Finding CrossFit in the Dark
After my last son was born, like most new moms, I decided it was time to lose the “baby weight” and get back in shape. My venture into the world of exercise began with the infamous “Body for Life” program some 12 years ago. In the subsequent years that followed, I consumed ever new exercise and nutrition book as it became available, religiously woke up at 5 a.m. to workout while my family slept (rarely missed a scheduled workout) and counted calories fastidiously. Sadly I always felt I came up short, never reaching the goals I was working so hard to achieve. I always seemed to be searching for something that remained elusive – a body that truly reflected my dedication and determination.
I discovered CrossFit inadvertently on “date-night” in a dark movie theater with King Leonidas and his fellow Spartans. Doubting the actors’ awe inspiring physiques, I set out on an internet quest to determine whether their muscular bodies were computer enhanced or the result of some exercise program I had yet to discover. Of course my quest leads me to Mark Twight’s Gym Jones website. Something didn’t seem right – a world renowned mountain climber turned expert “personal trainer”? There was no apparent explanation as to why he had decided to begin training these actors in this particular manner to achieve such extraordinary results. I combed through every single article he authored hoping to better understand the “method to his madness”.
Buried deep in one of the many articles I read, I found a small reference to a program called “Crossfit”. In this article Mr. Twight, believing himself to be in excellent shape, states he was “destroyed” when he first participated in CF. Googling “CrossFit” was like finding the key to a lock that guarded a much revered and sought after secret. I found the exact same exercises Mr. Twight had used to train the actors from the movie“300”, and discovered a program that would completely alter the way I thought about exercise and nutrition. I was shocked to discover at “crossfit.com” a huge supportive community, many of whom were women in incredible shape, daily prescribed workouts, explanation and video links for each exercise, certification and specialty training opportunities, complete nutrition information, extensive FAQ sections, hundreds of Journal articles, etc. I was dumbstruck – a program that was obviously extremely supportive, informative, and effective – yet, FREE!!
Thus began my journey into the world of CrossFit in August of 2008 – a journey that would finally assist me in achieving my lifetime goal: to move beyond average, beyond the proverbial “you look great for your age” to move from “well” to “fit”. It was a journey that would not only change my life, but also the lives of my husband, two young sons and close friends. I started learning “how to do” CrossFit by driving 2 hours each way to train with Coach Douglas Lane, a reputable CrossFit Level II in my area. I studied relentlessly online and finally began CF in my globo gym by scaling the WOD, 3-on, 1-off.
In November of 2008 I participated in my first official CF Certification – the Barbell Certification with Coach Rippetoe. I walked away from this experience amazed not only from the knowledge I had gained, but also very much impressed with the dynamic individuals involved in this community. Many certifications later, I can honestly say I leave with the same feeling each time: truly humbled to have had an opportunity to work with such honorable and respected individuals – Mark Rippetoe, Mike Burgener, Jeff Martone, Robb Wolf, Carl Borg, T.J. Cooper, The Martins, Cyndi Rodi, etc – each one passionate about their area of expertise, possessing an extraordinarily ability to share their expertise in such a way that I have been able to return home and replicate their instruction with ease. Their commitment and genuine interest in helping others succeed is unprecedented.
I originally began my journey into CF for selfish reasons. I studied CF, participated in Certifications and set up a complete CF gym in my home (minus a GHD – still trying making room for a Sorinex), doing all of this for myself. I wanted to “look good” and be able to do CF to the best of MY ability. In the beginning I had no intentions of ever becoming a CF trainer or opening an affiliate. Yet this feeling began to change with time. It is actually a very emotional experience for me to share how much I believe exercise has the power to transform. To not only transform our bodies, but also transform our minds. My sons often tease me concerning my ability to relate everything in life back to CF – overcoming obstacles, hard work and determination is critical to success, never giving up even when it’s tough, etc. There is so much to be gained both mentally and physically from doing CF.
From my heart, eagerly wanting to share with others the positive effects this program has had in my life, I began working with some of my closest friends. Although I’m extremely busy, I’m surprised to discover just how much I look forward to training these friends each week. We are a mixture of women in our forties and fifties, each of us struggling with well known hormonal effects that accompany the aging female body. Yet beyond the positive physical changes that accompany our commitment to functional movement, constantly varied and high intensity – what I have enjoyed most is witnessing the emerging inner strength and confidence that follows successfully completing a difficult WOD. To help women become both physically and mentally stronger – this is a gift to give to others that will last a lifetime. This gift of strength is one I cherish in my own life. I hope by sharing information through this blog, I will be able to help more women achieve this in their own lives as well.