I was trying to keep this short, but the truth is it just takes some of us longer to get there.
My relationship with health and fitness started a long time ago. I grew up as an overweight Kid. Although I was always active, I had unlimited access to snacks and sugary beverages. It was awesome. However, kids are mean and being made fun of every single day was torture. I remember being in the eighth grade and making the competitive cheer squad for my school. I also remember everyone wondering how that happened because I was “too fat to cheer.” Determined to prove everyone wrong, I gave everything I had to conditioning and practices and lost at least 30 lbs. I kept most of that off until my junior year of high school when the stress of being a teenager and prepping for college hit and the weight slowly crept back on. I still remained very active with cheer and gymnastics up until I was thrown from a vehicle during a rollover just before my sophomore year of college. I was LUCKY. I suffered from mild head trauma, a billion stitches, torn up cartilage, and a messed up elbow, but all these things I would certainly recover from. That did not stop me from using them as an excuse. My senior year I was bigger than I had ever been.
My weight was up and down throughout the next several years and several of life’s circumstances. To shorten up my story, I will list a few : an abusive marriage, a nasty divorce, a move across the state, a new marriage, a baby, losing a baby at 5 months gestation, losing my religion, finding it again, another baby, and all of a sudden its 2016. My husband had started CrossFit a year prior to my joining and he finally convinced me to come try it out. I was loaded with excuses, ask Clint, but I tried it and I didn’t die. He modified my movements for the elbow issue I just knew was going to hold me back, but I did the work and I wanted more. Over all my years and heavy situations I had become mentally tough, but I was not physically strong. It was time to find my strength, and WOAH was I going to need it.
I started full time at CrossFit Penance in February of 2016 slowly but surely working my way through cleans and deadlifts, kettlebells and cardio. I was losing some weight and getting stronger every day. I had my routine down and nothing was going to stop me. BOOM… I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. This meant surgery, this meant down time, this was going to suck. I had surgery in April of 2016 and HELLO 20 lbs. During my recovery my husband got sick. In May of 2016 he was diagnosed with stage 3b Hodgkin’s lymphoma. What am I going to do now? The answer was easy, I was going to fight, and CrossFit was going to help me do that. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to help Tim if he needed me. I had to be able to help him. Clint modified several of my work outs to help me re-gain my abdominal strength and we worked on a lot of odd object carries. I also needed to fight for myself. I did not want to become a statistic. Did you know that approximately 80% of women gain 20lbs plus post hysterectomy and never lose it? Several factors play into the weight gain, but I’ve had enough. I’ve spent too much of my life being bullied, being beat down, being told what is expected, but I was DONE! I signed up for a Spartan race, I climbed a wall, I did a pull up, I climbed a rope, I cleaned 100lbs, I completed MURPH, and I Lost that weight! Most importantly I am teaching my girls what it means to be healthy and that STRONG IS BEAUTIFUL. At my heaviest I wore a size 16, I’m now in a 6 and in the best shape of my life. I am always trying to get better, to do better, and to want more for myself. I owe it to CrossFit. The bruises I have now are because I put them there with kettlebells or barbells, The pain I feel is from pushing through a tough workout, every lb I add to a bar, every extra rep I add to a workout, and every extra step I take is a victory for me. I am here, I am a survivor, and could not have done it without my CrossFit family. CFP has been lifesaving and life changing. I am better, I am stronger, and I am determined, and for that I AM THANKFUL!
With much appreciation,