Today I am celebrating my Almost-Didn’t-Happen 2 year CrossFit Anniversary…because I almost quit.

I’ve documented most of my CrossFit Milestones on this blog so I don’t need to rehash everything but if you’re new to the blog here are some quick bullet points to bring you up to speed:

  • I signed up for CrossFit knowing NOTHING about it. All I knew was that there were ropes hanging from the ceiling in a room that was mostly empty and that I needed to learn to climb one of those bitches in order to what was (at that time) my ultimate, as in, the end-all-be-all, doesn’t-get-better-than-that, fitness goal— To complete a Spartan Race ( I didn’t really know what that entailed either)
  • Before I ever set foot in the gym (box) I felt out of place, discriminated against and like I wasn’t welcome. It’s funny what we’re capable of assuming about others when we don’t believe in ourselves. (not funny-haha, more like funny-unfortunate)
  • I completed that Spartan Race 6 months even though I wasn’t able to climb a rope
  • My first year of CrossFit was spent finding myself, figuring out what my brain and my body needed…and of course trying to memorize the names of all the lifts and then the acronyms that relate to them and the named WODs (still haven’t mastered those!)—this might very well be the hardest part of all of CrossFit.
  • For the entire first year I purposely did not look at the WOD before I got to the box because I didn’t want to be afraid of what was in store. I’d just showed up and hoped running wasn’t on the board.
  • I was SUPER dedicate and went no less than 4 times per week, almost always five, and many times, six.

The results were pretty astounding

One Year Crossfit Results

Today I celebrate my two-year CrossFit Anniversary!  Today I celebrate all of the amazing skills, strengths, tasks and mental shit that I’ve conquered this year. Let me tell you, there has been a lot!

The first half of year-two of CrossFit was full of major accomplishments with huge amounts of progress. I was feeling FASTER, STRONGER, BETTER than EVER BEFORE! I was feeling like a REAL CrossFitter. I still wasn’t one of the fastest, strongest or best in my box but I was feeling confident in my strength and abilities and was keeping up pretty well, especially considering where I had started!

In the first-half of year two:

  • Running (short distances) finally clicked. It no longer felt like absolute torture
  • No longer afraid of running WODs, I started checking Facebook to see what the next day’s WOD included so I could bring socks or extra water or whatever else I needed in order to be prepared.
  • In January I got my CrossFit Level One Certificate
  • In March I participated in the scaled version of the CrossFit Open that my box hosted.
  • During re-testing (something we do to measure progress) I got significant PRs in EVERYTHING
  • I got a pistol squat, 4 double unders in a row, unassisted (jumping) pull-ups, 20″ Box Jumps (laughable) AND I FINALLY learned to climb the damned rope!

I had made a list of goals I wanted to achieve in 2014 and I was well on my way to achieving them…then May came and my life got turned upside down.

I sustained some nasty shoulder stress during the Open workouts in March and April, which created quite a bit of inflammation. That followed by terrible, horrible posture while sitting at my desk trying to respond to the incredible outpouring of support after I posted the Ugly Body blog, only to be worsened by mental and emotional stress literally tweaked the SHIT out of my left shoulder. By the end of May it was so bad that it would keep me up at night. I could not get relief no matter what I did on my own. I stretched, I rolled. I stretched some more—nothing made it better.

This was the first time in 1.5 years that I couldn’t physically workout—at least not the way I wanted to. I couldn’t hang from the bar. I couldn’t lift overhead. I could barely grip a coffee cup some days. It was awful. I’d go to class, do as much as I could—which wasn’t much at all. I just wanted to cry.

The injury coupled with a LOT of travel this summer resulting in less than ideal eating habits and less than ideal amounts of activity too (more on that in a future post) led to an A-1 funkity, funk, funk, funk by the end of July.

It got so bad that by the end of August that I was ready to quit.  I was physically and emotionally drained—frustrated with the setbacks that were piling up, and no matter how much I tried to focus on the positives, I just seemed to be feeling worse and worse.  Only three people knew exactly how I was feeling and it felt like a horrible, dark secret that I was keeping, even from people who are closest to me. The pressure to continue with CrossFit, because that’s how a lot of people identify me, was also adding to my stress.  I felt like a poser calling myself a CrossFitter yet no longer being able do things that like pull-ups and handstands and climb a rope– the things that people believe they can do because they have seen the progress I have made.  But at the same time I felt like if I quit I’d be letting even more people down– it felt a lose-lose situation.  –I wonder if Oprah feels this kind of stress?

So why am I celebrating something that has been so miserable for the last six months?  Well, because in these past few weeks I have proven yet again that I am NOT a quitter.

Even though I am dealing with MAJOR setbacks

Even though my arms fatigue more quickly with repetitive movement than they did before

Even though I am back on the assistance band for pull-ups and can’t do a single toes-to-bar

Even though I am not able to lift as much weight as I could just five months ago

And even though, right now, I am unable to get to the box as often as I’d like…

I am going to continue moving forward because that’s what determines my success. It’s not about where I am right now, it’s about where I’m headed in the future.  Getting sidelined is a byproduct of success. My setbacks were a direct result of my forward momentum and now I’m going to look inertia right down her piehole and use that energy to propel me forward again.

Basically, I’m celebrating the fact that I have pulled my head out of my ass AGAIN which allows me to celebrate two FULL years of CrossFit.

As I finished yesterday’s WOD of 50 Deadlifts at 125lbs and 50 Burpees, I felt strong, I felt determined to push myself, to stay focused on doing my current best in order to get BETTER!

Crossfit is no longer about the aesthetics seen in before and after pictures for me. Crossfit is about me taking control of myself—physically, mentally, and emotionally and proving over and over again that just because something doesn’t come easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

So today I celebrate TWO FREAKING YEARS!  Me, the girl who played violin for 6 weeks, piano for 3 months and drums for 9. The girl who only did things that came easy because I could never see the possibility of improving.  Today I am celebrating true success that can only come from not giving up followed by the determination to move forward– regardless of whether or not CrossFit freaks out Jillian Michaels.

Happy Two Year Anniversary to ME!



PS: I need to give a huge shout out to Melinda at Green Heart Wellness who is using her mad massage therapy skills to get my shoulder back in shape. Without her I’d still be standing in the corner of the box doing butterflies with my 5lbs dumbbells but instead I’m feeling GOOD and I’m ready to tackle year three!