Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Constantly Humbled


I know, I know... It has been over a year.  I have been a slacker.  I have no excuses on why I have not been blogging.  I stopped being healthy.  I felt like I was letting myself and others down, so I stopped blogging.  I stopped being excited about the healthy lifestyle choices I had made.

Last March during my marathon, I injured my foot. I shouldn't have run the race but did it anyway.  It took me over 8 hours to finish. I ended up walking the last 12 miles, because my foot hurt so bad.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  I should not have been, but I was.  I did something amazing.  I took some time off to let my foot heal.  Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and the next thing I knew, the weight was back.  I wasn't running or doing anything healthy.  I was back to video games and eating whatever, whenever. I had to start getting all my fat clothes back out.  Then I had to buy some more clothes.  I was more embarrassed and ashamed.

I knew something had to change again.  I was depressed and out of control. This year, I started doing stand-up and improv.  I love it.  It was something I loved doing and made many friends.  I still wasn't healthy.  I started having anxiety attacks and some deep depression.  I knew what I needed to do.  I tried to start running again, but that embarrassment and shame came flooding back because of how far back I had gone.  It was just like starting over again.  I stopped going after only a few times, because I couldn't do what I did before.

I knew I needed to do SOMETHING.  So usually when I get a wild idea, I post it on Facebook.  I posted, "Hey! I am thinking about doing CrossFit. What does everyone think about it?!"  The response was overwhelming.  So many of my friends do CrossFit and LOVE it. Many of my running friends had great things to say about it as well.  I found out that one of the CrossFit gyms (Box) was right across the street from my work. So that next day, I went over and checked it out after work.

I had never seen anything like it. It was a huge garage/warehouse, like the kind you find in strip malls.  Ropes and rings were hanging from the ceiling.  There were rows of pull up bars and several plyometric boxes stacked up. Large tractor tires in the back. Lots of kettlebells. The only thing I really recognized were the squat racks and barbells. I was overwhelmed.  One of the owners, Mel, saw me and introduced himself.  He had one of the other coaches take over the WOD (workout of the day) and took the time to show me around and talk to me about what to expect. One of the nicest guys you would ever meet.  He made me feel at home and really encouraged me to give it a try.

Coach Mel Killing Double Unders
I signed up for the beginner's class and started the beginning of April.  My first WOD was on a Saturday. It was an intro class. The WOD was small and simple, and I thought I was going to die.  It was 3 rounds of 15 air squats, 12 deadlifts and 9 kettlebell swings.  I had to stop and scale.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I was so sore, but I was excited to keep doing it.

Jeremy was our CrossFit beginner's coach.  He is built like an action figure. I am not going to lie.  I was intimidated but instantly put at ease.  He took the time to explain what CrossFit is and how it could help me in all aspects of my life.  He wanted us to know how to do the movements so we prevented injury.  The class was designed so that someone just starting didn't feel overwhelmed by all the lingo and movements. By the end of the first month, I made several friends and felt confident that I could do it and join the regular WOD group.  I had to scale down a lot of the workouts. I still have to, but that is okay.

Coach Jeremy M
Me and Coach Jeremy
I was working out in the normal WOD class three days a week at CrossFit Springfield East and loved it.  Loved the coaches, loved the people.  I wanted to somehow share this with my wife.  Mel said she could come and do a workout with me for free to try it.  Jenn loved it!  We really wanted to do this together, but it was such a long drive for Jenn to take everyday.  It didn't sound possible.  When I got home that night, I saw some people talking about a new CrossFit opening in Republic!  The next day, I went in to check it out and found out that two of the owners were people I had become friends with at CrossFit East, Deena and Joe!  Deena showed me around and invited us to come try a WOD that next day.

It turned out to be perfect for Jenn and me.  The facility is on my way home from work.  It is super close to our house, AND a class starts at 5:30 with childcare provided. So we would have time to meet after work and not have to worry about the kids!  It broke my heart to leave CFSE because of Mel and all the amazing people I met there, but it was so important for Jenn and I to do this together.  So we signed up that next day and have loved it ever since.  We go 4 times a week!

