This may not sound like a horror story but it is my horror story!
I was sick, very sick. I have never had a problem with my weight. I’ve always been active and pretty much ate whatever I wanted. I occasionally exercised just on whims… I knew if I could walk/run 5 miles from time to time and keep my weight down I was in great shape.
One morning I woke up with a horrifying case of vertigo, this was 7 years ago. I couldn’t do anything for 3 solid months, this is when it began to go downhill. High blood pressure, many many doctors visits to check for tumors, cancer, different test and prescriptions; it just got worse.
My feet were painfully sore, my muscles never seem to stop hurting. There were mornings I would wake up and lay there thinking, this is good as I am going to feel all day. I knew within hours of getting out of bed not only would I be in constant pain but within two hours I would be exhausted ready for bed.
Doctors have yet to figure out what was wrong with me. I do have neuropathy in my feet and plantar fasciitis in both my feet. My youngest son and his wife love to walk for miles and I always loved walking with them so when they would visit we would walk. My feet would be so swollen I would have to prop my feet up and rest three or more hours. When my grandson arrived I wanted to care for him so I would care for him one day and literally lay down all the next day. After the first three years the weight gain got worse from no activity. I tried Yoga which oddly enough seemed to helped with the vertigo. ShawnT & Tony were fun but getting motivated at home when I felt as horrible as I did was near to impossible. So what do you do when you feel as horrible as I felt…join CrossFit of course!
I mean after seven years of constant weight gain and everything hurting what did I have to lose? I had prayed long and hard about it and I felt like this is what I needed to do. I needed to go the natural route and take care of my body as best I could. I am just not a take a prescription drug to fix my pain type of person. I figured if I was going to be in pain I would have a good reason. I told my husband this was the plan to which he responded, “You’re crazy. We are old and we will die.” I told him about the drop-in class and he went with me. He has been incredible these past seven years as I deteriorated but this really took him out of his comfort zone.
The class was great! But we decided to wait a month, besides we have all these workout videos at home we could save some money and do these videos. One month later we had done a total of 0 exercise. He still thought I was crazy but this was a time I decided I was doing it with or without him. I wasn’t going to my grave feeling like I felt and I wasn’t going down without a fight and well if I died at least I had a good reason. One of the first and funniest shirts I saw upon arriving, “But did you die?” The answer, No no I did not. As a matter of fact I feel like I began to live again!
Don’t get me wrong the workouts were brutal especially as sick as I felt. I would get mad just at the warm up because it hurt and I would be exhausted. I just did what I could do and went home and rested. The coaches are incredible and never pushed me more that what I felt comfortable doing. It wasn’t two months before my husband asked, “Now when we sign up again next year do we…?” We would leave there feeling so tired but so good. I would tell him, I feel so good! He was not use to hearing me say that. I’m not going to lie, there were a few days I drove right past the gym and headed home but then I turned right back around to go workout.
Where am I now?
I feel wonderful! I still have pain but honestly I think that is from working hard. I have an incredible amount of energy that could only be credited to my body getting in shape. The days I feel bad are the days I am unable to go workout. That’s right my body feels better when it is doing what God intended for it to do and that is MOVE and work hard. I now keep my grand baby three sometimes five times a week! I am not taking all the prescription drugs that were offered to me. As a matter of fact my cholesterol had skyrocketed just last June and is now back to perfect after only eight months. The only thing different is I started CrossFit. I’m going to say this because I didn’t realize it until after I started CrossFit, but I was depressed. I wasn’t diagnosed clinically but in hindsight thats where I had gotten. I was sad. I didn’t want to get out of bed because I hurt. My life had taken a horrible turn. I could have just laid there and become a large decrepit bitter old hag. I could have just taken medication upon medication something would have eventually made me feel better or at least made me think I felt better. CrossFit is the real natural God intended remedy for what was ailing me. This is the thing, you work hard, you move and do the things your body was intended to do, you sweat out all the gunk that gets stuck in your body from horrible eating habits and you get better not just physically but mentally. You begin to eat better not because you want to be a Barbie doll but because working hard makes you want to make better choices to enhance the hard work you have put into working hard. Its funny I use to think as long as I can walk/run I’m in good shape. My feet were doing everything! When you are not exercising your entire body one part of your body is doing all the work and for me after 53 years my feet got worn out from taking on the brunt of the job. I am amazed at the parts of my body that were missing. The parts that are now tone where I feel a muscle. It leads me to apologize to my feet for making them do all the work all those years.
What I do now:
This is important because the other weekend I loaded up 150 blocks and unloaded them. I dug holes and planted plants in my yard. I sledded my grand baby up and down a hill, I couldn’t walk down last year, 18 times. I ran/walked a mile something I never thought I would ever be able to do again. Most important to me is every move I make when doing any kind of physical activity now I am able to see why I am doing it at CrossFit. I see the things I do here help me in everyday activities of my everyday life. I’m better. 🙂
About this place CrossFit Penance Oakland:
I am daily amazed not just by the coaches willingness to help and yes challenge me to do better but also by those that come. They all have their own fascinating story as to why they come. Everyone is just nice and they are for you! No one is competing with anyone but themselves. They are all encouragers, imagine that, finding a room full of encouragers who want you to do great!