Tonights testimonial is brought to you by Rachel.  Rachel has been CrossFiting with us since we officially opened the doors to our new location in April, 2009.  Somehow Cliff twisted her arm (along with a few others) into coming to try it out.  During her 2nd elements class Cliff was busy counting money or hunting a wild boar or something and asked if I could start the warm up for them.  I distinctly remember her, in a jokingly way with a hint of truth, complain that it was too hard and that she wanted Cliff to hurry back.  Little did I know that this girl would soon become one of the hardest working, most dedicated athletes in our box.  Most recently Rachel represented us at our local CrossFit Games here in Santa Cruz and after complete commitment to our program continues to get better every day.


I started Crossfit 5 months ago. When the paleo challenge was presented, I was less than thrilled. In fact, I specifically remember Jocelyn asking who would be willing to participate and Kyle saying, “Well, we all no Rachel’s not going to do it!” Pre-paleo, I ate pizza at least 5 times a week and had a pretty strong argument to support my “diet”. Whole wheat crust with lots of veggies, cheese and sauce…it’s a well balanced meal! Candy was another favorite of mine. Nothing chocolatey, it had to be the real stuff, laffy taffy, starbursts, skittles, and bubble gum (which I swallowed). I was perfectly content with the way that I ate. For as long as I can remember, I actually worked out as hard as I did so that I could eat the way that I wanted. The paleo challenge completely changed the way that I think about working out and eating, although it was not easy and it took a while to get there.


About a month before we started crossfit, Jesse and I fasted for a week and that was actually easier for me than eating paleo for three months. (The first thing I ate after the fast was pizza!) The first month of the paleo challenge was total torture, mostly because I cheated almost every day. I actually made it harder on myself by not being strict. After about the first month, my body started to acclimate. Having never been a fan of meat before, I started to actually crave it. I could feel what it was doing to my body, especially when I did crossfit. I became much stronger in the WODs and actually did a pull up for the first time about a week into the challenge! Now I can do 20 in a row! We would definitely have the weekly cheat meal and it always resulted in loss of sleep and a guaranteed stomach ache. I hate to be graphic, but eating paleo definitely regulated my bowel movements and anytime I cheated it was not pretty!


My bowel movements were not the only thing that changed. My body has totally morphed since starting crossfit. I cannot differentiate between what crossfit has done to change the way my body looks versus what paleo has done. Had I been doing crossfit for a longer period of time before I started eating paleo, it would be easier to tell. I do know that paleo must have done some good! Jesse and I have caught each other on numerous occasions checking ourselves out in the mirror. We look good! I’ve lost inches around my waist. I’ve slimmed down everywhere. My clothes fit better than they did before. I used to go to the gym 5 days a week for 2 hours a day doing mostly weight lifting and my body never came close to looking like it does now. I still randomly find muscles on my stomach or back that I never knew existed. I find myself prodding and poking around my body just to feel how significant the changes have been. My only complaint about the the way my body has changed is my boobs. Ladies who’ve done paleo…you know what I’m talking about.


One of the most noteworthy changes from the paleo challenge was how much more sore I was after every workout. A few weeks before the challenge I stopped being sore all together. I remember Kyle saying that he aims to be on the floor, totally exhausted by the time he’s done with any WOD. I realized no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t push myself to such a level of pain. As soon as we started eating paleo, I noticed how sore I was getting. I have to assume it’s because I was capable of pushing my body to its fullest potential. I was working harder and harder in the WODs and it was making me that much more sore. Needless to say, since starting the challenge I’ve ended most WODs on the floor, totally exhausted.


I complained so much about the paleo challenge in the beginning (I’m sure I complained to most of the people at the box!) that it was questionable as to whether or not I would last. Not only did I last but about a month ago when someone asked when the challenge would be over, I replied, “I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m still going to keep eating paleo.” Wow! Did you have to re-read that?! I still can’t believe it. After all that resistance and struggle, I’m actually taking paleo on forever. Of course I will still eat pizza and candy occasionally, but it will never be the same again.


I would like to thank all of the trainers at CFWSC for proposing and supporting this challenge. Their boundless knowledge and support made this all possible. They did an amazing thing by sharing this with everyone. It has been incredible watching everyone at crossfit progress at such rapid levels! If we take all of the confidence, tenacity, and compassion that we’ve developed at crossfit and apply it in all aspects of our lives, we will do amazing things!


Rachel’s Stats Before/After

Grace 4:13 (53), Not yet completed/shoulder injury

Helen 12:58 (35/jumping pu), 12:50 rx’d

Pull Ups 7 (Purple band), 20 kipping

Deadlift 143×2, 193×1


Workout (CrossFit Football)

5 Rounds

5 Power Cleans (185/130)

20 Double Unders