PSA: This is a long post and NOT just about CrossFit but more about how fitness has changed my life and the community that I’ve found in it. I think it will be worth your time if you give it a read!
How CrossFit Changed My Life
This post has been a long time coming, 4 years to be exact. On September 20, 2016 my life would be forever changed by CrossFit and CrossFit Cornelius in particular. I know, I know that sounds dramatic but guess what – it is!
First though, I should give you a little background about my fitness history throughout the years. I was never a serious athlete so I didn’t have that drive to workout like some people do. But I knew that exercise was important so I would run or swim off and on and even lifted weights in high school and college.
But after college my fitness (or exercise, we didn’t really call if fitness back then) was always hit or miss. I would try something new or join a gym and be pretty consistent for awhile then that would fade. There would be a long break until I picked up something new again and repeat the cycle. Feel familiar to anyone???
I finally became frustrated after enough years of hodgepodge exercise and I new I needed a change. I had to find something that would stick for me. My boyfriend Kevin had already started is fitness journey at a similar type gym and with
some A LOT of encouragement from him I decided to give it a try.
Let me tell you, I was terrified at first. I thought the gym was going to be full of meat heads looking at their bulging biceps in the mirror. First truth I realized was, there are no mirrors, period! Who knew?!?! All kidding aside though, I was nervous and it took some time to get over that, but I was determined to make this work.
I started with the introductory class where a coach taught me one-on-one all of the movements I would need to be successful in the classes. After 4 one-hour sessions I was ready to join a group class. It was intimidating to say the least but I sucked it up and told myself I was starting from square one, probably like many of the other members, and I was right. It took me months to get comfortable with everything and I am still learning new skills four years later. But everyone was willing to help and I never felt uncomfortable in the gym. The fear was all in my head!
Having a consistent fitness routine for once in my life was the reason I started (Lord knows I won’t do anything if left to my own devices – Covid proved that to me), but it grew into so much more. CrossFit or any kind of consistent exercise is a lifestyle – not a cult by the way – and it proves to me time and again that I can do hard things. And because I was seeing results and feeling so much better, that started spilling over into other aspects of my life such as cleaning up my diet, getting better sleep, being more productive and creating healthier habits.
CrossFit has become my community, a family of sorts, and I don’t know what I would do without it. I’ve met many friends, participated in fundraisers and community events. We learn and share so much with each other and everyone has their own unique story. It sounds weird for me to call the people at the gym ‘members’ because that seems so generic. They are my friends, acquaintances, coaches and mentors – my community.
On any given day I may not want to pick up a barbell but you better believe Robin will be challenging me to do it anyway. Mike will be screaming FITNESS or HAPPY ____DAY at the top of his lungs. Jen will be doing way too much encouragement yelling while she’s coaching (or not), I could go on and on! And as much as I don’t want to, through my complaining, I’ll pick the barbell up anyway. I am the self proclaimed Happy Complainer. I’m not the Debbie Downer of the gym but I like to b*t^h and moan in a very happy way and even do some dancing in between sets. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and personalities, right! :)
But this post is not just about CrossFit or my gym, CrossFit Cornelius. It’s not a sponsored post and I don’t get paid for writing this. This is my experience and my encouragement to you to find your fitness community. Whether it’s yoga, the YMCA or a running group. Whatever it is if you do it consistently it becomes a lifestyle and your life will only be better for it, I promise! Not to mention how much better you will feel about yourself and all of the people you will meet along the way.
My Top 3 Reasons for Starting and Continuing to do CrossFit
- Fitness – First and foremost it was about my personal health and well being. I want to be healthy for myself and my son as I grow older.
- Community – It truly is like a second family. I have become close to many people from our gym and no matter what you need there is someone to help you out, give you a recommendation and even a good kick in the butt.
- Overflow – CrossFit or any commitment to getting fit overflows into all aspects of your life from eating, to sleep to productivity. You name it and I can probably tell you how in someway CrossFit has helped me with it. My overall health has improved dramatically over the last four years.
You know they say you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone, well for me and CrossFit that couldn’t be more true. When Covid hit and gyms were closed I experienced a weird fitness paralysis. I gave myself permission to rest for a few weeks but when it was time to get up and start working out at home I struggled. I fell right back into my bad habits of inconsistency. Luckily the gym started outdoor classes and I was able to get back involved, but it gave me a glimpse of what life would be without it and I did not like what I saw (or how I felt). I’m still working out during the outdoor classes and working my way back out of the hole I fell into but thank goodness gyms are fully back open now!
If you have personally considered CrossFit I can tell you that whether you’re 7 or 70 it can be scaled to fit your needs. It will open your mind to all aspects of healthy living and you will be able to do things you never thought you could. And you’re bound to make a friend…or 50!
And it turns out it gave me and Kevin a common interest that we now share and enjoy doing together. Our kids get to see us model a commitment to our own health and they have joined in with us from time to time too!
Oh and I definitely want to dispel the myth that I hear all the time from my friends that say if you lift weights you will get ‘too bulky’. I promise you that you would have to lift SO many weights for SO long to get too bulky so don’t let that stop you ;)
Okay I’m done rambling now, I just really wanted to share with you this huge part of my life in the hopes that it might encourage you on your journey to taking control of your health. It is not easy to get motivated and stick with something consistently, it took me almost 40 years, so I get it. It’s hard. But the results both mentally and physically are priceless in my experience. And if I can do it, I know you can!
If you have any questions about my health journey, fitness, CrossFit or anything please leave a comment or email me at [email protected] And if you are local and want information about Crossfit Cornelius let me know that too. You can check them out HERE. You can also find more of my health and fitness posts HERE and HERE.