My few days turned into weeks before getting back to this post! Yikes!
So, back to May 2016. I finally had a job where I wasn't working nights, so I could actually join FitKamp at my local Crossfit gym. To say I was terrified is putting it lightly. But I felt that this just might be the one thing that helped me on my journey to being fit.
My first workout? I was the only one in the class of about 20 people who couldn't finish it. As in, I had to stop, sit down, and try really hard not to pass out and throw up all at once. My heart rate jumped so high, so fast, that I just couldn't cope. I felt like a total loser. This still happens every once in a while, but I pay attention to it, and slow the hell down. It happens most especially on the assault bike, which kicks your cardio into high gear in a very short amount of time.
But I kept going back, three nights a week for 6 weeks. The food, I really struggled with that. We weren't on a diet--more of paying attention to what we ate, making sure we drank so many ounces of water a day; eating a lot more veggies, lean protein, and good carbs. It's called clean eating, which has many variations, depending on how strict you want to be with yourself.
Because of Crossfit, I actually eat so many more vegetables that I ever did in my entire life. I hated veggies as a kid--we ate mostly canned or frozen, and I loathed them all. To this day, I don't buy any canned veggies, and very little frozen. I buy fresh because they just taste better. I learned that eating a salad wasn't always the best option, if you loaded your salad with fatty dressings and lots of croutons, cheese, dried fruit, all that stuff. My favorite salad is now pretty simple: arugula, a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and a dash of a flavorful olive oil.
I made some good strides that first FitKamp-I lost fat and gained muscle. Enough to have me sign up two more times for FitKamp, even though I could have just joined the gym and started on my journey. But my fear kept me in FitKamp longer than it should have, and even my coaches said I was ready to move on into a regular CrossFit class. I was still intimidated, and afraid of failure. I stopped myself and I've learned from that episode that sometimes you just have to take a leap.
I've been with Crossfit for three years. I usually aim for 3-4 classes a week, and after a year of trying to achieve some of the more ambitious moves: strict pull ups, handstands against the wall, box jumps--well, I've learned to love what I can do, and understand the limits my body has and be okay with that. I don't look at others and compare myself; I remind myself that I'm working out with folks who are anywhere from 10-20 years younger than myself. I'm proud of the gains I've made in strength, but not so proud of my continual struggle with eating right. I still need to lose a good chunk of weight. That weight is the result of years of eating my emotions and making bad food choices when I could have made better food choices. As they say, you can't outrun a bad diet. You can workout all you want, but until you dial in your food and eat healthy, you're missing a huge part of the puzzle.
One gift Crossfit has given me: courage. Everyday I walk into that gym, I'm still nervous. I don't look at the workout before, so I have to do whatever it is! I've actually done a few competitions which absolutely terrified me so much that I was shaking. But I did them. I'll never be the fittest person around, and that's okay with me. I'm stronger than I've ever been in my life, and I know I can keep adding muscle, which is so vitally important to women as they age. I'm battling hormones, aging, and the fact that I have to work twice as hard to see results I would have seen much quicker if I was 20 years younger.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of working out early in the morning. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment--I've already done something that day, so no matter what else happens, I feel good about that. Every week it can be hard to get up and get to the gym, but I keep telling myself to take it one day at a time. I look ahead at my week and try to plan out what days I'll workout. If I get to bed too late, or I wake up and I'm just dead tired, I give myself the grace to rest and workout another day.
So that's my Crossfit journey. I may someday put down the barbell, and move onto something that works for me as I move into my 60's. All I know is for now, this makes me happy.