Written by Rod Olan, of Rockwall, TX
I found out about CrossFit a few years back and simply dismissed it because it just looked too hard. Besides, I had always considered myself a runner. However, as much as I enjoyed running I could never stick with it for the long haul. I would do well training for a race but after finishing the race all rules (fitness/health/ taking care of yourself) were off. I was the runner who ran so I could eat! While I was training I would lose the weight and after the race I would enter my "off season." Unfortunately a 'one month off-season' would turn into years. So, the runner label I applied to myself wasn't always accurate!
I ran 3 marathons - my first one in 2001, San Diego Marathon in 2005 and White Rock in 2008. After each race I thought I would get right back to training, but never anticipated the years in between. The main reason was because I would celebrate each marathon with a glorious abundance of indulgence food. Being overweight was my motivation to train again. After each race I was heavier than I was the previous race and it took even more effort to get back into training shape. Five years after my last race I was the heaviest I had been and obviously the oldest I had ever been. I could not get into good enough shape to start training for another race, so that was when I decided to give CrossFit a try.
I signed up for a free workout and after 2 months of making excuses, I finally signed up for Elements and have been hooked ever since. I saw Mary do a pull up effortlessly and she didn't seem to loose her breath and I was so impressed a girl could do that! I wanted to be like that too! So, I just let go and trusted all that I had heard about CrossFit and I'm so happy that I did. I lost weight, gained muscle mass and learned that I really enjoyed weight training.
All the years of running off and on I was taught "not to lift too much," "squats are bad for you," and "go slow enough to talk." I was fed a bucket full of...let's just say lies! It is set in stone somewhere that in order to do a proper squat you must not allow your hips to go below your knees and keep that 45 degree angle with your legs. I used this as one of my excuses to procrastinate from joining CrossFit because I knew they did a buttload of squats and I was convinced I had bad knees. All my older relatives seemed to have knee issues and even after running 3 marathons I still felt like I would also have knee issues later in life. It took some time, but with all the mobility work and a lot of patience (and Dr. Webster chiropractic treatments) I was finally able to gain the mobility and strength to do squats the CrossFit way. I am so happy I went through that process! To go through the feeling of "my body cannot do that" and my Doctor confirming this by telling me to avoid doing squats and all of these negative emotions to finally being able to do an Overhead Squat was exhilarating! I am cured of the fear of having bad knees when I get older!
Other CrossFitters at the Box motivate me. People at the Box look so much younger because they have an athletic build...I want that! The Coaches are sincere and genuine...you can't beat that. I love experiencing that same euphoric process of setting a goal to accomplish something that seems impossible through hard work. I lost weight properly by gaining muscle mass and getting closer to an athletic build, unlike my running days. When I lost weight back then, I lost muscle mass and was simply a smaller pear shape. I realize now as I gather all my excuses from the past that I could not have done this on my own. All the goals I have now are no different from the ones I had during my running days. The main difference is that I am reaching my goals or feel very good about attaining them.
The best thing about CrossFit for me is all you have to do is log into CrossFit Rockwall sign up for a class and just go. That's it...you're 90% there...so what are you waiting for?