Anyone around the box would agree that Leah is an absolute inspiration. Leah came to us shortly after we opened in April, intimidated like just about every beginner, but 100% committed to changing her lifestyle, to giving CrossFit a real chance, and thus changing her life. As a trainer I can’t say enough about how great it has been to witness her transition; the best part being that it is still just the beginning. Here is her testimonial.
How in the world did someone like me end up in a CrossFit box, eating Paleo all summer? I considered myself to be firmly in the realm of the un-athletic and out of shape, but I chose CrossFit because I wanted to make radical life changes in my fitness and health. I knew that my life was in pretty serious trouble-my weight was out of control, my energy was barely enough to get me through the day, my joints ached, my blood pressure was inching up, I was choosing the path of least physical output most of the time, and I hated the thought of another year like this. I knew that I needed to do something drastic, something to really shake me out of my comfort zone and push me into the new life that I want. I want to be an active, healthy person, able and eager to enjoy the outdoors, hiking, swimming, biking and a very healthy, active life. I knew that I could change my life, and I knew that it was my job to do it.
Knowing that I needed to make this change, even truly wanting to make this radical change, didn’t make starting CrossFit any easier. I was sick to my stomach for several days as I agonized over the decision. Family and friends gave me great encouragement, Sam assured me via email that anyone can indeed CrossFit, and so I just decided to end the dread of the unknown and start an Elements class. When I walked in, I felt so completely out of place, like I was somewhere I should never be. I was almost paralyzed with fear that morning. Of course, I was met with overwhelming kindness and encouragement: Sam with his great smile and hearty welcome, Jocelyn with her calm, positive training (she didn’t start laughing at my suffering until much later!), and several of the CFWSC athletes offering words of encouragement. Right after my first two classes, I wrote this, “As I think about the work I have done so far, I have a bizarre combination of discomfort, discouragement, pride, determination, and the satisfied feeling that I have taken an extremely positive step in the right direction. “ CrossFit is hard, I often wonder if I will ever be able to breathe normally again after a WOD, I have different muscles that hurt each day, but it is all good and most definitely what I want: steps towards better health and fitness, hurting from hard work, not hurting with the aches and pains of inactivity.
Shortly after starting CrossFit, I also started the Paleo Challenge. Taking both of these steps has resulted in numerous changes in my life. First and foremost, I feel better than I have in a long, long time. I have so much more energy, I feel great about the strength I have gained, and the weight I have lost. My blood pressure in back in normal ranges, and my triglyceride levels are low, down from 139 to 62. My confidence about walking into the box is growing and even though I still dread some WODs, now I am sure that I will work through it, that it truly will end, and I will indeed live to see another WOD. I love the feeling of completing a workout and of doing something I have either never done before or that I never would have imagined that I ever could or would do.
Considering that I could not even jog the whole 400 meter warm-up, the change in my performance is still mind boggling to me! Since I have no athletic background to look back to, I am blown away by how far I have come in such a short time. I have to be thrilled with CrossFit and Paleo when I see a 50 lb. PR on my deadlift, and take 2-3 minutes off my Helen and Grace times. Even beyond the measured WODs, I have seen great progress in my 5k time, all of my lifts and simply my ability to move and work hard. I am far stronger than I ever could have imagined.
Being a life-long foodie, the Paleo Challenge brought definite changes and challenges. I have been to cooking school, love food, own my own industrial mixer and used to make wedding cakes, every kind of artisanal bread, and even things like croissants and Danishes from scratch. Food life as I knew it is gone, forever. I think the only use now for my mixer is to turn it into a sausage maker… Even before the Paleo Challenge, I had discovered that I had gluten intolerance, so I have not eaten gluten for the past year, but in place of that gluten I was eating lots of dairy, plenty of non-gluten grains, gluten-free candy, and all kinds of processed gluten-free garbage. The Challenge has been a very beneficial time of reframing my thoughts about food, learning again to pay attention to the quality of the individual ingredients, renewing my passion for high quality ingredients and cooking, and enjoying the taste of each meat, vegetable, fruit, herb, and spice.
Every time I think about this Challenge, all of the help that so others have given me comes to mind. I know that I wouldn’t have stuck with CrossFit or the Paleo Challenge without the guidance and constant encouragement of everyone else at CFWSC. I am honestly blown away by the graciousness and kindness that so many people have shown me. Everything from CrossFitters pushing me to move faster or lift more, to coaches not letting me quit kept me on track, and I thank you all for that. I couldn’t hope to work out with and strive for a better life with than the people in this box.
Helen 11:08 (20/jmp pu/200mrun)…8:57 (“)
Grace 6:16 (wm bar+trn plates…2:51 (53) WOW!
Pull Ups 1 (blu band)… 1 blu
Deadlift 213… 265