Dynamic Effort Lower
10×2 @ ~50% of 1RM
Box Front Squat
Pause Front Squat
2×20 Ring T-Row
2×20 Reverse Flye
2×20 DB Bent Over Row
One of the bingo squares for the Open this year is to submit your transformation story for publication. Here’s the first one I received.
I started CrossFit in November 2013 as a last-ditch effort to lose weight and get in shape so that I could eventually do a Tough Mudder with my husband. I have never been athletic, never participated in sports, I was very overweight, (I hate that picture from my first Opens, but it’s important to keep it around so that I can see how far I’ve come), very unhappy with myself, inactive, and woefully unaware of how to approach nutrition. I was a mess. But I knew that things would only get worse if I continued to do nothing, so doing nothing was not an option.
Dave guided me through my first intro. He was patient and very kind. It’s a terrible feeling to be enormous and out of shape and to have someone who looks like Captain America patiently explain how to do a push-up on a bench. Dave never made me feel like I was too far gone to belong at the gym. He even brought me a juice box when I was ready to pass out. How nice was that? I finished my intro in 24:09. I thought to myself, “CrossFit? Barbells? Weightlifting? This isn’t for you. Don’t do this.” But I decided to ignore that thought for a little bit, to work through the intro classes, and decide from there.
My first official workout was Filthy Fifty. I asked if I could watch instead of participate. I left early. My first six months at CrossFit involved being as socially and physically uncomfortable as humanly possible, three times a week. I didn’t know anyone. It seemed like everyone else was way fitter than me, they were all best friends outside of class and took their shirts off during the workout to reveal perfectly chiseled abs and backs, while I couldn’t even tell the difference between a push press and a push jerk. The first thing I figured out was that I had to change the way I was eating if I wanted to make it through the classes. I was so focused on weight loss and the traditional approach of calorie restriction that by the time I arrived for class at 6:30 pm, my hard boiled egg, and apple for breakfast and my lunch time salad were not serving me. I started preparing grilled chicken and vegetables for breakfast and lunch. I also stopped eating out at restaurants so much. Pretty soon, my friends and family were commenting on my weight loss.
I re-tested my intro after one year and finished in 5:15. That’s pretty much my proudest moment to date because it showed how far I had come. It proved to me that my hard work was paying off in dividends.
My performance at the gym gradually started picking up as well. I’ll never be an “elite” athlete, but I’ve come a long way from where I started. (I’ve also realized that it’s completely foolish to think of my peers in terms of being “elite” or not. None of us are going to the Games. That’s a separate thought piece for a different day.)
Eventually, my weight loss plateaued and Mike D. suggested Zone. By then, I had lost thirty pounds. I printed the guide, bought a food scale, and started thinking about proteins, carbs, and fats in terms of “blocks.” Zone turned out to be the perfect solution for me because it’s a precise guide of what to eat, and you get to eat lots (and lots) of vegetables. Boom! Another 15 pounds lost. I was also able to ramp up my attendance from three nights per week to four, and eventually five. Now I can work out six times a week if I feel like it – and totally survive.
It’s dreadfully easy to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. It really puts a damper on my experience when I start to focus on people who joined the gym after me and who have lost more weight/can lift heavier/do muscle-ups/run longer (everyone can run longer than me). Then, I stop and consider that I went from being an extraordinarily unhealthy woman who had never been active, and had no self-confidence to someone who has lost 50 pounds and whose doctors L-O-V-E her blood tests. I look at our workouts and understand the intended stimulus. I know how I should scale weights and movements to either back off or turn up the hurt. I can even tell you the names of the metabolic pathways. I know that the voice in your head that tells you to stop, doesn’t get a vote. I know that no matter how terrible a workout may be (Hotshots 19 in 106 degree weather) the gym has a 100% survival rate.
So, nope, I don’t take my shirt off. Nope, I’m not a member of the hot mom bod club. I’m still proud of myself, though, for all that I’ve learned and achieved. I’m happy to be a member of the CrossFit SAC community.