My CrossFit Story

About a year ago, I bought a ten class pack at CrossFit Metric and started CrossFit. Why? Because I was so weak it was pathetic and I wanted to do something about it. All I was doing was running and I lost all of my muscle. Yes, I used to be kinda strong: in college, I lifted four times a week out of season and three times in season for basketball. At first I really enjoyed it and thought I was pretty strong for a little thing. I could bench my body weight and throw down a pretty nice squat. Cool.

But then my weight started to creep up and I thought I was “big.” I felt bulky and gross. So what did I do? I stopped lifting. I totally fell into the trap that most women fall into: we are scared of lifting (and lifting heavy) because we think we will get “big.” I now know that my physique was largely a result of my less than stellar diet, not the dumb-bells.

So I heard a lot about this CrossFit thing and thought it could work for me: a supportive team environment yet competitive atmosphere? Perfect.

14.2

At first, I went every once and awhile… and didn’t even like it that much! I was shy and timid – and yes a bit intimidated but I did my best to just suck it up. I thought it seemed obsessive and I didn’t understand the movements. Why am I “cleaning” a barbell from the floor? And paleo seems whack. I was also ashamed of my ability because I was “only using the bar” when everyone else was moving heavy weights.

But I stuck with it because I started to bond with the people in my class, the trainers, the staff at the box. Once my knee was fully recovered after my first half marathon, I started going to CrossFit more regularly. It was as much social as it was a workout. I loved the feeling of improving and getting stronger and making friends. Yay me!

Amy and Sean

In March, Michelle convinced me to sign up for the CrossFit Open. I had no idea what “the Open” even was. Well, it’s just a series of workouts (five) that are completed by anyone who wants to do them (the more competitive athletes get selected for regionals this way). I was so nervous. I didn’t know if I could even complete the workouts. But that was the point: participating in the Open opened my eyes to my abilities (and weaknesses). It gave me a sense of confidence and taught me to start believing in myself because I am capable of a lot more than I think.

14.5

After the Open, I think I got hooked. I wasn’t nervous or scared anymore – I owned both my strengths and weaknesses. I loved the feeling of lifting – I felt strong. I loved the competitive environment – I felt motivated. But I mostly loved the sense of community – I felt a part of a team again. Everyone pushes each other and cheers each other on at CrossFit – that must be why so many ex-athletes are now CrossFit athletes. I have met so many amazing people who encourage and motive me everyday – they even call me the Little Honey Beast (and want me to change the blog name).

Amy Michelle's Julian Sean Val

CrossFit has opened my eyes to focus on how my body feels and what it can do rather than what it looks like. No, it hasn’t always been easy feeling like my jeans are going to rip down the seam. But it has been worth it. I so badly want to lift “heavier” but I know I need to focus on the technique of the olympic lifts. I want to compete in a competition. I want to do all workouts “Rx”. I am constantly learning, improving, failing and getting right back up to succeed again. I sometimes get really frustrated, annoyed (and even cry) but I love it.

Amy CrossFit London

We track our progress using Wodify – and my weekly workouts posts help to illuminate my improvements, strengths and weaknesses. I can deadlift 185lbs, back squat 135lbs, row 500m in about 2 minutes, overhead squat 85lbs, string together toes to bar and use a 14lb wall ball. I’m getting my double-unders and working on my pull-ups. I couldn’t say any of that a year ago. But those numbers are just the added bonus.

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Strength. Confidence. Community. Determination. Loving yourself. Being proud. Pushing your limits. Happiness.

I don’t care if you do CrossFit, hate it or think it is the stupidest thing ever. That’s cool. Find what makes you feel awesome and do it. Simple as that. I didn’t start CrossFit-ing to hop on the bandwagon or be a part of a fad. I started CrossFit because I wanted to get mentally and physically stronger. I’ve accomplished both and I’m not stopping now.

Amy CrossFit Metric Sept 2014

And with that, I’m off to run 14 miles this weekend. I’ve never run 14 miles before. I’m slightly terrified but reminding myself of the Open: that I am capable of more than I know. I may be “obsessed” with CrossFit but it doesn’t need to be all or nothing: running can make me feel awesome too :)

Questions of the day…

What makes you feel awesome? 

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35 thoughts on “My CrossFit Story

  1. I love that you run AND crossfit – I’ve been wanting to try it ( and keep saying I will) for over a year but it hasn’t happened. One of my best friends has done crossfit regularly for a few years and has only great things to say and I think for me, between the $ and the intimidation factor I just keep putting it off! For my past 2 marathons I’ve said I’ll try it as soon as it’s over and then don’t! Great story, and a good push for me to reconsider something I’ve been putting off so long :)

  2. Yes, yes, yes! Such a brilliant post to read (and fantastic timing). I think that CrossFit has been such a fantastic chapter in your evolution of fitness in general. It has helped put so many things in perspective, and given your history as a team player it makes total sense how you relate the importance of a community atmosphere :)

    Posts like these have always been such great inspiration and such a joy to read :) Thanks for sharing your story; I hope it’s inspired others like it’s inspired me :)

    1. Your comments always make me smile – thank you for the kind words! I hope you are still enjoying it… so proud and happy for you for taking that first step! PS. Currently eating chopped liver and a green apple… strange combo, but good.

