A little over ten weeks ago I decided to step onto the scale after seeing a friend’s Facebook post about hitting his weight loss goal. I knew I was a little heavier than I wanted to be so I stepped on the scale to see where I was at. Now I was expecting to be right around 215 lbs which is where I normally hover but I was shocked when I looked down to see 226 staring back at me. I am now officially the heaviest I have ever been in my life, I’m 46 years old and I have a family history of diabetes. I am not in a good place.
Fast forward a few days and I’m talking to my friend Randy at work and telling him about my encounter with the scale and he invites me to come down with him to Crossfit RA. I have to admit that I had some preconceived notions about CrossFit gyms, I thought everyone involved with CrossFit were musclebound monsters and that I would be completely out of place. Randy assured me it’s nothing like that and I reluctantly agree to give it a try.
Welcome to my first day of CrossFit, I walked in and was happy to see my preconceived ideas were completely off base. There were people from their 20s to their 60s ranging from super fit to fat just like me, I’m starting to feel a little better about this! As I have learned over the past 10 weeks the trainers and members at CrossFit RA are like a small family and a new face stands out but not in a bad way, everyone made an effort to welcome me to the gym and say hello which left me feeling even more comfortable.
Let’s continue on to the workouts at CrossFit RA. Much like I had underestimated my weight, I had overestimated my fitness level. I knew I wasn’t in great shape but I figured I was O.K. but oh was I wrong. The first few workouts were as much of a reality check as that damn scale was. I couldn’t even jump rope, I must have thrown that damn thing on the ground a dozen times the first day and that was just the normal basic exercises. The first time I saw handstand push ups on the workout of the day (a.k.a. WOD), I thought there is no way in hell I can do that but the trainers always had a modification for the exercise that would push me to my personal limit and build me up to the full exercise. Couldn’t do the modification, no problem they had a modification to the modification. The trainers were fantastic, they recognized my limitations but at the same time wouldn’t let me slack off and I always left with my butt kicked. The other side of the coin is the other members of CrossFit RA. I can recall one particularly tough WOD (yes I speak CrossFit now) and I was struggling to finish my sit ups. I was the last one going in the group but rather than putting away their equipment to head home they stuck around giving me a push. “Take a breather, ok 10 more, catch your breath, ok 10 more” until I finished. I’ve found the group environment so much more encouraging than walking around a giant corporate gym by myself in a sea full of strangers.
In the ten weeks since I started I have increased my strength and endurance, my back no longer hurts after doing yard work, I sleep better at night and wake up rested in the morning. I’ve cinched the belt in one hole and I’m sneaking up on number two. I’m down 4% bodyfat and I’ve lost 15 pounds. Those are just the physical benefits. There is also the sense of accomplishment I walk away with after making it through a challenging workout I previously would never have imagined attempting and the little bump to my ego when someone notices the changes and pays you a little compliment. Best of all are the wonderful people I have met and now call friends. I’m not going anywhere, I’m sticking with it and working towards seeing my results written in black one of these days (which means I did it without the need for modifications).