Locally Grown Athletes…. I must admit the first time I saw that on the t-shirt of a CrossFit Local member, I thought, “this is definitely not the place for me.” I enjoy exercise, but I wouldn’t even loosely call myself an athlete. I’ve been a traditional gym member for years, but over a short period, I put on a lot of weight. No amount of exercise or diet seemed to be helping to take it off. When I saw that t-shirt, I thought about trying CrossFit, but the word athlete made me think I needed to possess some special skills just to be allowed in the door. It was about this time that Local member, Branson asked me if I would like to attend a class. I was initially hesitant and asked him if total beginners were even allowed. With some trepidation I stepped into that first class and also into a new chapter of my life.
I’ve been a member since the end of October 2014, jumping from three to four classes a week since January 2015 and following a mostly Paleo diet. In that short amount of time, I have lost over 40 lbs and my body fat percentage has dropped over 10%. Has this been easy? No! Has it been worth it? Absolutely! The secret – if there is such a thing – is to keep showing up, keep moving during the WODs and give 100% every time. I still have weight to lose, and will have to follow my own advice to achieve this.
What I have learned is that every member has different goals and also different strengths and weaknesses. I can now deadlift 355 lbs, but can’t do a single strict pull-up. I enjoy push-ups, but struggle to run a 400m lap of the building. Every member can relate as we all have different body types and find some things easier and others harder. We also have different motivations – some are members like myself where weight loss is a primary goal, while others attend for the competition and relish the challenge of completing a few more reps than someone else during a WOD. Every goal is a worthwhile one and fully supported by the coaches and other members alike.
Take advantage of the knowledge of the coaches. I must have asked a million questions about technique, diet (thanks Coach Laura), stretching, realistic goal setting, and without exception, each coach has taken the time to explain things and help guide me on this journey.
To anyone reading this who has considered CrossFit, but has reservations, I encourage you to take that first step, walk through the door (make sure it is the CrossFit Local door!!) and start a journey to being a better version of you.
I have a long way to go to accomplish all of my goals, but I now feel proud to call myself a locally grown athlete.