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!