My world was shattered in 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A radical mastectomy and subsequent chemotherapy followed in 2007. Hairless, weak, and unsure of the future, I decided that I needed to find a way to feel healthy again. I began working out faithfully at another gym on my way to work (a whopping 70 minute commute on a good day). I’m not a big fan of classes and I generally prefer to work out by myself. With the help of a good nutritionist, I dropped eighty pounds in a year. After three years, I began to feel like I had reached a plateau both in my weight and my general sense of well being, I needed to change something, but what? and how?
About nine months ago, on a Saturday, I passed the CrossFit 2A sandwich board on 2A and thought, “Finally, something close to home ….I should check this out! Surely, this had to be the answer to my questions. I had never heard of CrossFit. As I turned into the parking lot, there seemed to be no signs of life. But then I rounded to the back of the building and saw a whole lot of tire flipping going on. I immediately thought, “I’m not sure that this is what you had in mind Deb, but be brave and ask about it—you can always say No”. Two things I know about myself are that I hate to fail and I can’t say “No”. This could be my recipe for disaster….or success!
As fit as I thought I was, I was no match for the CrossFit workouts. Every workout was a struggle, but I could feel myself getting stronger each day. Some days I achieved just one more pushup than the last time. Sometimes I was happy just getting through the warm up. Each time I got frustrated, I kept remembering the chemo treatments and how far I had come. Finally, here was something to get me past that plateau. As I read the goals and accomplishments of members on the board, I thought, “I have so many goals, I don’t know where to start and I don’t want to fail.”
I further challenged myself with Paleo eating. While it was a bit of a change at first, I found I actually liked it. The most difficult change for me was breakfast. Many of the discouraged foods, like dairy and legumes, are those that I always disliked as a child. If only I had listened to my body!
In nine months, I’ve certainly accomplished more than I ever imagined and I’m feeling healthier than I have in a long time. I have redefined fitness for me my lifelong therapy. I still have so many goals to accomplish and I still don’t know where to start. I still stare at the goal/accomplishment board each day. I have not yet put a goal on the board because I am still afraid to fail. However, I am able to leave each workout sucking a little less than I did the day before. That is the best accomplishment of all.
Nicole and the other coaches at CF2A have been so supportive in my journey to health. Even though I am working out with people half my age, and people who have a higher level of fitness than me, I have found a community of members who share one thing in common with me: a desire to challenge themselves at every workout to be the best they can be on any given day. I have learned that I don’t have to spend my time working out alone in a gym. I am learning that failure is the point at which my improvement begins (I’m still struggling with this one). I am learning to ignore the negative chatter in my head. CrossFit has allowed me the freedom to personalize my workout in a class format. It offers the added benefit of caring coaches and fellow crossfitters who push me when I think I have nothing left, inspiring me to work even harder, encouraging me to lift one more pound, do one more burpee, flip one more tire, or run one more meter with a sandbag. Thanks CF2A for being part of my recipe for success!