Written by Marilyn Lane of Rockwall, TX
January is a time for resolutions. Every January for the last several years, one of my resolutions has involved getting back into fitness. This year I actually did something about it.
Going back just a bit: I grew up painfully shy, physically awkward and overweight. PE class was a nightmare for me. I could never run fast, do push-ups or pull-ups. My coordination was lousy. I was always the last one chosen for any team. PE remained a time of misery for me throughout school. In high school I lost the extra pounds by dieting. As an adult I was reasonably active- I walked or jogged, did aerobics, went to the gym. All of this activity enabled me to stay consistently slim and reasonably strong. In my late 40’s everything changed!
In spring 2000, I left a much loved, but stale, job and went into the towing business with my husband. My mom died suddenly and tragically. My activity level went way down and my stress level skyrocketed. All my routines weren’t routine anymore. We ate out a lot at odd hours and exercise was hard to fit into the schedule, even when I wanted to. The “want to” was up for debate as well. Between 2001 and 2008, I gained about 17 pounds and lost strength and stamina. By the end of last year, I had reached a point of being tired all the time, muscle aches and pains that I assumed were just part of aging, stress, and a diet that was just out of control. It seemed like from week to week, my clothes fit differently. Clothes from the year before no longer fit right.
I tried weight lifting, the treadmill, walking in the neighborhood. I couldn’t seem to stick with anything and nothing seemed to make any difference. I simply didn’t know what to do or how to change. The first of January, all our family went out to eat Mexican food. As we ate our Tex-Mex specials, the conversation turned to exercise and resolutions. I went through my entire “I’ve got to do something” spiel and my older son, Russell, said he would give me the name of the trainer he was going to, that I might like her. I said “sure” and the conversation continued. I didn’t think much more of it but about a week later he called and asked if I would like to take his appointment that week with Mary, since he had a schedule conflict. The rest is history. Of course the first thing I did was check Mary and CrossFit out on the internet. It looked horrible! All the things I could never do…… push-ups, pull-ups!! When I saw the pictures of Mary’s training area and the pull-up bar, I almost called and canceled my session. I dreaded the session to the point of nausea, but decided to honor my commitment for the one session- after all, if I hated it I didn’t ever have to go back.
Mary was (and is) awesome! I realized immediately she really “knew her stuff”. I told her about my inability to do pull-ups and then realized she was going to have me do them anyway! (Jumping pull-ups) The warm-up seemed like a workout to me, but the first workout, the “mini-Cindy” was even more challenging. I slowly finished all the workout, then Mary asked if I would like to commit to training sessions. I hedged. I really wasn’t sure about CrossFit, my ability to do the exercises and to stay with it. All the next week, I kept thinking about the workout. I was so excited that I could actually do pull-ups, even though they were modified. The challenge of the workouts really appealed to me. I decided I would commit to a month. I also started trying to follow the Zone to bring my diet back to a reasonable place.
I’ve been going to CrossFit three days a week now since Mary started the morning classes. I love it! The difference it has made for me is huge! I truly look forward to the workouts in the morning. I love that the workouts are different each time. They never get stale. Some people don’t want anyone to talk to them until after they have coffee- for me, it’s after my workout. Mary is always so encouraging. I love that she is kind and understanding, but she still won’t let me get away with slacking off. Even when we have to modify something, she makes sure the workout is challenging and effective.
As a result of CrossFit, I have lost inches, gained muscle, strength and stamina. My arms, always the weakest part of my body, are much stronger. The aches and pains that I assumed were just a part of aging are gone, replaced with an entire new set from working out (ha, ha). My posture is much better and my clothes fit well. I’ll be 55 in September, but I truly feel 10 years younger. Staying in the Zone is still a struggle for me- we still eat out a lot- but I follow the meal plans as much as possible. I have lost a little weight and my body fat has decreased as a result. I definitely feel better when I am in the Zone.
I am so thankful that my son recommended Mary. I can’t say enough about the difference she and CrossFit have made for me and I would recommend this fitness program for anyone who seriously wants to improve their life.