  3. Great post! So glad that you found something you love and it has built your strength and confidence in yourself. That is so important. Keep up the amazing work!!

  4. I love this. CrossFit has increased your self confidence tremendously and I LOVE THE LITTLE HONEY BEAST. Except that makes it sound like you could down a jar of honey in like .435 seconds. But that could be part of a WOD I suppose? :) Good luck on those 14 miles – you got this!

  5. Once read a quote that went “obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe ‘determined'” – ok it’s a little harsh, but I think it captures that ‘obsessed’ can be an awesome thing! Good luck with your long run! Grab some good tunes and you’ll rock it :) Happy Friday

  6. You know how I feel about this story Amy! The fact that you feel stronger and confident is amazing. Breaking out of your comfort zone is so important and you’ve crushed it! :)

    Training can def be a lonely place and the fact that you found a community that encourages you is special. Congrats being on year crossfit strong!

  7. Love this post!!! Girl, you are strong! Seriously–your numbers are super impressive!!! I love what Crossfit has done for you and I know that is why I love it so much as well!! Yes, there have been times when my WOD hasn’t been great, I’ve cried, I couldn’t Rx something, but it’s the sense of community, my coach, my teammates, and the fact that I know I can step out of my comfort zone that makes me keep going back for more!! Thank you for being such a Crossfit beast and inspiration!!!

  8. Such a great story! I was beyond scared to start CF as well, but it was only really intimidating for the first week or so and then I started to fall in love with the culture and my new found desire to be strong. Good luck this weekend, you’re going to do awesome!

  9. Love this post. I’m about 4 months into CrossFitting and I love it, but have some of the same feelings you did in the beginning. Looking forward to more improvements, confidence and success!

  10. Yesss! You are capable of so much more than you even realize! Loving the attitude of this post my beautiful friend! And you look absolutely gorgeous in that post-sweat session selfie :) Lots of love and I hope you have a fabulous run tomorrow! Remember, it’s just about enjoying the ride…no stresses! XoXo

  11. I love your reasoning for doing Crossfit. I will admit that I was always nervous to start given how much everyone lifts. I haven’t joined because of the cost, but I hear so many great things about it I wish I could start! I love how you’ve been able to keep that up and train for your marathon, too!

  12. Love this post! I think it’s so awesome that you’ve seen such growth in the past year. It’s definitely an addicting sport and one that I’ve thought about giving up recently because I just don’t have time to go. Then I make it to a class and remember why I love it. Even if I’m only going a few days a week it still makes me feel strong and empowered. I’ve just learned I need to balance that between running and other types of workouts too. That’s just what works for me and my body at this time. Like you said find what you love and what works for you :-)

  13. Ahh, Amy, my friend, this was a good post. =) I love how you covered your “typical girl fears” of why not to start CrossFit/lifting. Then the Open… oh yes the wonderful Open. It’s amazing what we find out we can do huh? I just KNEW I couldn’t get an OHS in 14.2… but I did. I KNEW I wouldn’t finish 14.5… but I did (barely). It’s so crazy, I’ve worked out my entire life but in the last 8 months I’ve made more progress, more gains than the last 8 years put together. Just looking at your photos, you’ve transformed too, and definitely for the better! =) Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me to continue with CrossFit, and I hope you’ve inspired someone who read this today to give CF a try. What better way to say thanks then to give it a try because of you? Awesome stuff Little Honey Beast.

  14. Wow you are getting seriously strong! What great progress you’ve made…congrats! That’s a great story. Honestly, any workout that keeps you motivated and healthy is a good one, and I’m glad you found Crossfit! I’ve done Crossfit style workouts before, but have yet to actually go to an official box. One day!

  15. I love the message of your post – find what you like to do, and do it! It’s great to hear about your experience with cross fit. I’m intrigued by it, but worry I’m not in good enough shape to give it a try (which I know is silly to say!).

  16. This was awesome to read. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been doing CrossFit for over a year and still hardly feel like an athlete…but I doubt I’ll stop anytime soon! Congrats on your progress and for finding something that makes you happy!

  17. Gosh. You are amazing. The CrossFit journey for everyone is unique but amazing at the same time because we all progress in the way that works for us. I’m hoping once I get my blogging act together, I’ll finally get my CF post out there! I just started the LSUS lifting program, and I’m already excited! Plus…FINALLY got my TTB this past weekend, and my DU’s are so so much better! You rock, Amy!

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