In January 2015, I was in the middle of one of the hardest seasons of my life. I lost my job and was walking with multiple friends and family members through death, disease, and divorce. Because I needed to be closer to them, I moved from Oklahoma back home to Rockwall. The transition was not easy.
I spent so much time caring for my family and friends, that I was emotionally exhausted. I would like to say that I handled it all with strength and grace, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, I often looked for ways to cope or escape. Many days you would find me plastered to the couch on a Netflix binge eating my feelings in nachos and honey buns. Although I had the energy to take care of others, I didn’t have enough to take care of myself. Something needed to change.
One of the first things I decided to tackle was my physical health. But I knew if I tried going to a standard gym, I would not have had the motivation or accountability to stick with it. And I knew that I did not have the wherewithal to come up with workouts for myself. I needed something that would take care of all that for me. That’s when I came across CrossFit Rockwall.
On the very first day, I realized this would be very different than any other workout I had done before. It mixed and mashed Olympic weight lifting with gymnastics-type movements, none of which I had a clue how to do. It was challenging and clear that I was pretty out of shape. But it was also fun. A lot of fun. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment from doing stuff I had never even thought about before, and I loved that other CrossFitters cheered me on the whole time. I was hooked.
It didn’t take long to see progress. At the end of my Elements Class, I got a 4+4 on Mini-Cindy with bands for the pull-ups. A year later, I more than doubled that to 8+10 with no bands. Also during that first year, my snatch max increased 12 kilograms and my fastest 500m row time decreased by more than 20 seconds. But perhaps the most encouraging thing was my confidence. The constant support of the coaches and other athletes made me believe I could actually do things I had never considered before, like rope climbs, handstands, and muscle-ups.
Now, two years later, I realize that the secret to CrossFit is the community. It is not just about going to workout. CrossFIt is about all of us getting healthier together, which is exactly what I needed. Every day after work, I basically get to go play with my friends for an hour. We push each other to excel and reach our goals. We quite literally pick each other up off the ground when we fall. We miss each other when we can’t make it. We are living healthier lives. It is not an exaggeration to say that I am in the best shape of my life because CrossFit has redefined the way I view fitness and, in the process, myself.