CrossFit Republic
The owners of CrossFit Republic are great!  I love the classes, because almost everyone there are beginners as well.  We are all learning and growing together in something amazing.  Seeing the friendships grow through blood, sweat and tears has been a lot of fun.  A big thank you goes out to the owners Macy, Jen, Joe and Deena. You are all amazing, and I love to see how CFR is growing! We feel at home and hope to see several more months and years at CFR.

It has almost been 3 months since I started doing CrossFit.  I have not missed a week, and I can feel myself getting stronger. I have a long way to go. I am not eating as healthy as I can, but I am really working on it now. I know the weight will keep coming off, and I will keep getting stronger. I want to start running again soon as well.  It might be another month or two, though.  I don't want to overdo it.

Jenn has taken to CrossFit like a fish to water. Everyone tells her how graceful her movements are. She works hard and pushes herself, and it is so much fun to be doing this with her. We help keep each other accountable, and we are setting an example to our kids as well.

Something I have noticed in all the fitness communities I have been privileged to be apart of is that everyone is so encouraging.  When I was running, people always encouraged me and cheered me on, even if I was the last one coming in. Nixa Running Group is an amazing group of people, and they will always have a special place in my heart.  I hope to be out there running with them again. When I was doing bootcamp at the Meyer Center, I made several friends, and they wanted me to do well and cheered me on.  CrossFit is no different. I am the slowest and last one getting done everyday.  I am super impressed on how everyone there works so hard and do so well during the workout. They inspire me. Something they do that humbles me everyday is that while I am finishing, they cheer me on.  They will run that last 400 meters with me.  They are there encouraging me, pushing me, telling me I can do it.  When I do finish, they clap and tell me I did a great job.  It makes me feel special and important.  I want to do that for them while they are finishing, because they are inspiring me. I am constantly humbled by the people around me. I hope to be like them as well.

I can say that I am a happier person again.  I missed working out and love feeling strong and healthy.


Becca Campbell said...

I know the feeling -- I'm so happy for you Chris!

Hutch said...

LOVE this!

First, I'm sorry that you stopped blogging when things went south. It happens to all of us and sometimes being honest about that on our blogs can allow our fellow fitness bloggers to 1) realize it's normal and 2) encourage you!

Second, I'm SO stoked you and your wife like CrossFit! My husband and I have been doing it for 1 year now and it has literally been life changing. I highly encourage you to continue to make small steps toward healthier and healthier eating! The biggest results we've seen in our performance and body have been totally diet related.

Third, I love that you point out how encouraging fitness communities are. I think we all feel like the 'newbie who can't keep up' for a long time and that never leaves us. I still feel new to CrossFit and I COACH NOW! But all of us, when we see someone who is new or taking a while to learn and improve, we relate to that. We were all there. And we want so badly to convince everyone that if they keep with it it does get better! Because there's no better feeling than making progress and gaining confidence and making the best you a reality. If people involved in any fitness activity AREN'T encouraging to others who start, I would seriously question their humanness.

Anyways, super stoked for you! WOO!

MIZ said...

we are all soooo glad youre back and so ready to cheer you on.

Kierston @candyfit said...

Happy to see you back and...HAPPY! :)

Amanda RunToTheFinish said...

welcome back and glad you found what will now get you excited! I think this is a huge message for people because you went from loving running to loving something else and that's ok!! I feel like people feel so beholden to saying I'm a runner or a crossfitter that they won't switch it up when they need to

Cupcake Kelly said...

I am glad you were able to find a place to get your groove back!

Meredith said...

Love this post! I am so glad that we started this together back at Springfield East and are together again at CFR. Just so you know, you are such a great motivator during the WOD! I appreciate that a lot!

Pattysmulski said...

I go to CFR too! I hope we get the opportunity to meet soon! Keep up the good work and thanks for the inspiration.