One email. I received one email 6 months ago that would open up a huge door into a life of motivation, health, energy, and self-love.
After being forced to quit dancing because of a knee injury in college, I felt incomplete. I had danced from the age of 3 to 19 and it was my entire life. Naturally, I tried to find physical activity in other ways but they all caused me pain. I tried everything from Zumba to a personal trainer to training for a half marathon. They all ended with the mindset, “Well everything I try, I end up getting hurt. I might as well stop trying.”
I could not find a substitute for the exercise I had gotten when I danced 4-5 nights per week. More importantly, I couldn’t find a passion or drive to exercise. Imagine dancing your entire life up to the age of nineteen and experiencing the pain of an injury that not only kept you from your first love of dance, but all other athletic activities.
The other problem was that because I danced most of my life, I was always pretty thin and didn’t grow up worrying about a diet or what foods I put into my body. Common sense would then have it that:
No exercise + same unhealthy food intake = Weight gain
Post-college, I would become super motivated to workout. I would work out and exercise to lose weight or be thin. I didn’t want to be healthy, I wanted to look better and fit in smaller clothes. With aesthetics as my only motivation, I entered into a “yo-yo diet” cycle that never seemed to end.
Finally, after 4 years of teaching, I got the email that was sent to all Metro Nashville teachers in the Antioch area. My cousin had just told me about her recent experience with CrossFit so I decided to look into the 6 week challenge the next day. I remember thinking I was ready to start new.
The challenge included healthy eating and classes at least 3 times per week. The workouts, whilst difficult, weren’t my concern. I was going to have to plan my meals and be hyper-aware of what I put into my body if I was going to succeed at the challenge. At that point in time, I did not have the self-discipline to allow myself to have a single cheat meal because I knew it would turn into two then a cheat day then week, etc. So I kept myself strictly under a personalized limit of daily carbs.
After the first week of workouts, I could barely move. I was re-learning body awareness, learning about weightlifting, and staying accountable with my diet. I found that putting these quotes on my phone background helped me remember my overall goal…
I could tell two things after the first couple of weeks: 1. My body was changing. 2. This style workout was right up my alley. I knew that I had support from my coach but also had a level of responsibility on how hard I wanted to work. You only get out what you put in!
I decided to commit to continuing my journey of being healthy and fit. Do I still want to lose weight? Yes. Do I still look at myself and see flaws? Yes. But, I have the motivation and drive to keep working on myself not simply for the physical appearance I want, but because my body deserves to be loved, taken care of, and happy.
Now, CrossFit and CrossFit Solid Orange are a part of my life. Thanks to CFSO, I can run over two miles, do multiple pushups in a row, and snatch a barbell over my head. Before, I could not run more than 100 meters without walking. I was scaling to pushups on my knees and couldn’t even start them from the ground. I had no idea what the word snatch meant and had never picked up a barbell in my life. When I first started CrossFit, I could barely hang on the rig for 10 seconds. I’m now working on beating PR’s and perfecting my form in Olympic lifting and strength classes. I am close to mastering the pull-up and will hopefully be working on muscle ups by the end of the year. I also hope to participate in my first competition this year.