I have never really considered myself an athlete. Oh sure, I played football, baseball, basketball, golf, and ran track when I was a kid. I grew up in a little country town and that is what everyone did. I never did it for the love of the sports, but rather for social acceptance. Sometimes that worked out for me, but what I remember most is the coaches were only interested in the kids with natural abilities that could help the teams win. I was rarely “that kid”, if ever.
I never planned this crossfit-fitness-health journey at the beginning of summer 2014. I didn’t take any before pictures, take measurements, set goals, or make a game plan. I participated in my first CrossFit WOD when Ben and Catie held free workouts in the park on Saturday mornings as a way to get the community involved and to promote their dream of opening their own box. The WOD kicked my out of shape butt, which has happened many times in my life, but what made this experience different was the coaching I received from Ben and Catie. They met me where I was at. If I cannot do something, they scale it down in a way that allowed me to build up to the prescribed movement. They didn’t just coach, however, they also encourage you and cheer you on to finish strong. Truthfully, the coaching style and community is what kept me coming back each Saturday.
After a while, I decided that my goal would be to just to show up and try hard. I just tried to apply one little bit of advice the coaches have given me, which was “keep moving”. That one hasn’t been easy, but for now, it’s working for me. When CrossFit Fireside opened its doors in October 2014, I became a founding member, which is a huge deal for me because I have NEVER wanted to work out in a gym. Going snowboarding and mountain biking has always been good enough.
Well, the time I have spent at the box has revealed so many surprises. I initially went 3 days per week, and am now at 5 days per week. I then begun to consider my nutrition, which has yielded me an over 30 pound weight loss in 5 months.
Since losing 70lbs+ at CrossFit Fireside, I weigh less now than I have in 25 years! The best part is that I know I am adding years to my life.
As thankful as I am for all that, I think my most precious reward from CrossFit Fireside, has been the increased mental strength. Over the past few years, the darkness and cold of winter has created a low spirit in me; a form of depression. With it came doubts about my abilities in other areas of my life. Not the following winter! I battled snow and ice to get to the workouts, and it paid off. I feel so strong; stronger than I have ever felt. I am so happy; I feel like singing and jumping for joy. I find I am more excited about my future with this improved mind, body, and spirit
One sure sign that I am more physically fit then at any other time in my life, completing 5 strict pull-ups during the CrossFit Open. You may say, “big deal”, so I will explain. I have never been able to do a strict pull-up in my entire life! I can vividly remember staring at that bar during the grade school Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge year after year. I was the fat kid who could never do even one. Yes. That’s right. NEVER. It was a childhood obstacle that was buried in my adult mind. My wife and son were there to cheer me on that day, and it ended in tears. Tears over pull-ups may seem silly, but when you break through a 30 year old wall, it shakes you at the core.
I know CrossFit may not be everyone’s thing; everyone has their reasons or excuses. With the right coaches and community behind you, CrossFit could be the answer to overcoming things in your own life. Personally, I am overwhelmed with this new outlook and attitude towards life. I will never be able to thank CrossFit Fireside enough for this opportunity to thrive. I am only a few months in, and can’t even imagine what will happen in the months and years to come. I think I may have to do this until my end.