My husband introduced me to CrossFit. He had been going to a box near his gym, and he knew it was something I actually needed because I was just relatively new to Atlanta, I had twins, and I needed something that was motivating and exciting. I had tried Barre, Pilates, Spinning and some Blast cardio classes and nothing was exciting to me. He thought this was great, and so I came to a box that he was going to. And I was overwhelmed because there was so much happening, but so underwhelmed because I obviously knew nothing and I never felt like I had been coached. It was just awful. It was a terrible experience and I thought this is what CrossFit is about. I am just not prepared and I just can’t do it.
But a couple months later it was lingering with me, and I went by an outdoor board that was about CrossFit North Atlanta. It was right around the corner from where we live, and I thought I am going to try this again because there is something there. I walked in and it was a 180. My coach was Burke. It was as if he was fully invested in me getting the movements right (note: it was a Clean). He sat by me every time I walked in the door. And when I wasn’t here, he was like “Where have you been?” “How is it going?” “Why aren’t you here more?” And it just changed my life.
I had a slow start. I really let life get in the way. Coming in the door it was that I wasn’t an athlete in college and I thought people were going to be in amazing shape. I just thought I would never be able to compete with them. And then I realized two things. Number one, it was not about competition with the other people in the room, it was about me versus me. But more importantly, I was here to get in shape, and their intensity was high because they had been here and I was just going to ramp up to where it felt comfortable for me. It was all about what it was going to do for me.
What is your goal?
My overall goal is to be a strong 75-year-old woman. Someone who has lean muscle, is eating properly, and doesn’t break a hip when she runs down the street with some grandchildren or can still play basketball with her kids. Whatever it takes just to be alive. I never want to be in a chair and not be able to get out, or break a hip, or be on medication.
How are you more Awesome?
So I started three years ago. And I would say that first nine months I wasn’t really…I let life get in the way of coming to CrossFit. I treated it like a gym. Which you don’t do. You come in and you just do your thing and you leave. I had a couple of girls come up to me, unsolicited, saying “you are doing such a great job, you know what, if you came more you would start to see progress and results.” And it was life changing. The fact that they came up to me and felt comfortable saying stuff to me, because they knew I needed to hear it. I had a coach who was very invested in me at the time as well, but I think he knew that I was still struggling to find my way. But the camaraderie among the women and the women’s group it’s so unheard of that women live to build each other up. You do not get that in the outside world. And when someone gets a PR it’s as if you got the PR. We cheer. We cheer for the last person still doing the WOD. And when those people came to me and said, “Here’s what you need to do, to really get to be a CrossFitter,” it changed everything. So once I started to see progress, I kept coming back, and my consistency got better. And I have two main things. Number one, I lost 9% body fat the first year from the time I started doing it consistently. And my cholesterol went down over 100 points. I was in pre-diabetic range because of having multiple babies over the age of 40. And my doctor said something has to change. And it was exercise. You end up eating better because you feel like you are fueling your body in a way that helps you CrossFit better.
What would you have told yourself 3 years ago so as to start your CrossFit journey sooner?
You are so much stronger than you think. And don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. All you have ever done is serious intense career work in New York. I thought — I know how to handle that. I know what I am doing. And I am a success at that. You are thrown into so many different adventures. And I couldn’t believe I layered CrossFit on top of being a new mom of twins, moving to Atlanta, and being a relatively newlywed person. But when you walk in the door and you look at what people can do, you think there is no way I can do that. I wishI would have said to myself, you so can do it. Give yourself the chance. And when I finally did — and I did it because people around me believed in me — until I believed in me.
I do it for me. Completely selfishly. For an hour to an hour and a half; A lot of the times we linger and do extra work after the class. I do it for me because I feel great about myself. I was in a competition this year. I never thought I would do something. I am not an athlete. I am just a girl and I am strong. I do it for me. I do it because I know I have just begun.