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How CrossFit Changed My Life

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you’ve seen this before (if you bothered to read it).  Bear with me, there’s more to this post below.  This was in January of 2011, 4 months after starting CrossFit:

I must be doing something right…I was recently asked to share my CrossFit testimonial at the Free Saturday boot camp at CrossFit Texas.  Since speaking isn’t one of my strengths, I know I left a lot of stuff out.  I decided to write it down, so that I could share it with more people.

A little fitness background first.  I grew up playing soccer, played competitively through high school (club and school teams), recreationally in college and for a few years after until I had my second knee surgery.  I got back into the gym a year or so later, trying to lose a few pounds before a trip to Jamaica and then became pregnant with my son, Cooper (now 4).  When Cooper was 6 months old, I hit the gym pretty much every day, spending an hour or so on the elliptical and adding in some circuit training when  I had time.  I hit a plateau and took a shot at running.  I worked my way up to a half-marathon and another plateau.  Took some time off running and tried P90X…got about half way through and became pregnant with my daughter, Skyler (now 7 months).

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I first heard about CrossFit from my brother-in-law, Robert.  He had been talking it up quite a bit, trying to get Jeff to try it.  Jeff considered himself in decent shape (he had completed the Austin Marathon, ran the Texas Independence Relay, etc.) just needed to work on his portion control.  He decided to give it a try in May, looking to drop some weight before the next marathon season started.  He took it seriously and even stuck to the nutrition guidelines (Paleo/The Zone).  The weight melted off of him and his overall physique improved tremendously.   He was hooked.  I was still quite skeptical.  I didn’t think I could physically do the workouts, and I was afraid of changing the way I ate while trying to breastfeed Skyler.

Needless to say, I was only able to breastfeed for about two months and the ‘baby weight’ stopped coming off with about 30 more pounds to go.  I had to do something…I started going for long walks with the kids, but until Cooper was back in school, I couldn’t really use the jogging stroller I had borrowed from a friend.  In August, Jeff was invited to participate in the Texas Throwdown, a CrossFit competition in Dallas, with the teams from CrossFit Texas.  I spent the day watching them compete in team WODs (workouts) and the individual competition.  Have you ever had to sit on the sidelines due to an injury and watch your team play, all the while dying to get out on the field?  That’s how I felt sitting there watching.

It took a couple of weeks to figure out how I was going to make it to the classes due to the kids and Jeff’s schedule, so in the meantime, I tried Paleo.  I cut out breads, dairy and anything processed, forced myself to eat more fruits and vegetables, and ate only all natural foods.  I dropped 7 pounds in the first two weeks.  I stuck with it and started going to CrossFit Texas twice a week and the free Saturday boot camp.  The thing I like most about CrossFit is that it is totally scalable.  If you can’t do something, there is a way to modify it so that you can, and you just keep working at it until you don’t have to modify it anymore.  I also don’t have to worry about trying to figure out what I’m going to do at the gym.  There is a set workout every day…the WOD: workout of the day; and it’s different every day.  I have yet to do a single workout more than once.  It didn’t take long before I was hooked as well.  By November, I was going 4-5 times a week.

In the last 4 months, I have dropped 30 pounds and 4% body fat.  I just reached my pre-pregnancy weight, but my pre-pregnancy clothes are too big!  My 1 mile run time dropped from 11:10 to 8:22, doing only CrossFit.  I still can’t do a pull-up, but I have gone from jumping pull-ups to kipping with the medium band (I really need to try the small band).  I am no longer doing push-ups on my knees.  50 sit-ups…no problem…how many rounds?  I can deadlift 185 pounds, front squat 130 pounds, bench press 85 pounds (in high school, I was lucky to bench press the 45 pound bar).  I can feel myself getting stronger every day.  I feel great and have tons of energy to play with my kids.  I have yet to hit a plateau.

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I can’t say enough about the trainers at CrossFit Texas!  They are all super nice, extremely knowledgeable, and they push you just enough, without going overboard.  They know how to motivate you to do your best and make the most out of your workout.  The CrossFit Texas community is the same way.  Everyone is friendly and encouraging and they don’t mind that I bring my kids with me to workout.  It is a family friendly environment that I’m proud to be a part of.

Since then (approximately 6 more months), I have dropped another 10 pounds and 6% body fat (in all 40 pounds and 10% body fat).  I now wear a size 2 (in high school, I was a tight size 4).  My one mile run time has dropped to 7:30, I can do kipping pullups, 2 consecutive strict pullups, I can do hand stand push-ups, I can dead lift 200 pounds, front squat 150 pounds, and back squat 175 pounds, and do most workouts as Rx (prescribed weight).  I’ve made so much progress in such a short time that Brannon, the owner/coach of CrossFit Texas, asked me if I want to compete next year (which is just plain crazy)!

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After running the 3M Half Marathon in 2009, I knew one day I would want to attempt a full marathon.  Thanks to CrossFit, I’m in the best shape of my life, so…why not now!?!  I am registered to run the Austin Marathon in February, 2012.  I am also competing in two CrossFit events this fall:  the Life AsRX US Tour in Dallas on August 12-13 and Fight Gone Bad 6 (a fundraiser) on September 17.  I have created a training log to keep myself accountable.  You can follow it by clicking on the Training tab at the top of merys.net or on the month on the Training Log menu to the right.

For those of you who want to know more about how I eat (paleo/primal), I’ll get into that later.

Want to know more about CrossFit?  Check out these videos:

What is CrossFit

My Gym is Different

CrossFit Texas Promo Video – my CrossFit family :-)

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