Written by Sara Clark of Rockwall, TX
For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in fitness and working out; a trait I inherited from my aunt Liz Wolf. Staring at a young age I was big into horses, something I inherited from my mom. I was riding horses at the age of 4 and started showing competitively while I was very young. It quickly became my life. I was a true barn rat, I was always around horses; riding, grooming, playing etc. and therefore always extremely active.
My physical fitness was never an issue when I was younger. I never had to worry about gaining weight, and hey if I could control a 1,300 pound animal while remaining completely still and beautiful, I could do anything.
But when my trainer sold her show barn, and sent all her customers to other show barns outside of the metroplex in 2005 I was left without a horse, and as I thought for a time without a reason to live.
I was in 8th grade when this happened, about to embark on a new life journey: high school. One of the moms of a girl I used to ride with suggested I join the Rockwall golf team, since I could no longer count my equestrian training as athletic credits. I also needed a new outlet for my competitive energy.
This seemed to interest me. I had never had any experience with golf. But I saw it as a challenge, and I knew it would be a great life skill. I also thought it would be simple to learn, since I was so used to being a champion at everything else.
Those of you that play golf can agree with me when I say that statement is farther from the truth than anything. The first few days of the school year were a complete and total reality check. Golf was HARD! There were many nights when I would come home from golf practice literally in tears because I didn't understand why I wasn't good at it.
In addition to being a sport that completely relies on skill, High School Golf is actually extremely physically demanding. After not properly training and working out since I had quit riding I found myself to be extremely out of shape. Walking 18 holes through bridges, hills, and steep inclines with a 42 pound bag (yes, I've weighed it) on your back is no easy task. I constantly found myself struggling to make it around the course and when I would finally reach my ball, I had no energy left to hit it. I wasn't improving, and I was getting more and more frustrated everyday. Long story short: I hated golf.
To make matters worse, now that I wasn't riding and training everyday, I began gaining weight. This was something that was actually quite new to me. I tried several attempts to "get back in show shape", such as running, pilates, and yoga. Every time I failed miserably, I couldn't stick to a workout plan, I couldn't stick to a diet plan, and somewhere along the way I gave up.
In June of 2008 my aunt Liz decided to give me a month of CrossFit, something she had been in since December. Liz had made some serious headway with CrossFit, and everyone in our family had taken notice. At first I was a little bit hesitant to go to the classes, I had seen videos and pictures on several CrossFit websites and it all looked pretty intense. As I mentioned before, I have the attitude of a champion, and I don't like to admit defeat easily. But Liz reassured me that there were people of all skill levels at CrossFit Rockwall and that I would feel extremely welcome. So I took her word.
I could not have been more pleased. I felt like I'd been run over by a bus after my first workout, but oddly, I LOVED that feeling. I knew that if I was feeling pain the next day then I was doing something right. Mary pushed me to my best, while being fully aware of my limits and not pressuring me to do something that was impossible.
In almost no time at all I began improving in golf. My distance has lengthened significantly, and my swing is much more powerful since training at CrossFit Rockwall. I no longer huff and puff to make it to my balls, now I run to them. And to top it all off, I've shaved shots of my average score, truly an amazing feat.
I now love golf. It is a new passion. One that will never take the places of horses in my heart but that can definitely distract me. In addition to playing 5 days a week in practice, I play on the weekends as well. I even plan on playing in college.
The people of CrossFit Rockwall have become a sort of second family to me. I look forward to my workout everyday. It’s so nice to be in such a comfortable environment with warm friendly people who accept you and support you 100%. Sometimes, I almost forget what a difference I'm making in my life because it just feels like a nightly hangout. But my body is changing with every workout. I have become stronger than I have ever been, and I'm happy and proud of my body. My family always jokes and laughs at me for showing off all my muscles. But I don't care! Because of CrossFit Rockwall I have discovered a new self confidence that I have never had before.