I stepped on the scale every single morning. In April of 2013, I weighed 247lbs. On my 5’7” frame, that was a lot. No, not a lot- a WHOLE lot. I was obese. So I decided to run. I didn’t really know what I was doing, except that I felt like I needed to punish my body for letting it get so big and lazy. So I ran and didn’t stop. By December of 2014, I had lost 60 pounds. On the outside, it was AWESOME…but the only thing that had changed was the number on the scale. I was still obsessed. I still weighed myself every single morning. Surprisingly, the shrunken and skinnier, 60lb lighter me was somehow less acceptable to myself than the 250lb me- all I could see were the imperfections in my not-perfect body. Somewhere along the way, I had begun to see my value based on that number and how much I had affected it day to day and week to week.
This past January, I gathered up enough courage to join CrossFit Gardendale. I was scared to death. I could run 5 miles easily but couldn’t even do 10 push-ups (ON MY KNEES!!). I could freestyle swim a mile but when the coaches asked me to hang from the pull-up bar, I could barely hold on. But I went back, day after day. I listened to my coaches. I trusted them. When they told me to lift more weight, I did. When they told me to take weight off of my bar, I did. I began to accomplish things- things that I never thought possible. I set goals. I smashed them. I set new ones. I saw huge improvements. I saw small improvements. I listened to my fellow athletes. They encouraged me. They helped me. They cheered me on. Slowly, things began to change.
CrossFit Gardendale is not just a building or a business or a CrossFit box. CFG is people. CFG is my girl LT, who consistently shows up and never quits- she is like a machine- and every single time I want to quit, I think about how she endures. CFG is my noon-class friend Aaron, who in between his own burpees, saw me struggling and told me to keep moving because its easier than trying to start back after stopping. CFG is Stephanie who earned her first RX (that’s like a gold star in the CrossFit world) the same day I did- on a partner workout- and didn’t stop running even when she THOUGHT SHE WAS DYING (by the way, I thought I was dying too, Steph). CFG is my six o’clock class who ran an extra quarter mile than they had to with the new guy so we could all finish together. CFG is my coach, Carrie, who reminded me that it’s ok to struggle when I saw struggling with her overhead squat weight. So instead of taking weight off of my bar to make it easier, I struggled. And I finished. Just like she did.
I don’t step on the scale anymore. I can’t remember the last time I did. But I can tell you that I did 75 push-ups ON MY FEET a few weeks ago, earning an RX. I can also tell you that I’m happier with myself than I ever have been, imperfections and all.
CrossFit Gardendale ATHLETE