Thanks to Rich for writing this success story! We are so inspired by you!
I was a varsity football player in high school and had always had good success at sports. For most of my college years I kept in great shape, ran about 10-15 miles per week, lifted weights 3-4 times a week, but it always just seemed like a chore. When college ended and I was no longer within walking distance of a campus gym, I stopped exercising altogether. I probably weighed about 190 lbs in college.
After years of not exercising, and getting older of course, I had ballooned up to around 260 lbs, was drinking too much and smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. My diet consisted of mostly burgers, fries and massive bowls of ice cream at night. None of my clothes fit and I was embarrassed to go to the store to buy new clothes because I would inevitably be reminded of how much weight I had gained.
I would try to go the gym and lift weights or run on the treadmill but I could never really stick to it due to boredom and the feeling that I was in such bad shape that regaining my fitness seemed like an impossible mountain to climb. I remember last summer, shortly before starting CrossFit, that I tried to go running down my street and made it less than a mile before having to walk home. The feeling of being so unhealthy was really weighing down my self-esteem and I wanted to get back in shape, but I just didn't have the motivation anymore and it all felt like a lost cause. Not only was I out of shape physically, but I was feeling depressed because of it.
One day during one of my failed attempts at getting into shape, I was in GNC and the clerk there (I still don’t know who it was) mentioned that she was a member of a new CrossFit Gym opening in Webster and that I should check it out. I politely made up some excuse not to, but the real reason I didn't was that I was intimidated and thought that only elite athletes could possibly hang at CrossFit.
Finally, one morning last August I was on my way to work and a friend texted me to ask if I would want to go with her and her husband to check out a bootcamp class at CrossFit Webster using a deal on Living Social. I reluctantly agreed and when I showed up I saw people doing what seemed like crazy amounts of pull-ups, power cleans, box jumps etc, and told myself I would do a month of bootcamp, but surely I would never be capable of doing what they were doing.
After the first day of bootcamp, I could barely get out of bed the next day. I felt so sore and out of shape, but I promised myself I would make it through that month. After the first month, I started to see some results and feel a little better, so I decided to do another month (but swore after that month I was done). By the end of the second month, I decided I was making good progress so why not do a month or two of CrossFit, then go back to my regular gym.
As I finished my first CrossFit WOD (workout of the day), experienced CrossFit members were cheering me on and showing me how to do things correctly. I was exhausted and struggled in the beginning, but the coaches and members were so nice and encouraging that I just kept showing up, even if my body just wanted to go home and lay down after work. The most striking thing about CrossFit Webster as a beginner was that the other members were genuinely rooting for me, and really were happy for me when I reached new milestones.
Fast forward 9 months and I have lost about 42 lbs since starting CrossFit, have replaced fat with muscle, and can do most of the things I saw others doing that first day and told myself I would never be able to do. Less than a year after not even being able to run a mile without walking, I ran two 5Ks just last week and have been RXing almost all the WODs. I am eating healthy (no ice cream or burgers in six months!), I quit smoking, and I feel like a completely different, healthier person both mentally and physically.
Last weekend I wore a shirt that I hadn't fit into since I was 22 years old! I am still not a star CrossFitter by any means, but I am still motivated by the great trainers and friends that I have met at CFW to keep working to get more of out of my body than I ever thought possible. CrossFit Webster is a great community of people and I have formed a group of friends that keeps challenging me to challenge myself. I feel very fortunate to have discovered CrossFit Webster and I encourage all of you struggling to get in shape to give it a try!
We are proud to say that our gym is participating in the Heart Games during the Month of May. All proceeds go to the American Heart Association and stay locally.
The Heart Games starts with 4 WODs (1 weekly) for the month of May. We are running their WODs every Friday. The top three athletes from each gym in Rochester will compete at a competition at RIT in June.
Good luck to all of our members who have signed up! You can follow them on Facebook and keep up with the action. https://www.facebook.com/ahaheartgames