Hana - Beloit College Student and CrossFitter

My name is Hana Laurencot, and I was at CrossFit Beloit from August 2011 to May 2012. I started because a friend of mine mentioned it to me, and I left because I graduated from Beloit College and moved back to Boston.

Throughout my life I've tended to shy away from most social and physical activities given that my expectations for the universe and myself always tend to exceed reality. I got into Cross Fit on a whim, almost like a dare for myself. I sent my first ever contact to CrossFit (an email to Scott) on an adrenaline rush and almost dreaded his response and the thought that I might be responsible for actually attending a physical activity.

My friend who introduced me to CrossFit, Mike, had once told me that he actually enjoyed when he threw-up after a workout because it meant that he had "pushed himself to his physical limits". I mistakenly assumed that all CrossFitters were such fanatics, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with them and their race to vomit faster than everyone else. I met Scott on a Saturday and did my Baseline workout. I hated everything I was doing, except for sit ups which I had gotten really good at after a misled summer between 6th and 7th grade when I did sit ups every day and kept making my mom look at my "abs". Thankfully, I have since unlearned everything that women's magazines had taught me, like sit-ups-will-make-your-stomach-smaller and do-more-reps-with-no-weights-for-pretty-muscles. But even back when I started CrossFit I really didn't know what I was looking for or what I wanted. I just knew that I wanted to be stronger.

Since the first day I spent in the gym I knew I would be happy there. I didn't know how to talk to anyone, so I kept to myself. But for some crazy reason, the encouragement kept coming. I found that I was learning how to do things. That I was figuring out the jargon, and that when I went to the gym on campus I actually understood what the football bros were saying. I was so proud, and every day that I got up and went to Cross Fit, I came back home with more confidence and self-assurance.

Our winter break from classes is three weeks long, which was a problem for me and my junk food intake (it went through the roof). Shortly after I got back, my best friend was raped. She told me at dinner one day and we went to the hospital together. We scheduled follow up visits and talked to the police, who, in one instance of ignorant denial decided it wasn't really "rape". We spent a few weeks watching out for each other. A similar situation had happened to a friend of mine from high school, and my anxiety and depression reached some very unsettling lows. The world seemed to be telling me that no matter how much anyone spouted off about privilege and equality, a woman could still be made to feel worthless in such a horrible, despicable way. I don't believe that rape makes a woman worthless, but I believe that in some instances one can feel it, and that it can be tempting to believe. It makes me shudder, and my life shut down for what felt like a very long time.

When I got back to Cross Fit for the first time after that, I was expecting to break down. I knew that the physical stress was difficult and on some days it almost made me feel like quitting. On my very first day back, by the luck of the draw, it was my very least favorite type of workout – a tabata. I did it anyway, and I gave it my all. Instead of feeling worse and worse as I exerted more and more energy, I started feeling better. I felt the weight lifting away, and I felt the positive voice coming back into my head; the one that assured me that I was strong and getting stronger. Ever since my first day at Cross Fit, I knew it was for me, but ever since that first day back, I knew I tied it up deep within me, anchoring it to the very roots of what made me a person.  I kept attending CrossFit, and soon I was starting to see the progress in my capabilities that I knew I felt after my first day.

Towards the end of my short year there, I lost access to the car I had been borrowing and I ran out of other people who would trade me their car keys in the morning for a six-pack on Friday. It was then that Scott gave me a ride. I think it might have been about a week that Scott came early and drove and got me so that I could get to CrossFit. I knew already that I had accepted CrossFit into my heart, but that's when I knew that CrossFit accepted me into its community. It wouldn't have been possible without CrossFit Beloit, not without the wonderful people who go there every morning, and not without the fantastic coaches who yell loudly enough that we all wake up. And I haven't even gotten to talk about Oscar. That dog is my bro. If I could take one thing to a desert island, it would probably be Oscar. Sorry, everybody else, but I called it first.

I've never regretted one second that I've spent in a Cross Fit gym. Not when I've come in last with the lowest weight and the longest time on the board, not when I've slipped from the push up bar and fallen flat on the ground (twice), not the day when the only people doing the WOD were me and two much stronger/faster/better Marines and I was going by myself for a good 8 minutes at the end there, and not even on the days when we've done tabatas. If you're reading the testimonials and thinking about whether or not you're up for Cross Fit, let me say – you're already here, why not email Scott?

Editors Note:

I received this August 6th from Hana and I was in almost in tears when I read it.  Hana was always quite but I wanted to respect her privacy.  From  the beginning I knew Hana had a fire inside of her but it was always hard to tell if she truly wanted to let it out.  Hana was dedicated for her fall semester...but something changed when she finally came back after her winter break (I had no idea of the story she told here) she was a beast.  She took every work out as a way to better herself and she did just that.  I remember that tabata she spoke of and there was a fire in her eyes and I said, "Hana is Back...Fuck yeah!"  I am honored to be apart of this story and Hana is here to kick some serious ass for the rest of her life!  And Hana forgot to mention from all the defeats she suffered (which are not).  She has also posted the fastest time, improved her baseline by the most, and can do push-ups from her toes!

Just sayin'.