May 13, 2011 was the first day I stepped into Crossfit Synergistics. It had only been open a few months and I was looking forward to taking on a new challenge after running the Boston Marathon. I wanted to wait until after the marathon was over in April to recover and have some down time. I thought about starting up as soon as it opened in February, but honestly I was scared to start something new so far into my marathon training. I was running Boston as part of the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team. I raised a little over $9,000 in memory of my dad who died from cancer the previous September . There was no way I wanted to start something new so close to training for a race that meant so much to me. I didn’t want to risk getting hurt or being so sore that I wouldn’t be able to get my miles in. So I waited until the next month after my daughter’s birthday.
Funny, some people say you always remember your first CrossFit WOD. I wish I did but honestly I had to look it up. I hoped it was something cool like a girls WOD (like Fran, Helen, or hell even Karen whom I hate more than anything) or a hero WOD (like Murph, DT, or Severin.) But alas it was a made up WOD called Frankenstein and consisted of:
5 Rounds x 40 lb. bar
* 5 – Deadlift
* 5 – Hang Power Clean
* 5 – Front Squat
* 5 – Push Press
What really amazes me about this WOD is how far I’ve come in the past 2 years. A month ago I competed in a CrossFit competition called Festivus. One of the 3 WOD’s consisted of 20 minutes to establish a 3 rep max of ground to overhead where all 3 reps had to be completed in 45 seconds. I was able to get a PR of 120 lb! That’s more than what I weight! To say I was excited would be putting it mildly. Now sure I didn’t win the event, but the last time I competed in Festivus my 1 rep max for just the clean was 95 lbs. That’s a 25 lb. PR and I was able to get it overhead which is a lot harder. If I were to do the above WOD today, I could manage at least 95 lbs no problem. It’s funny to look back and see just how far I’ve come!
A picture of me & Dani from our first half marathon together in May 2010. After 4 months of running I didn’t look as fit as I hoped.
There is nothing better than feeling pride in your performance. That’s what CrossFit has done for me. It has made me stronger, fitter, and more confident than I ever thought I would be as a 39 year-old mom of 2. CrossFit may not be for everyone for a variety of reasons and I understand that; it’s what works for me. What works for you? Have you read my previous post about finding your exercise mojo ? I talk all about what exactly “exercise mojo” is and why it’s so important to find it. Do you have an activity or sport that you love that fulfills you and makes you a stronger, fitter, and most importantly a happier person? I exercise to be a good role model for my children and my students. I am a firm believer that if you talk the talk you must walk the walk. I wouldn’t ask my kids or students to do anything that I am not willing to do myself. I am an overall better person when I am exercising. I can handle the stresses that a full-time working mom of 2 brings. Exercise centers me. It’s the one hour a day that is mine and mine alone and I thrive because of it. If If I said that CrossFit changed my life, it wouldn’t be a lie or an exaggeration. It has had nothing but a positive impact on my life, the life of my family, and my teaching. One of my proudest moments was when I was selected to be a fitness model for Again Faster. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would look fit enough to represent an everyday athlete. You can read more about my experience that day at CrossFit Providence here .
My Again Faster modeling shoot. Pictures courtesy of DavidFoster.com
My hope is that everyone finds their “CrossFit”, whatever that may be. I’ve enjoyed the past 2 years and I have no plans to stop doing what I love.