This is a repost from Sandy Shepard’s website. This is a beautiful post and I wanted to further share it with our community. Thank you Sandy! You are an amazing inspiration to us all!
I started Crossfit last year, on September 6th. As I type this post, that means I have been doing Crossfit for 9 months.
In the year before starting Crossfit, I had done a few marathons and half marathons (5), and a Olympic distance triathlon. The year before that, I did an Ironman, because I wanted to do an Ironman before turning 50.
This might sound like it makes me a bad-ass. Far from it. Look, someone has to bring up the back of the pack in the dark – that’d be me. Sure, I’ll agree with you – there are a lot of folks out there that don’t get off the couch to do anything . . . and in fact, if you look back in this blog going way, way back, you’ll see that was me.
But here’s the thing. After having some health issues, as my birthday came around last year (September), I found myself in the unenviable position of being almost 40 pounds overweight. I didn’t fit in any of my clothes, and all the biking/running /swimming in the world wasn’t budging it. I’d like to pretend that it was all “muscle,” but last Fall I had a fat “dunk test” (that I blogged about back there somewhere) – and I was 30% fat by weight. Oh and believe me, you knew it – my muffin top had a muffin top. I have recently been reading some great blog posts about gals who were transformed by Crossfit. HERE is one by a Crossfit franchise owner and competitor (Talayna Fortunato), HERE is one about “regular” Crossfit women by a gal who started out overweight (it’s long, but well worth the read).
When I read a lot of these articles now, I actually get a bit depressed. Why? Because here I am nine months along, and I’m nowhere near where everyone else is. In fact, I started Crossfit just two days after the gal who wrote the “Crossfit Women: The Truth” post linked above (the long one). And look at how remarkable she is now. I still can’t do a pullup, a proper pushup or burpee, or innumerable other things.
One thing you’ll get used to – chalk basically EVERYWHERE. Yes, this is me.
Okay, so she is young enough to be my daughter. But here I am, 9 months later, and I don’t have some dramatic “Before and After.” I go to Crossfit 3-5 days a week (yes, really), rain or shine, and you can’t really tell, compared to all the other “Before and Afters” – including the one at the top of this page (which is not me, by the way).
But that’s what I’m here to talk about. Oh sure, when I’m snuggled up in my bed and the alarm goes off, I think two, three, ten times about actually swinging my legs over the side and putting on my athletic clothes. But I do it. Because, dramatic “Before and After” or not, Crossfit is about community. And besides, I will not lie to you, it feels pretty bad-ass to lift a big metal bar above your head – even if it weighs a tenth of anyone else’s.
I suppose that we’ve all felt “community” at some point in our lives – whether it’s folks at Bingo who would rib you if you didn’t show up, or your Book Club, or even a Zumba or Jazzercise class you did for a while in your past. But the Crossfit community is a bit different.
Here’s an example: One of our coaches, Amanda Norton, recently made it to the Crossfit Regionals. You don’t need to know what that is, just know it’s huge. She wound up having a hard time on the second day of competition, though she had worked her way up to 11th in our Region the day before (awesome!). During this workout, she was only about 3/4 of the way through when the top 10 women (who were competing in her same Heat) were already finished. Did they leave the field? Continue to lie panting on the mat, after their own enormous efforts?
No. They surrounded her and cheered her on, coaching her, cajoling her. I talked to her about it afterwards – some folks might hate that and, like Garbo, ‘Vant to be Left Alone!” – but she said it was awesome. Here she is, surrounded by “Crossfitters whose names are known” – Crossfitters who compete for a living – giving her “Atta Girls” when she feels like giving up.
Crossfit is also the only sport where the entire audience generally actually does the sport. While a very small percentage of the audience of, say, a football game has ever had experience on the field, just about everyone at a Crossfit competition is doing their best to do the exact same movements that the competitors are doing.
That’s amazing, when you think about it.
Thank you again to Sandy Shepard for this fantastic blog post. This post continues from here and You can read the full version here.