I’ve always been relatively active from an early age, but like many people I struggled after college to incorporate a healthy amount of exercise into my increasingly busy routine. This past year, though, I decided to make a promise to myself to prioritize and invest in what matters most – my health. A coworker of mine heard me vent one day about my frustration with my lack of progress in my fitness routine, and suggested I try CrossFit. To be honest, I had always been a little intimidated by the idea of CrossFit; in my mind, there was no way someone like me would ever be fit enough to handle it, let alone keep up with the other athletes. I protested his suggestion, citing all of my preconceived reservations, but he corrected me, pointing out that everyone starts somewhere, that it’s about competing with yourself and pushing yourself to do better rather than comparing yourself to other people, and that he’s never met a more supportive community of people.
So I did it. I took the plunge, came in for a free class, completed foundations, and signed a membership contract. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about that. My body was more sore than it had been in a long time during those first few weeks, and it was tough for me to accept that I was the last one – by a long shot – to finish most workouts. But my coworker was right about the support, and the warm, friendly, welcoming people I worked out with each class quickly reminded me that it wasn’t being last that mattered – what mattered was I still finished the workout. Overall, what keeps me excited to come to classes each day is supportive and encouraging people, the awesome coaches that help me find the balance between pushing myself to my limits and ensuring personal safety and good form, the variety of movements that keep me from getting bored, and the fact that I can consistently measure my progress, even with just the smallest of milestones.
The most noticeable accomplishment by far is that I’ve lost 20lbs. For me, though, as awesome as that physical change is, it isn’t my only accomplishment. I’m happier and more comfortable in my skin, I feel healthier and have so much more energy than I did before, and I’m learning to listen to and understand what my body is telling me – both from a exercise and a diet perspective. Perhaps the biggest shift of all, though, has been in my mindset – the amazing coaches at CrossFit Route 7 have been instrumental in helping me with that. I previously felt guilty about eating ‘badly’ or not working out, and I was constantly beating myself up mentally for not being fit enough or healthy enough or ‘good enough’. Since starting CrossFit, I’ve learned to celebrate my accomplishments for what they are, instead of what they’re not. I’ve learned that it’s not about feeling guilty, it’s about wanting to feel the good, clean energy from eating healthy, and that rush after an awesome workout. Am I finishing the workout to the best of my ability? Am I challenging myself to increase intensity? Am I making progress? If my answer to any of these questions is yes, I walk out of the gym proud after each workout, happy with who and where I am in my journey towards a healthier me.