Monica-260x300Looking back…

I was unhealthy.
I was far from fit.
I didn’t know the first thing about lifting weights nor could I lift any weights.
I had a “bum” knee from an injury.
I was sure I would “start tomorrow”.
I didn’t think Crossfit was for me.
I was certain that ONLY big, buff, muscular meatheads were what I would see in the gym.
BUT…I knew something needed to change. You see I walked into my parents’ bathroom a little over a year ago to find the row after row of prescriptions for high blood pressure, cholesterol and the like. And I saw myself following in those same footsteps and knew… I NEED a change; a change in my lifestyle. Ok, so maybe it also started with wanting to fit into that little black dress I kept for 11 years with the hope that I’d wear it again. Whatever the motivation, I found myself walking into the Silverback nation afraid yet slightly open to what lay ahead.

I remember waiting in my car (you see…I wanted a quick getaway just in case) for the gym to open at 4:30pm to get my first glimpse at this Crossfit thing I’d heard about from a couple of friends. And I was surprised to find two ladies standing by the bay door; slightly older than me. So the big, buff meatheads story was out. I said, “it’s now or never,” and with that, I got out of my car and headed their way. They were quick to greet me and share their experience and enthusiasm for introducing me to Matt, GIC (Gorilla-In-Charge). I shared my previous workout history, which was not lengthy and only recently included running and training to run a marathon (which I did not run due to an injury). And I mentioned my knee injury from a skiing accident. He listened and simply shared that every movement an athlete does in the box can be modified to fit my ability and endurance level. But I had to see for myself. I observed the class for a few minutes watching those ladies row, lift weights and keep moving. And a single thought hit me…if they could do it, so could I.

I went back the next day for the following modified WOD:
5 Rounds
9 Squats
6 Knee push ups
3 Ring pulls
I finished in 10:12. For me, I was proud to be done but commented in my journal, “I feel like jello”. But I went back the next day to another modified workout. I finished that one too but remember laying on the floor in my living room unable to move or get up from that position for 30 minutes. So I did what most tell you not to do. I took a day off on Day 3 to try and recover. But I admit all I could think about was NOT going back. And texted a friend and fellow Crossfitter (at another box), who encouraged me to go back. I did. For the next 365 days and counting…

In a year’s time, this is what I have learned:

I’m healthier today than a year ago and continue to make better choices around what I eat. This isn’t a perfect science nor would I say that I always eat the “right” foods. But I eat more of the “right” foods to strengthen my health than take a way from it. And I allow for everything in moderation.

I’m stronger today than I was yesterday and derfinitely more than a year ago. This not only includes physical strength but also strength of mind and spirit. I now understand a phrase that one of the coaches shared with me once: “sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug”. There are days when I will crush a WOD because I made the best choices that day from what I ate, to how much water I drank to the amount of sleep I had. And there are still days when “I feel like jello” and get beaten by the WOD. But I ALWAYS FINISH. And that is truly what matters.

Crossfit is my lifestyle now! And I’m not going back to the way things were before Crossfit. The Silverback Nation is my second family where I’m able to be a “work in progress”, and I’m missed when I’m not there and held accountable for doing the work when I walk through those bay doors. I’ve learned true GRIT: Gratefully, Renewed, Inspired Transformation.

But the proof is in the results: I can deadlift 245 lbs. I can swing a 53 lb Kettle bell. I am able to backsquat 185 lbs. I’m 15lbs away from sled pushing my body weight. The point…I can now lift weights and have muscles where there were none. I’m 50 lbs lighter and counting. My clothes don’t fit and the ones I bought last fall that fit then…no longer fit. I did finally put on that little black dress again this Christmas but while it was an achievement, it isn’t the end destination for me. My body has changed, and this is now a journey for me. To be stronger today than yesterday. My goals have changed…fitting into that little black dress was GREAT but NOW…I want to be able to do an unassisted pull-up. And I’m well on my way.

I can’t begin to thank the coaches enough for their unyielding support. To know when to modify for my injury or my ability to when to push me to increase my weight, every coach has loved me through every moment of my journey. For that, I am overwhelmingly grateful. When I find myself struggling to keep moving through a WOD, it’s their words and encouragement that I hear (as well as those fellow Silverbacks who I can now call friends) that has and is slowly becoming my own voice. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but more proud of where I’m going and couldn’t ask for a better BOX and community of athletes to share this journey. Thank you, Matt, Garrett, Val, Dick, DJ, Zach and my dear family at Silverback Nation—I am a stronger, better version of myself because of your loving support.

*Results may vary from person to person.