Written by Lauren Johnson, of Rockwall, TX
I started CrossFit in January 2013. The decision to try something new like CrossFit was born out of a strong desire to do something different and invest in myself. I felt bored with my own workouts and it had been years since I had seen positive results from my exercise routine. All of this may sound familiar, but despite doing two hours of cardio and strength training five to six days a week, I was overweight.
The Elements sessions were a good introduction, but once I started attending the regular CrossFit classes I felt a little lost. The lifts and so many of the terms for different movements and exercises were intimidating and in my mind, everyone else looked like a pro. But, I found a little bit of pride in sticking with something that was challenging and really out of my comfort zone, so I kept coming to classes. Looking back, I am so glad I did!
Fifteen months later, it is easy to see how much CrossFit Rockwall has changed my life. I’ve lost weight (so much so that people don’t recognize me anymore) and gained strength. The movements and workouts that were awkward and seemingly impossible have become a little more routine and manageable. Now, I even enjoy the challenge of trying new and harder movements in the workouts and I want to compete with the stronger and faster members of the class. But, I’ve noticed that my physical changes have really been driven by major changes within. Around the time that I started CrossFit, my employer implemented “wellness” criteria that determined health insurance rates. So, I was able to set goals related to body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and cholesterol. The Eat Real challenges have been instrumental in helping me modify how I eat and think about food and I have been able to achieve these goals. As a result, I am a much more confident, balanced person.
I often encourage family and friends to try CrossFit. CrossFit Rockwall has provided me with such a well-rounded experience and has absolutely exceeded my expectations. I’ve found that writing everything down – the lift, the WOD, and what I eat – has helped me stay on track, set new goals, and see the little improvements along with way. The lift cycles and workout programming are outstanding and superior to many other CF boxes. I think it is so valuable that the workouts and lifts are scaled for all levels of experience and strength, and the coaches emphasize that technique is more important than the amount of weight that is being lifted. Consequently, I have stayed injury-free (except for regularly ripping my hands and one super collision between my shins and a 24” box). Daily, I am inspired by the strength and determination shown by the others in class, and the coaches are fun and encouraging.
Speaking of encouraging... Thanks to peer pressure and some very enthusiastic coaches, I competed in the CrossFit Games Open this year. The competition pushed me harder and further than I could have ever done on my own. My goal was to compete at the Rx level each week and each Friday night motivated me to do more the next week. I was really proud of how I finished and I can’t wait to see how it goes next year!
To wrap things up, CrossFit is a great experience. Every week, I make out my calendar and my priority is when I can get in for a class. Every night, I can’t wait to check the website to see what the WOD is for the next day. I finally feel like my outward appearance really reflects the athlete that I have always worked hard to be.