A year ago, in February 2013, I walked into Crossfit Continuum in Colorado Springs, CO to start something I had no idea that would change my life as profoundly as it has. My wife Evelyn had started a few months prior and I was honestly scared to start after seeing how sore she was in the beginning… but I went anyway.
I went through my two weeks of on-ramp weighing around 250. Just a few months prior, I weighed 262. So I’d already started making some positive changes. But let me tell you that crossfit was a shock to the system for an overweight 42 year old software developer who works from home sitting in front of the computer all day and usually plants his butt in front of the TV (or a book) all night. (By the way, I’m down to a solid 210 now!)
I could barely do a squat or push-up, let alone push a PVC pipe above my head in some kind of overhead position. I struggled with running and just keeping moving as much as anything else. I was tired, sore, and wondering what I had gotten myself into.
Over the next 6 months I would ponder giving up many times. But with a supportive family and an amazing team of athletes and trainers, I got through all of that.
It was that community I discovered that kept me going. A community of people driven to just keep going “one more rep” who were there cheering me on or kindheartedly badgering me into doing that one more rep. I found kindred spirits struggling just as much as me, but in different ways. And this quiet, anti-social guy started talking to folks. Learning names. Listening to stories. Telling my own.
I would even help move the box with a group of athletes and trainers. Everything from loading plates and equipment into cars to doing demolition and painting. I’m not the most handy person in the world, but I was happy to give back to the place that had given me so much up to that point. And if you had ever told me that I would feel like I BELONGED to a gym, let alone help move one, I would have asked you what you were smoking.
Every workout I learned something new about myself. Maybe it was a physical limitation I would later figure out how to overcome. Maybe it was a new skill I would later figure out well enough to say “I can do that!” Maybe it was a new way to stretch or warm up to avoid injury. Maybe it was just that I *could* do one more rep or add more weight or move in some new way.
And that’s the thing… I discovered something new EVERY workout. I gained confidence *nearly* every workout. I still do. And I will always have something else to learn. Some skill to work on. Something to test myself with. Today for instance I figured out hand stand push-ups and managed to do 55 of them over the course of a 10 round WOD. I was giddy. (This is the same workout that proved that I have some big issues with squat cleans. Crossfit dost giveth and it dost taketh away…)
A year ago my journey began, but if I play my cards right I don’t think it’s ever going to end. I’m now in a new year and continue to work one step and one rep at a time. I have a lot more to learn and look forward to it even if I grumble or gripe along the way. 🙂
Thank you crossfit for making me realize there is a bit of an athlete inside me and I *can* do things I had no idea I could. Thank you to my wife and friends who encouraged me to start. And thank you Crossfit Continuum family for encouraging me every step of the way.