Written by Ashley Bartley, of Rockwall, TX
I have always had concerns and issues about my body. I was continually frustrated and disappointed in myself for being “fat” and “letting myself go.” A few years ago I finally got really focused and hired a personal trainer. He was great to work with and I even had good results. The only problem was, I literally was in the gym at least 6 hours a week. It took months to really make progress. Heck, I was getting bored and tired! But, I stuck with it and finally got the “hot body” I wanted. After that, I stopped. Stopped exercising. Stopped eating right…and, there truly isn’t a need to tell the rest of the story. It was a very predictable ending, I promise.
I had briefly tried CrossFit Rockwall in 2010 and although this might sound crazy, if you don’t actually go to class, you won’t make any improvements. I lived 45 minutes away and was working full time. I honestly wasn’t dedicated enough to stick with it. Add on an unexpected surgery (not injury related!) and I had my “excuse” to quit.
Fast forward to a few years later and guess what!?! I was back to being frustrated and disappointed; genuinely concerned about my future. If this was my physical condition at 37 years old, what the heck would 40 be like? I didn’t even want to go there, much less imagine myself at 50! Yikes.
Coming back to CrossFit Rockwall in April of 2014 was really frightening to me. I was embarrassed, intimidated and doubtful. If I didn’t stick with it in 2010, would I now? Especially considering I was in even worse shape this time. I debated working out and getting in shape so I could join CFR again. Thankfully, I gave myself a mental slap and just jumped in. I am truly grateful I did.
Not once did anyone ever make me feel bad about dropping out before. It was amazing how welcomed, supported and encouraged by other athletes I was from day one.
Since April, I have done more than lose weight and build muscle. I have my self-respect back. I can honestly say I am proud of me! Challenging myself has been beyond rewarding. I get excited when I’m able to progress to another weight or decrease the band I use. When I was able to do 20 inch box jumps, I was like a kid riding a bike for the first time! I was so happy and proud for taking a chance and having success.
In January 2014 I had to buy new scrubs because I was unable to wear the ones I had. So horrible! Now I am about to buy more, because all of the ones I have are too big! My friends and co-workers can’t help but notice and ask about the changes I am making. I am happy to tell them my story and encourage them to come to a free workout. A good friend saw the improvements in my life and after 2 free workouts, has joined CFR. I am happy to have encouraged such a positive change for her life.
I will admit, it is frustrating how many people say CrossFit is “crazy” and “dangerous.” But, I just keep inviting them to come see for themselves. I know CFR is focused on proper form and safety. Injuries can happen anywhere, even sitting in a chair at work. Sadly, the bad reputation CrossFit sometimes has is based on a small number, not the majority of boxes, and definitely not CFR. Equally disappointing is when people complain that CFR is expensive. Yes, it is more costly than a gym where you walk in on your own and try to make progress. However, it is much cheaper than the price I was paying for the personal trainer years ago. Hands down, the value is unmatched! I go to class an average of 4 times a week. There is a coach giving me feedback and encouragement as much as I need. There is no way I could afford a trainer like this in a regular gym!
In short, I love CFR and am grateful to have it in my life. I have gained strength and speed. I can run without dying. Swim faster and longer even though I no longer train specifically for swimming. I sleep deeper at night and generally feel better. And, the very best part - I have my self-respect back. :)