Crossfit is defined as “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements that coach people of ALL shapes, sizes, ages and athletic ability to improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness in a tough but encouraging environment.” By this definition then, Crossfit is for you. It was for me, too, but I just didn’t know it at first. Now I feel like it defines me.
My fitness journey did not start with Crossfit, but every step of my journey was leading me here. The very premise of Crossfit speaks to who I am & why I live life the way I do.
I have always valued health–so much so that I chose a career in Nursing. And while I always viewed fitness & nutrition as components of health, my ideas were skewed. I thought of health merely as the absence of disease. But I have learned to look at it more broadly: as disease prevention & health promotion and the activities that support that.
I was never an athletic kid. I would rather sit with my nose in a book than move my body. I grew up on budget-stretching meals that were high in starchy carbs. I danced and ran track & Cross Country in high School, but to be honest, I did that more for the social rewards than the physical.
Fast-forward 30 years. I was well situated in my nursing career, had 2 kids in college and had just finished grad school. But my misunderstanding of a healthy lifestyle had caught up with me. Yo-yo dieting had brought 50 extra pounds. My only exercise was walking on a treadmill in my basement because I was too embarrassed to exercise in public.
I attacked my weight problem with “organized dieting”—Weight Watchers. Three things I gained from this experience: I learned the importance of logging my food for personal accountability; I learned that external accountability is important to my success; and I recognized that I thrive with a social network (notice a theme here). I lost 30 lbs. But I was not healthy.
Next step was to learn more about fitness. I joined a gym, but I was clueless about how to use most of the equipment or how to even start. I saw that they offered personal training, so I signed up! For an hour once a week, I learned everything I could about how to get my body healthy. My trainer taught me the importance of setting goals to help me stay focused. He taught me how to safely move my body, but challenge myself. And HE challenged me, too! I learned that I loved discovering what my body was capable of. But working out once a week wasn’t going to cut it, so several days a week, I would workout on my own, using the techniques my trainer taught me. I met my goal of losing that last 20 lbs & started running again. But I was lonely & kind of bored. I decided to try some of the group fitness classes at my gym. BAZINGA!! I found the social interaction I was craving.
Enter Crossfit. My Personal Trainer was coaching part-time at a local Crossfit box, Crossfit Solaria, and encouraged me to come & try it out. No. Way. I had seen the Crossfit Games on TV so I was certain this was not anything I could do. I was too old, too small, too weak, too slow. He was persistent. He even started sneaking Crossfit workouts into our weekly sessions. I finally agreed to come for a free session. Mostly so he would quit asking & we wouldn’t have to talk about it anymore.
Y’all, that was 5 (FIVE!!!) years ago. I never went back to my old gym. I was comfortable at CFS from the minute I walked in. Everyone, from coaches to members, treated my like I was a member of the family. They genuinely cared (and still do!) about my fitness, my personal goals and just about me as a person. I had never experienced anything like this. I truly felt like I belonged here…like they had been waiting for me.
About six months ago, I enrolled in nutrition coaching at CFS, where I am learning how to match my nutrition to my performance AND my lifestyle, in a sustainable way. This final piece of the puzzle has me feeling (and looking) the fittest of my life.
In the past five years, I have slowly gained confidence in myself & my abilities, setting, CRUSHING, and celebrating many goals along the way! I continue to learn about fitness as coaches patiently teach the correct & safe way to perform lifts and other movements, always encouraging, pushing me just a little outside my comfort zone. But I have also learned, gratitude, patience, dedication, humility, & compassion. And for that, I am grateful.
This statement from Greg Petersen, CFS owner, sums it up for me…“Crossfit Solaria is more than a place to workout”. So much more…
–Chris Hoebelheinrich, CFS member