I always gave lip service to the importance of self care and putting you first all the while I was doing the exact opposite most of my adult life. I put food first for many years, using it to reward myself, to relieve stress and as a source of comfort. Unfortunately the pay off I received from food was short lived but the consequences, weight gain and feeling bad about myself, were not. I spent a lot of time struggling to get a handle on my steadily increasing weight. I found it very challenging to make exercise and healthy eating a regular part of my life. This isn’t to say I didn’t try, I did. I experienced many temporary successes that filled me with hopefulness only to be followed by devastating setbacks.
In late 2008 my difficult marriage was on its last leg and ended in divorce less than a year later. At the time of my divorce I was the heaviest I had ever been, having gained 80 lbs during my marriage. I had become a woman I didn’t recognize anymore. It was then that I decided I had enough and it was time to put myself first. That’s when I made a commitment to live the happiest and healthiest life I could. I had to begin by accepting where I was physically and understanding that I didn’t get there over night and wouldn’t reach my goals overnight. I also had to commit to a healthy lifestyle rather than relying on the next fad diet to “get thin quickly”. I didn’t know it yet but I was on my way to CrossFit.
I was introduced to CrossFit by my sister Alison who started CrossFitting in 2009. I had no idea what it was and didn’t give it much thought until I started to see the significant physical and psychological changes in her. She invited me to watch one of her classes at CrossFit Chicago during the summer of 2010 and I have to admit I was both fascinated and intimidated. This didn’t look like any gym I had worked out in. I watched as people went through their Workout of the Day, or “WOD”. The music was blasting, the weights were clanging and people were sweating like crazy. It was an awesome site! I knew I wanted to join CrossFit but I had doubts about whether someone as out of shape as I was could do it. Soon after I decided to look for a CrossFit affiliate close to home and found CrossFit Impact (CFI) was in the process of opening. I contacted the owner and coach, Carlos Montoya, and he answered all my questions and helped put me at ease. With my sister along for support I tried my first CrossFit class appropriately called “Share the Pain”. That first class was a real challenge, but I was hooked. When I started my on-ramp (CrossFit orientation) in October of 2010 I was pre-diabetic, hypertensive and significantly overweight. Since that time I lost 70 pounds, dropped from a size 22/24 to a size 12, improved my health and best of all I found myself again.
CrossFit has become a way of life for me and CrossFit Impact has become a community of support. With each class I attend I become stronger and healthier. I am more fit and healthy today as a Masters athlete then I was in my 20s. I’m so grateful to Carlos Montoya, Eric Collins, and my CFI family for all of their guidance, support and encouragement. I still have much more I want to accomplish but instead of thinking of my goals as pipe dreams, I see myself accomplishing everything I set my mind to. I owe a lot of my confidence to CrossFit Impact. So if you think CrossFit is too hard, or that there is no way you can do it, I know how you feel because I felt that way too. When I started CrossFit I couldn’t run 200 meters, but now I can run a mile without stopping which is a major accomplishment for me. I also would have never known how much I love rowing or power lifting if I hadn’t tried CrossFit. Don’t underestimate yourself, we are all capable of much more than we think. I prove that to myself every time I complete a WOD.