How training at CrossFit 201 impacted your fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally?
I started training at CrossFit 201 almost 5 years ago. At the time, I was at a regular gym just doing cardio and getting pretty bored. I never looked back after starting in 201 and it quickly became much more than just a place to get a workout in. Some of the best friends in my life I met at 201, so emotionally, I can say it became a place where I belonged. Physically, it pushed me in ways I had never anticipated. I loved getting stronger but it also gave me the wrong impression that as long as I did these very intensive workouts, I could eat whatever I wanted. That did not turn out to be completely accurate, but we’ll talk about that more later. Mentally, it has challenged me to push my limits. I’m constantly amazed with the things I am able to do or the times I’m able to do them in that I never would have expected.
How has your training at CrossFit 201 enhanced the quality of your life outside of the gym?
Until I began working out at 201, I was struggling to find my niche. Coming back from college, I had groups of friends all over the place but not many locally. In addition to improving my social life exponentially, it added a level of confidence to my personality. I was proud of how my training was going and how I felt in my own skin. It made me want to try new things, broaden my horizons and interact more with the larger CrossFit community. I ended up volunteering 3 times for the North East regionals and twice at the CrossFit Games in California. I’ve met so many wonderful people that I would not have crossed paths with otherwise.
What can you now do that you couldn’t do when you first started?
So many things!!!! I remember walking into the box and thinking “Toes to bar? I can do a ton of those no problem!” Well….I couldn’t. I couldn’t do pull-ups without a band, crazy looking double unders or handstand pushups like all the others were doing. Now I can not only do pull-ups, but chest to bar pull ups and any type of muscle up. I had no idea how much I loved doing the more gymnastic movements. My handstands still need a lot of work, but that is part of what really makes CrossFit amazing. No matter how long you have been doing the movements, you never stop improving or learning how to move more efficiently and how to make your technique better. There’s also all these great people around that go out of their way to help you improve, not just the amazing coaches but other members too.
Can you share a little bit of your story and how fitness became a part of your life? What motivated you to start and what keeps you coming back?
My fitness journey really began when I got home from college. As a kid I had always been active and played sports, but not so much in college. Coming home for good, getting three meals a day again (which did not happen much at school) made me realize that despite going to the gym and using the elliptical for maybe an hour I was not actually seeing results or feeling the way I wanted. Two months later I found a nutritionist and over 3 months went down to 128 lbs from maybe the high 140s or low 150s, can’t remember. During dieting I began running on the treadmill at the gym A LOT. From 2011 until the summer of 2013 when I first walked through the doors of CrossFit 201, I ran 5 miles 6 times a week. Unfortunately, over time I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted in the form of abs or muscle tone. I was skinny but flabby in places I didn’t want to be. I was also getting really bored. CrossFit was exactly what I needed because I like walking into a gym and just being told what to do that day and I love the class setting. It doesn’t work for everyone but it was a great fit for me. Over the years I have pushed my limits time and time again. Going back to a normal gym hasn’t crossed my mind once in the last 5 years since starting. Coaches and other members push me every day to do more, do better, get stronger, and blow through limits I unknowingly gave myself. Though as I mentioned before, I did think that because I had an intense workout 4-5 times a week it gave me the ability to eat whatever I wanted. Well 7 years after seeing a nutritionist, I enlisted Coach Stacey’s help to get back into fighting shape. With her, in 12 weeks I lost 15 lbs of fat and have since maintained the loss. CrossFit 201 really is the complete package for me with great coaches, amazing friends, and terrific programming.
What pieces of inspiration can you share with other people to inspire them to make a positive change in their lives?
I know people can see CrossFit as overwhelming and scary, especially when seeing videos of some of the top athletes in the sport. What I always tell people is that you are in control of your own journey, period. The WOD tells you the general guideline of what we may be doing that day, but you are able to scale it any way you need and all of the coaches will give you suggestions of alternatives to what you may feel uncomfortable with. The important thing is just getting up and moving on a regular basis. If that means going for walks, bike riding, yoga classes, anything really to get moving then that’s great. It just has to be something that works for you. CrossFit 201 is what works best for me!