Not too long ago, a good friend posted his 1 year progress photo on Facebook and I was super shocked at what just a YEAR of CrossFit can do. His before and after pictures, coupled with the dedication I see at the gym are definitely big motivators for me, so I knew I needed to share his story with you guys.
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
I've been doing CrossFit since January 16, 2012. That was the day I decided to change my life for the better. When you walk up a flight of stairs and have to catch your breath, something needed to change.
What do you find most challenging about CrossFit?
I find everything challenging. There are so many aspects that affect your performance from flexibility, mobility, form all the way to your nutrition. Every day I learn something new about myself when I walk into the box because I am challenged in so many different areas. The area that I find most challenging is the nutrition. I LOVE food and in the past it showed! I was at my heaviest back in college at 240lbs. I didn't workout, I ate everything in sight and I could play some beer pong. Once I started CrossFit, I changed my diet a little bit at a time. I am now working on eating strict paleo for a while then I want to go to a 80/20 diet.
What’s your favorite CrossFit workout?
My favorite WOD has been the CFO 12.4:
12:00 AMRAP: 150 Wall Balls, 20 lbs, 10 ft 90 Double Unders 30 Muscle Ups
The reason I like this one is because I saw my progress from when I did it back in April compared to last month. It definitely showed that hard work and dedication will lead to success. My favorite Girl WOD is... Fran. She is a dirty girl, but I love being left on my back gasping for air and thinking about what I can do better the next time we meet.
What advice would you give someone who wants to try CrossFit for the first time?
Don't be intimidated by what you see around you. You will see people at different areas in their CrossFit journey. You will get to that level IN TIME. Don't rush you performance and if you don't see instant results, just wait and it will come with practice and consistency of showing up every damn day!
How has your body changed since starting to take regular CrossFit classes?
The picture that is posted will show most of my change. I see it a lot in my face and my stomach. I have noticed that my shoulders, arms, legs, EVERYTHING is much more defined.
What do you wish you knew when you first started CrossFit?
I wish I knew how important nutrition is to your performance and progress. I thought you could out work a bad diet. In a way, I did, but I slowed my progress down so much and I wish I had the will power to say no to bad food. I am getting a lot better at saying no to the bad stuff and alcohol.
In your opinion, what are some misconceptions about CrossFit?
Haha, SNAP CITY!! "If you do CrossFit, you will get hurt." If you do any physical activity, there is a possibility that you will get hurt, not just CrossFit. I feel that if you listen to your coaches about the correct form, the right way to do movements and what NOT to do, you will be alright. You will be sore and joints will ache, but you need to rest your body and listen to it to avoid injury. Also, it is up to the coach to know how not to put you in danger's way. If you have a coach who is dangerous, worried about programming sexy metcons or ridiculous chippers, doesn't care about your form, doesn't scale you back for a good reason or doesn't pay attention; walk away from the box and find a better coach.
What do you think is the best thing about CrossFit?
The best thing about CrossFit is most definitely the community, hands down! I have been a member at three boxes and I have great friends from all of them. I love how everyone is encouraging and honestly wants you to succeed even if they are competing against you. We have done events outside of the box to celebrate birthdays, holidays or just to get together and tailgate. I have had coaches open up their houses to me when I was going through a rough time in my life. I honestly believe that CrossFit saved my life more than once. It has changed my health not just physically but mentally. I went through a tough period from March to August and I could have chosen a path that would have killed me or made me into a bad individual. The CrossFit community and family is what kept my head up and pointed in the right direction. I love the people around me and consider them my family.
A big thanks to JimBob for letting me interview him and post his half-naked pictures on the internet (he's single ladies). I’m truly blessed to get to workout and hangout with him!
Also, I would love to make this piece a regular installment on the blog, so if you’d like to share your CrossFit success story email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!