I was asked to write a “success” story for CrossFit Lake Mary (CFLM). I’ve been having a hard time trying to write this because I feel my story is not yet complete, but I will share my journey up until this point. I’ve realized a lot of my story deals with overcoming adversity and excuses. Like many of us, we can find a thousand reasons not to work out and I was never short on excuses – my job is just too busy, too tired, not enough time in the day, not motivated…and the list goes on. Ironically, I work in the fields of both healthcare and college athletics so you would think that would be enough motivation to be healthy and want to work out; but it wasn’t.
I ran occasionally on a treadmill and tried to watch what I ate, but that wasn’t enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle or lose any kind of weight. My father passed away in May 2011 and my life was sent into a tailspin. Over the next year, I was so overwhelmed with taking on more responsibilities at work and managing an estate from a thousand miles away. I suddenly lost myself. I didn’t pack on weight like many do when dealing with stressful situations, but my stress led to bad eating habits, drinking more than necessary, an end of a five-year relationship and lack of caring for myself.
In August 2012, I walked into a co-worker’s office and she said “Hey, there is a Groupon for CrossFit – we have to do this!” I had never heard of CrossFit before and certainly didn’t know what it entailed. So trusting my co-worker’s judgment and excitement, I went to my office and purchased the Groupon. I started doing research about CrossFit and immediately told myself “I could not do it”, “I’m not going to be successful at this”, “this is going to be terrible!”
In September, we cashed in our Groupon vouchers for two weeks of beginner classes. I was never so sore in my life than I was the two days after I started CrossFit. Every muscle on my body ached. I’m sure that anyone that has ever done CrossFit knows what I’m talking about. Anyway, I made it through the foundation classes and signed up for the three-days-per-week membership package – obviously still not convinced I would be “good enough or successful enough” since I didn’t purchase the unlimited package. Unfortunately, I proved myself to be correct. I didn’t fully commit to the change and was not successful I’m sure for the first year and a half. I sporadically attended classes. Some weeks I would go a lot and then I would miss for a month or two and try to start over, never really getting anywhere and seeing minimal changes in my body. However, I did upgrade my membership to the unlimited package at some point thinking that would make me more motivated to attend classes… didn’t happen. Of course, I dealt with some more adversity during that time, I fractured my neck and that kept me from performing any impact exercise for a few months. That was just another perfect excuse not to continue CrossFit and not be committed to changing my life.
Finally, in the summer of 2014, I committed myself to change! CFLM began promoting a “30 Day Paleo Challenge.” Paleo is the recommended nutritional diet for CrossFitters, I decided to sign up and see if that would result in any change. I am a competitive and type A person, so when challenged I like to succeed. The day before the challenge started it was Memorial Day and I participated in my first “Murph” workout (one of the more challenging workouts there is). I was exhausted and super sore, but I knew after I finished that workout I was going to be successful for the next 30 days. I became extremely consistent in my workouts, only missing one during the entire 30 days and that was the Wednesday after Murph because it literally was a struggled to move any body part. I lost seven pounds very quickly while eating paleo and ended up losing a total of 13 pounds during the challenge and never cheated!
It still amazes me how much leaner my body got (CHANGE!); I began getting stronger (CHANGE!); I felt better overall (CHANGE!). I had so much more energy during the day and during my workouts (CHANGE!). So much was changing; I had finally committed myself to being healthy! I discovered a new me! I also discovered a family at CFLM that was so supportive, helpful and complimentary of my changes. One of the greatest things about CFLM is the members. It truly is unlike any other fitness community and getting to know the people I work out with has been a great experience, we all have a story to share as to why we CrossFit. I would be remiss if I did not speak of the amazing coaches at CFLM from Kyla (my first coach), to Joan, to Anthony, to Jill (she told me I was horrible at a lot of movements!), Jen, Ron, Nate, Lauren, Paul, Eddie, Kellie, and Kristie. I am so thankful for you all; your knowledge of CrossFit, the movements, support and motivation you give has made a huge impact on my life. The one person I cannot thank enough is Coach Greg; he believes in me and pushes me to lift heavier and work harder than I ever thought I could. When I struggled during the beginning of paleo trying to figure out how much I should be eating, Greg took his valuable time without hesitation to help me understand and be successful on my journey to change.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way is that you have to be committed and consistent in every way possible otherwise success will never fully happen. My journey is not yet complete. I am down a total of 20 pounds since Memorial Day, but I’m just getting started. I’m looking forward to the many challenges and positive changes CrossFit Lake Mary will continue to bring in my future.