So, a little under 11 months ago, I signed up for a "6 Week Fresh Start" program at Reebok CrossFitFirePower. I'd been doing sporadic personal training there, and was adamant that while I didn't want todo classes, I did want to improve my general fitness. Six weeks later I finished the program, and had made huge strides in my fitness level...so I started attending classes, because they didn't seem so scary after all.
My experience with gyms and classes prior was that they are very impersonal,the coaches stand at the front and shout instructions, and I'd lose my place instantly and never catch up. This was different. The people made an effort to learn your name and say hello. The coaches were hands-on, giving everyone personal attention. They knew when to push you and when to let you push yourself.
I kept showing up...and showing up...and showing up. I started surprising myself with what my body could do. Pushing 40, I'd pretty much given up on any real changes or improvements in what it could do...but I was wrong.
I can now:
back squat over 100lbs
deadlift over 150lbs
do a freestanding headstand
hold a freestanding handstand for a couple of seconds
do handstand push ups
run a mile
and am getting incrementally closer to that elusive single pull up that has been my goal since the start
So now, this. This shirt represents 100 "check ins". 100 times in the last 11 months where I showed up and put the work in. A few tears, some blood,and gallons and gallons of sweat.
I celebrated earning my shirt by going to the gym, of course, but it's become more than a gym. We all go there now, people know our names, they know our kid's name. We had Thanksgiving dinner there. FirePower refers to itself as"The Family Gym", and it is absolutely true. You walk through the door, you are family.
So yeah, I guess the TL;DR is ...worked hard, earned a shirt, love my gym, very proud