When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 51, Crossfit was recommended to me as a way to get a full-body, high-intensity workout to help battle the disease in a healthy, natural way. But I had always been alone exerciser, was intimidated by gyms and didn’t really like exercise classes or group activities. So I continued with my regimen of some running, some cycling, a lot of walking, and when I was really disciplined, some strength training at home. Three years later I found myself unmotivated and unenthusiastic about fitness and I knew I needed help. I had to find some motivation and, dare I say it, maybe even some accountability.
I called Crossfit Bloomington, and within a week had completed all my Foundations sessions. But I was still intimidated. I had read that Crossfit was popular among police officers, firefighters, military and elite athletes. In contrast, I had never been an athlete and had never even touched a barbell. I was nervous, to say the least. I made myself go to the very first class I could get to—at 6:00 a.m. because I was afraid if I waited until I had an opening in my evening schedule I would chicken out and never go.
I made it through that first class, modifying and scaling as needed. As I gave the coach my score at the whiteboard I said, “I was scared sh*tless to come today!” My now dear friend, Eric, looked at me in shock and said, “Why?! We’re here to support you!” It still took some time before I was fully committed. I’d finish most workouts feeling exhilarated and enthused—and exhausted!—but later would still find myself wondering if Crossfit was right for me if I really belonged. About two months in I had an “a ha” moment. I suddenly realized that no one else was looking at what I could or couldn’t do (except the coaches, of course). No one else was questioning whether I belonged. I was the only person worried about that. From that moment on, I knew I was right where
For me, Crossfit has consistently been both empowering and humbling. It took me over a year to be able to squat below parallel. There have been times I’ve fought back tears as I’ve pushed myself to my limit doing something really hard (yeah, that’s a lot of things at CF! ). I’ve had the lowest score on the whiteboard MANY a time. I still can’t do an overhead squat—YET! AND, I will never forget how exhilarating it was to climb to the top of the rope for the first time. Or how on top of the world I felt when I completed a Tabata WOD that included air squats and my last set had more reps than my first. Or the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a rowing TT knowing I’ve left absolutely nothing in the tank. Even on days when I feel like I barely have the energy to show up, I leave the box feeling glad I showed up and grateful for the opportunity to keep getting better.
At 57 years old I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been. But more than that, I cannot imagine not having the CFB Community. I have made very dear friends at Crossfit. I love my 6:00 classmates so much that I will probably continue to get up at 5:05 even after I retire later this year. (And yes, I know all CFBers rock, even at other times of day!) The coaches at CFB have helped me take the tiny steps I can to get to where I want to be. They’ve known when to push me hard and when to just keep me from falling apart, and they’ve helped me learn just how much I am capable of. Crossfit Bloomington has changed my life, changed me, and for that, I am forever grateful.