Monday, February 22, 2010

A Year Later

OGs --My original crossfit family! I love you all at CFV!
(L to R: Mitch, Kat, Martha, Colin, Jenna, Benny, Matt L. me, Brandon)

Level 1 Cert., February 2010, Matt M., Faith, Corey and Jaala learning from the best!

CFV Affiliate Challenge, October 2009

The ladies of CFV (L to R) Lindsay, Jeannine, Brittney, Katie, Fatih, Lisa, me

The beginning...finishing on-ramp with Alex M (February 2009).

In the End...
In the end, there was no after action review, no test, no evaluation, no final WOD. Instead, there were hugs, great people, and a bold statement that will always stick with me. As our Level 1 Crossfit Trainer Certification came to an end, Todd (one of the instructors) said, "Now go out and change the world." Nobody laughed. Every body's eyes gave their hearts away; we believed we could.

Flashback to exactly a year before that moment when Todd told us to change the world...

...It was my first workout at Crossfit Ventura. I had come to crossfit with a lingering injury; a torn rotator cuff from years before that had never healed. In addition to the torn rotator cuff, I brought with me a broken heart and a broken spirit. I was going through a tough time in my marriage and had just had a miscarriage. In addition to being out of shape physically, I was out of shape mentally. I arrived the day after completing my "on ramp" (introductory course) to crossfit scared and insecure about what may come up in my first workout. It turns out I came on our first ever "benchmark make-up day." My choices were Helen, filthy fifty, and 5k run. Still babying my body and mind, I chose 5k run. It was a strength of mine and I didn't quite get the idea of crossfit yet (to attack weaknesses in order to be good at everything).

Although I did great on the 5k, I don't really remember the details of the run itself. What I do remember is all of the people that were there helping me along and joking with me to make me feel at home...Upon finishing the 5k, I remember everyone who had done Helen waiting at the end and cheering loudly for me and the other runners. I remember Dave, still hungover from his bachelor party the night before, doing the filthy fifty (it was a choice!) through sweat and pain. I remember Mitch high-fiving me and Jenna and Jenny giving me big hugs. I remember Huff jumping up and down and yelling with a huge smile on his face. I remember thinking how badass Katie Bann was after hearing about her huge PR on Helen and how sweet of a person Faith was as she cheered on everyone while PR'ing on the filthy fifty (at the same time). I remember doing the humpty dance with Jeannine. I remember telling Colin that he had beat CJ on the board to grab the #1 Helen spot (I later found out that CJ is Colin, duh). That morning, I realized that I was not only joining a gym, but a community of awesome people. Crossfit couldn't have arrived in my life at a better time.

Come July, my old self was emerging again. I was competitive, confident, and my shoulder was feeling better every day. That month, after I attended the 2009 crossfit games, my goals concerning crossfit shifted. Now I wasn't just doing crossfit to get my life back in order, Crossfit had become my sport; I was doing it with competition in mind. Each day I worked out after the crossfit games, I envisioned myself as a participant at those games one day. I had gone from being worried about my shoulder and insecure about lifting weight to attacking my weaknesses and killing workouts where my strengths were involved. I was eating strict paleo, getting PRs regularly, and loving the sheer exhaustion I felt at the end of each workout. I couldn't get enough. Crossfit had made me into an athlete again.

But...Just as I was hitting my changed again. Early in the fall, after I had an amazing experience at my first ever crossfit competition, my husband and I filed for divorce. My diet fell apart and loneliness crept in. Promptly, I moved out of my old life and into a new, very challenging one. I found a roommate, a second job, and lost virtually all of my free time.

But the thing that remained constant was crossfit.

Feeling low, I could come in to crossfit any day and get encouragement, hugs, and my ass kicked (in a good way). Each day I left crossfit I knew that regardless of what my goals were or how my life was going I had found a group of friends that would always be there to lift me up.

As time wore on, I realized that the best thing I had gotten from crossfit, hands down, was a wonderful community. After the workouts are over and the paleo foods are eaten, it's the people that make crossfit great; it's the people that heal broken bodies and hearts and crossfit is the bridge that brings these people together. As I made my way back to normalcy, it occured to me that being a crossfit coach, and helping guide all of my friends and members of the crossfit community to better lives would complete the healing process for me and enrich my own life for years to come. Late in the fall, I decided that it was time to pay back all of the people who had supported me; I would become a crossfit coach.

So, a year after my first ever crossfit workout, I found myself among the great crossfitters, Pat Barber, Jolie Gentry, Jason Kalipha, and Josh Everett, studying the fundamentals of crossfit. I found myself learning from the best crosfitters, how to be the best coach. And, to top it all off, besides learning coaching skills from the best, the best were coaching me! I was lucky enough to have those crossfit legends teaching me how to do muscle-ups. Muscle-ups! A year before this weekend I could barely even hang on the pull-up bar without my shoulder feeling extremely painful. On Sunday afternoon however, I practiced this gymnastics move with the most famous crossfit eyes focused on me, willing me to get on top of those rings and lock my arms out. Unfortunately, I attempted about ten muscle ups and failed at every one. But remember when I said that in life, "close is more than enough?"

This is true for those missed muscle-ups as well.

Each muscle-up that I missed, another famous crossfitter or instructor approached me and gave me advice. Kalipha told me to get more aggressive. Jolie showed me how to keep my arms in tight, and gave me tape for my wrists. Todd said, "trace your sternum and pretend like you are elbowing someone behind you." Pat proclaimed, "just do it, you are strong enough, just DO IT!" Others looked on and cheered. Every time I missed one, people gave me more advice and assured me that I was so, so, SO close. With all of that support and encouragement, I felt like I got a muscle-up anyway. The fact that I missed does not weigh heavy on my mind, because in the process of missing so many times, my crossfit community grew.

Alas, in the end, why did we (the coaches in training) all believe that we could change the world when Todd suggested this bold action? I think we all felt this way because of the inspiring people who surrounded us. In the end, we all believed we could do anything because we were a part of this amazing network of strong, healthy, intelligent people; crossfitters.

So to all of my people in the crossfit universe...thanks for a wonderful first year! Lets continue to change the world, one crossfitter at a time.

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