I was asked to write about my journey with Crossfit and after reading all of the amazing stories that some of the ICF members have put together, I didn't feel like I should be writing one.  Up until a few days ago I was very reluctant and honestly very intimidated to put something together because I look up to the people that have written success stories and I never looked at my journey with Crossfit as one that could even come close to comparison with some of the other members that have been doing this for much longer than I have. 

      I know it may sound silly, but after a lot of soul searching I finally got the courage and came to terms with the fact that if I was asked to write something it is because the coaches saw something in me that maybe I wasn't seeing. I started to look back at some pictures from right before I started Crossfit, and even pictures as far back as college, and I started to realize how much my body has changed physically and furthermore how much I have changed mentally. 

     I am a 29 year old female, I joined Crossfit on November 2014 and I can tell you that in that short time many things have changed. If you would have asked me then why I joined, my answer would have been "it looked like a fun challenge."  Unlike a lot of people, I didn't join Crossfit to lose weight or get stronger and I had no idea that I was not "very healthy" because I was not overweight. I had heard my boyfriend talk about Crossfit and how awesome it was for a while before I joined. Finally, I told him to take me to a class so I could try it out myself. I looked at it as a fun activity that we could do together. Looking back almost one year later I now realize how incredibly wrong I was. I came in with no expectations and now I have more goals and expectations set for myself than ever before.

      My weight has fluctuated a lot during the last decade. When I graduated college I weighed 95 lbs (I know gross), but at that time I though it was okay. A couple of years ago I was weighing as much as 130 lbs which is the most I have ever weighed in my life. I have always been active and belonged to a gym, but I can tell you this: I have never felt comfortable in my body; I have always looked at myself and said "ugghh whatever as long as I can fit in my jeans I'm fine." About two years ago I decided to get a personal trainer and looking back it was truly ludicrous how much money I spent. Yes, I'm not going to lie I did get some definition, but after one year I still felt "blah" about my body. It was about 5 months after I finished personal training that I tried out Crossfit for the first time. The energy at ICF and the workouts had me completely hooked after one week. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. 

      Crossfit has helped me understand my body and what it is capable of. It has helped me grow as a person and it has helped my self-esteem tremendously.  When I first started I can honestly say that I did not take it seriously because I didn't think I could do most of the things that everyone was doing, and also because a lot of people told me that I shouldn't really be doing it. For a long time my family didn't really approve and said "lifting isn't for you." It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized how absurd I was being and how much Crossfit had to offer. I started to pay close attention to the coaches, began to take a close look at what I was putting into my body and my nutrition took a huge turn. I also began to admire and look up to the athletes that are a part of the ICF family and what Crossfit has done for them. I finally let my guard down and OMG what a change. From May to August of this year alone I was able to lose 6% of my total body fat and have never been more comfortable in my own skin.  

     I have come a long way in the past few months, I have gotten stronger and healthier. Surprisingly, I have also proved myself wrong over and over again lately by being able to accomplish things that just a few months ago I was telling myself "who are you kidding you will never be able to do that." 

     For me, more important than losing weight to conform to a look that is embedded in us by social media, family, friends etc... I have learned that it is all about how I feel and the things that I can accomplish; not by measuring it to the accomplishments of others, but by appreciating how hard each person has to work (no matter who you are) in order to get where they are now. Feeling proud for every bench mark you have set and reached, from being able to do an unassisted pull-up to hitting a 125 lbs full clean PR. We forget many times to take credit for our hard work and dedication. Crossfit has become the avenue to a better life, one that is more challenging, healthier, more active and definitely more fulfilling. None of the things that I have accomplished could have been possible if it wasn't for the help of the amazing coaches, the person who got me started (Sammy) and my fellow athletes (now close friends) that push me and motivate me everyday. I admire each and every one of you for the hard work that I now know first hand that you have to put in to get to where you are. I am beyond excited about my accomplishments and look forward to where my Crossfit journey will take me.