On St. Patrick’s Day 2015, one of the biggest drinking days of the year for young people, older people, and most importantly anyone with Irish blood running through their veins, I decided to skip over that and join CrossFit.
My friend Amanda had been doing CrossFit for probably around 2 years at that point and she would talk about it and I always thought it sounded interesting, but wasn’t something I’d want to do.
Before getting into this last year, I want to give a quick backstory to how I got here.
This goes back a long way. My whole life I’d been a combination of overweight to incredibly overweight. Then in May of 2012, my Junior year of college, I decided it was now or never. I was going to lose the weight now and keep it off for good or it was never going to happen. The weigh in at that point was 265 pounds, and sadly it probably wasn’t even my heaviest point.
Over the next 7 months I didn’t even attend a gym, all I did was cut calories by using a food journal and made healthier choices. Just doing that I dropped a lot of weight, and then in January 2013 I got an Edge membership. Unlike most New Year’s Resolutioners, I was on a mission and had reached the point where exercise was necessary (as it always should’ve been). I had always been active until I was 18 playing Softball, Basketball, and Volleyball, but getting back into working out after not working out for so long, in a word, sucked. But I sure as hell did it and by January 2015 I was in the 160’s which I probably haven’t weigh since I was in the 8th grade.
Then I needed a change, I didn’t want to be just skinny(er), but I wanted to get strong, I wanted to be fit. So Amanda told me about bring a friend week at her CrossFit and I said why not, honestly not intending to join, but just to see what it was all about.
Joke was on me.
I LOVED it. So then on St. Patrick’s Day, after bring a friend week, I signed up. And it was the best decision I ever made. I know a lot of people have a lot of very different feelings about CrossFit, but I gotta say, don’t knock it until you try it.
One year and I’m an entirely different person, physically and mentally.
I won’t lie the first few months were hard, really hard. I remember thinking, “God, I thought I was in such better shape than this.” I look back to one of the first few months when we were doing deadlifts and I was literally unable to lift 170 pounds of the floor as hard as I tried, then just yesterday I PR’d my deadlift at 250 pounds.
Now, a day before 16.4 for the CrossFit Open, I remember doing 15.5 (my first week, Jesus), which was 27-21-15-19 for time rowing calories and thrusters at 45 pounds. I did finish, but it took me an incredible amount of time and I think I ended up using 10 pound dumbbells by the 21 round. Now, I’m still scaled, but I’m keeping up and pushing myself.
I think I really hit my stride around October 2015 when I tested into the red programming with my Power Snatch. That was when I said to myself, I can do anything. As long as I try my best and work at it, I really can do anything. Never have I felt that way before when it came to working out. I always thought negatively or would wait until no one was watching to try something new out of fear of messing up the movement and being judged by those around me.
From that point on I was in a whole other state of mind. I had more confidence. I tell myself to push it harder or go heavier, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? I drop the weight and take some off? I try, don’t succeed, then scale it until I can?
Once I had a clear head everything got better. I realized I no longer cared about what the scale said. I know I’m busting my ass working out and trying as best I can to keep a clean diet, but at the end of the day I’m in the best shape of my life, can do more things physically, and have more confidence than ever. So no matter what that stupid number is I can’t be stopped. I worked on running 2 and ½ years on treadmills and tracks trying to get a faster time and knowing it was the one thing I could do at the gym I wouldn’t mess up and then 1 year of CrossFit and it cut 6 minutes off my 5k and 3 minutes off my mile and a half run.
Aside from all the personal reasons for joining, it was the community aspect I enjoyed the most. I’m a pretty introverted person, but when people are cheering you on it lights a fire under you. If I was alone I might stop here or do less weight, but when someone tells you you can, it makes you want to do it. Being a person who has always been a part of team when it came to sports, it was refreshing to work with people who push you and want you to be better.
At first I was a little nervous about the group aspect because I wasn’t sure if I’d be judged for not being able to keep up, but it was the exact opposite. I’m more willing to attempt something with the possibility of failing with these people then I am at succeeding by myself at the Edge. When people are standing next to you and telling you that they know you lift that weight or do the Metcon, all doubt seems to fade and you think, “Yeah, you know what I can!” And that is something you won’t find at any old gym. That is something you find at CrossFit with a community that’s looking to better itself.
I got so much out of my first year doing CrossFit and I recommend it to anyone who wants to work out and be the best they can be with like minded individuals.
One year down. Many more to come.
One Year Statistics:
Back Squat April 2015= 105 1RM Today: 185 1RM
Bench Press June 2015= 75 1RM Today: 105 1RM
Deadlift April 2015= 135 1RM Today: 250 1RM
Front Squat June 2015= 95 1RM Today: 155 1RM
Overhead Squat April 2015= — 1RM Today: 100 1RM
Power Clean April 2015= 60 1RM Today: 135 1RM
Power Snatch April 2015= 55 1RM Today: 90 1RM
Push Press April 2015= — 1RM Today: 100 1RM
Shoulder Press April 2015= —1RM Today: 85 1RM
And so much more that I can’t even begin explain lol