To help myself get in shape for a wedding that never happened and to break my nasty smoking habit, I turned to Facebook for some health tips and workout suggestions from my family and friends. I tried the at-home workout DVDs, but it was challenging for me to maintain a consistent schedule, and I was never sure if I was effectively achieving the movements that the pre-recorded coach was demonstrating on the tube.
I knew I didn’t want to go to the YMCA or other gyms like it. I wasn’t looking to spend my time on machines that I didn’t know how to operate, nor was I interested in placing myself in an environment where I would start to question my self-worth. Several of my friends suggested Crossfit, which I never heard of, so I Googled “What is Crossfit”, and clicked on the top article. My attention was immediately drawn to: “The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.” [http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/what-crossfit.html]. After reading several articles and watching various videos, I finally made the decision to contact Scott Thiele and schedule my first appointment – a decision I made almost two years ago and haven’t regretted once.
My very first time at the “box”, I was greeted by Oscar, the Beloit Crossfit mascot, who is notorious for intimidating newcomers with his loud bark. I was also greeted by Scott, who was less intimidating. Scott sat me down to discuss my goals and expectations. He also shared some nutritional tips that would help with my energy levels during the WODs.
After I completed the elements portion, I started coming to the 5:30 morning classes three times a week. My initial intention was to get in, warm up, complete the WOD, and get out. I had no interest in striking up conversation or making new friends, but then, something incredible happened. I started getting encouragement not only from Scott, but from other Crossfit members.
The moments that I felt and wanted to give up and just walk out, they kept me going by telling me, “Keep going. You can do it. Just one more round. One more rep.” They all made me feel like part of the family, so I joined in on the cheers. It stopped being about just going there to improve myself; it also became about me going there and supporting others trying to reach their goals.
Since I’ve started at Beloit Crossfit, I’ve participated in two runs and quite a few competitions. The Spartan run, I would say, has been one of my biggest accomplishments. After my wedding was called off and I dislocated my shoulder, I needed to do something to boost my confidence and self-worth because I seriously felt like the worst person in the world. During the race, all of us supported one another, helped each other through the obstacles, and made sure we all kept hydrated. Scott even made sure that all of us had someone to run with so none of us finished the race alone. I can’t even begin to describe what I felt when I finished that race, but I know if my Crossfit family wasn’t there, supporting me every step of the way, I would have never made it.
Even at an individual competition that I felt I completely bombed – my Crossfit family was right there with words of encouragement, reminding me of how far I’ve come from when I first started. And that, that’s what it’s about: coming together as a team and pushing each other to do our best. Coming from someone who has been through a lot of difficult life situations, Crossfit hasn’t only made me physically stronger, healthier, and faster. It has also made me more confident and secure. I may not be able to link together pull-ups today, but I will one day, and I won’t stop trying until I do. I am also excited for the day when I finally do my first muscle up.
For anyone looking into Crossfit and wondering if it’s the right fit for them, my only advice to you is to try it. Don’t base your decision or opinion off the negative criticism that surrounds it. There’s more to it than just lifting weights and doing WODs. It’s about pushing your limits and accomplishing things you never thought you would or could ever do. It’s about believing in yourself and supporting those around you.
So what are you waiting for? Come check us out and discover what you’re capable of. We’ll be right here, cheering you on – every snatch, deadlift, and power jerk of the way. Cheers!