Today marks my one-year anniversary since I first became a member at Reebok CrossFit Firepower. You’ve probably heard people say it before but joining CrossFit was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.
Before last summer I swam competitively with the Milton Marlins. Looking back I probably spent every year of my life in a different sport; gymnastics, baseball, cross country, tennis, you name it I did it. I don’t know why or how I decided on CrossFit but it just seemed right.
A friend I talked to didn’t recommend it when I asked her about her experience. She said it was “dangerous” and “made you bulky”. Family members weren’t supportive either but I’m hard-headed and by that point I’d made up my mind that I was going to try it no matter what.
Now a year [and some scars] later, I eat, breathe, and sleep CrossFit.
I still remember my first day; I thought I was going to die. My thoughts were something along the lines of, “Oh my God, I’m going to pass out. Or barf. Or both. And these people are going to think I’m a nut case”.
Kim, bless her soul, I never saw her do anything but smile and encourage our small group of newbies. At that time the 15# barbell felt like the 45# to me and I would’ve bet my first child that at one point during the workout I would drop it on my head or another unfortunate part of my body.
Even when I started in the regular classes I still couldn’t distinguish between all the lifts. CrossFit-ese is a language apparently. If you asked me what a clean was I would’ve told you it’s the state my room is never in.
This past year has flown by, but not without some great accomplishments. CrossFit has impacted more than just my perspective on what fitness really is and today I dare to say I am a better person, in every sense of the implication, than the day I came in. Here are a few notable highlights:
- I walked through the doors of Firepower sub 90lbs last summer. I’d always struggled with body image issues and I thought CrossFit was just another gym to help keep me in shape during the summer. To date I’ve gained an insane [for me] amount of muscle and body mass, 13 lbs give or take a few. Despite gaining weight, my body fat percentage has actually decreased in the last few months. Not only have I gotten in crazy shape, I now have a healthier and more positive attitude towards myself.
- I walk my dog. No seriously I own a Samoyed who used to walk me when I took him for a walk. These dogs are made for pulling sleds so pulling one person is a cake walk for them. Now he tugs, but I’m the pack leader.
- I’m faster and stronger. Like I mentioned, before CrossFit I played a host of different sports but that is not to say I was exceptionally good at any of them. Many times I lacked enthusiasm and even energy to perform my best. Now that I do CrossFit I have found that I have become a faster runner and better athlete overall. I have much more energy and stamina than I ever have had before.
- I enjoy working out. Before CrossFit I was a gym rat. You know the drill; elliptical, treadmill, sit-ups, and that blasted stair master. I didn’t enjoy any of it, especially because I did the same routine every single cursed day. I couldn’t wait to get in and out as fast as possible. I hated it but I did it to burn calories and stay lean. Now I workout because I genuinely enjoy doing it. Sometimes I workout even when I’m not feeling optimally because the WOD is way too good to pass up or because we are working on a skill I really want to get good at.
- I’ve made new friends. I also come in to Firepower because I love interacting with the coaches and other members, something I never did at a globo gym. The reason CrossFit is so big is because people [myself included] love the sense of community that it brings. People bond because they are all passionate about becoming better, faster, stronger, healthier. This is where CrossFit has helped me socially. I was always shy and introverted but somewhere along the way something just clicked and I gained confidence around other members. I realized that even though we are all on a personal health improvement journey, at the same time we are also in a mutual health improvement journey. The WOD doesn’t end until the last member is done and one member’s accomplishments are celebrated by all.
- I’ve learned to stop feeling sorry for myself. I finally stopped waiting for people to hand me what I’ve wanted and learned to go out there and get it myself. I’ve learned to push the limits. I’ve learnt to go farther than I ever thought possible and then take another step. Even if I only increase a lift by 5# more than last time, I still set a new record. I’m still better than I was yesterday.
- I’ve been given indispensable and rare opportunities. I am ever grateful to Andrea Savard because through her I have been given the opportunity to contribute to minor but important operational aspects of Firepower. I have learnt invaluable information about how to run a successful business and I enjoy working with Firepower Kids and in the social media networks more than I let on. For me, it is a dream job.
I could go on but I’d probably end up writing a book and that’s not really the point here. The point is that despite everything CrossFit takes out of me, I’ve taken more out of CrossFit. I hope to continue participating in this stellar sport for many years to come, getting better, stronger, and faster.
Although I can’t say I’ll ever develop a fondness for box jumps.
How has CrossFit changed your life?