit competition, on Sunday, January 18th. There were 10 co-ed teams. We went into it wanting to have fun, but putting our all into it and seeing where we ended up. And wouldn’t you know it, we won first place!! The best part for me was that I was able to do some of the movements I’ve struggled with throughout my time at CTO, such as pull-ups and snatch (check it out here if you don’t know what it is –
). I PRed my snatch at 100 pounds that day!! It was an amazing day, even though it was tough. And I’ll admit, Scott had to literally pull me along in the last part of the workout for the day, but we did it. I pushed past the physical part of it and completed the workout. Check out my pictures below. The first two are obviously on the podium there, and the last one is after we got home, before dinner.
But here’s the thing…you don’t have to go into CrossFit to compete. I certainly didn’t! But it’s become fun for me to see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve conquered over the past year. I never would’ve thought I’d be where I am now after my knee surgery. CrossFit has definitely changed my life for the better. See what it can do for you too :)
And if it isn’t right for you, find your passion, whatever that may be. Is it running? Or yoga? Or step aerobics? Find what calls to you and do it! Get your body moving, some way, some how. You’ll thank yourself for it, I promise!
With love and wellness,