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1 year of Kool-aid
1 year ago almost to the day, I walked into CrossFit Lithium scared to death! I don’t even know why I wanted to CrossFit or if I even wanted to for that matter! My cousin and her husband in Louisiana had started CrossFit and would constantly be talking about it, and encouraged me to try it. So I signed up for the free class to see what is was about.
So there I am sitting in the parking lot with the worst butterflies ever! But I got up the courage and walked in. I had absolutely NO idea what to expect! So after a brief meeting Coach Mark gave us our workout…. I thought I was going to die! … but I didn’t, I survived! And before the oxygen got to a normal level in my brain again, I found myself signing up for the on-ramp! WHAT?!
During on-ramp, Coach Danielle showed us all basic movements and skills for different WOD’s. it was a good time and I thought, this isn’t too bad, I can handle this! So when on-ramp was finished I signed up to be a member!
Still quite intimidated, I never thought/imagined myself going far with CrossFit. I never “stuck” with any sort of program for any length of time. My weight has been an issue my whole life. Up and down constantly, mostly up. I always tried the “quick-fix” and of course it never worked.
Then I was introduced to Paleo. WOW! Who would have thought how this way of eating (not a diet) can completely change your life! With the guidance of Coach Cind it really started turning my life around.
Suddenly I felt this energy I had never felt before. Suddenly I felt stronger. I could feel that my technique in WOD’s improving, my endurance started building up. I started SEEING a difference in myself. Its an addiction! And I never want to stop!
I have goals for myself long and short term that I never thought I would even consider. Not to mention the new “family” I have acquired along this journey. I love each and every one of them as if they were a blood relative. The camaraderie is bar none to anything I have ever been a part of in my life.
So one year of Kool-Aid and I have no plans of looking back. I consider myself a “Lifer” and am looking forward to what CrossFit Lithium has in store for my future!
I have been a member of CrossFit Lithium for almost 2 years and it has been a most rewarding experience in my journey to increased fitness and health. In my youth, I never considered myself athletic and did not participate in many activities.
It wasn’t until after I had three children in my mid-30’s that I thought I should focus on getting in better shape. I joined a gym and took various classes, used the treadmill, elliptical, bikes, some weight training, etc and improved my physical health. I remained a member of the gym for over 15 years and thought I was in good physical shape. But I was addicted to looking at the scale and plateaued, not seeing many changes after a few years. Then in my mid-forties, I became interested in running which added greatly to my overall fitness. I enjoyed running and after a few years, I set a goal that I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 50. I ran my first marathon in Philadelphia and then 3 more marathons over the course of three years. Again, I felt like I was now in the best shape. So what was next?
In talking with my son in Louisiana, he suggested that I try CrossFit. He had been telling me about his experience with CrossFit Lafayette in Louisiana but I thought his suggestion was crazy. Based on the things he told me, I figured this was only for elite and young athletes and I was neither of these. He encouraged me to give it a try, explained that workouts are scaled based on your level and told me that there was a CrossFit in Brick. For a few months, I did not follow up because I was scared and thought that CrossFit was way out of my league. So my son encouraged me some more and also told me that he knew that CrossFit Lithium was a family operation, he ran track with one of the Griffiths (Marissa) in high school and his recollection was that they were a very nice family. So I finally had the confidence to gave it a try.
I’m not going to lie—I was a bit intimidated during the first few classes. I had no idea what cleans, snatches, doubleunders, thrusters, wall balls, jerks were. And although I knew what a squat was, I immediately learned that I had not been doing these correctly for years. The coaches, however, were all very encouraging and supportive and the members all friendly and helpful. I had never been able to do a pushup in my life and never thought I could but after a few months I was doing “man” push ups. I’ve accomplished things that I would have never thought possible for a 50+ year old woman since being initiated into the CrossFit experience. The coaches are phenomenal and provide the type of attention and critique to improve your performance in a small group setting.
I may not be as fast or as strong as others but, for me, it’s not about competing with others; it is about seeing myself improve and grow. And the members are all supportive of one another.
Since CrossFit also focused on nutrition, during my first few months, I completed a 60 day Paleo challenge where I lost over 5% body fat. I was noticing a change in my body composition. My pants were getting looser and I was down at least one full size. This was major for me—despite all my exercise in the past, my hips always kept me in a larger size. I think I lost about 3 -4 inches in my hips. I am much leaner but my weight remains about the same. I try not to focus only on looking at the scale now. After a few months at Lithium, I started to get many compliments. I hadn’t realized how my body changed but lots of people were noticing. It was a great feeling to wear sleeveless shirts with confidence and to also really feel healthy and strong.
CrossFit has been good for my mind, my body and my spirit. Your mind is also always working as you try to improve your skills, sequence the parts of the workout, add weights or just keep count of your reps. I look forward to going and constantly setting new goals and challenging myself and seeing the improvement.
I still enjoy running 2-3 times a week and because of CrossFit, I am now a stronger and faster runner. I can now say with certainty that at age 54, I am the healthiest and fittest that I have ever been. Because there is so much variation in CrossFit, I don’t get bored and know that I can continuously improve in different areas. I feel confident that if I continue with CrossFit, I will be in even better shape when I enter my sixties (UGH!)
So my purpose in writing this is to encourage people, that no matter who you are, what your age, and where you are in your current level of fitness that you can benefit and improve from CrossFit. You may be afraid or intimidated at first but CrossFit Lithium is a supportive family. You can’t dog it–You will be pushed to reach the next level and you will see results but you will have the support you need to do this. And, by the way, you will also have lots of fun and meet a great group of people!! Thanks to my son for encouraging me to do this and to all the great coaches at CrossFit for their support, encouragement and commitment to healthy living.
A Crossfit – aholic
My name is Sarina Gianna and I am a Crossfit-aholic. After just nine short months, I can say whole heartedly that I have become a Crossfit junkie. Actually, I was hooked after my first free workout, which took place in mid December 2009. Since then, I have gradually increased my frequency to five days per week and can’t see an end in sight. I can honestly say, at age 37, I feel better today than I ever have and Crossfit has completely obliterated my fifteen year battle with chronic back pain. For as long as I can remember, my back pain has dominated my life. Over the years, I tried every traditional method I could to help alleviate my daily chronic back pain, including accupuncture, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, epidural injections and pain medicines. I tried a number of different work out routines: weights, aerobics classes, kick boxing, elliptical machines and swimming. Nothing worked. The pain got so bad in early 2007 that I decided to finally have surgery in an effort to ‘fix’ my back. I did get relief of my symptoms after the surgery but, to my dismay, the pain was never completely gone and over time, I began to feel it creep back in again. I panicked. By this point, I was not doing any strenuous physical activity because I was always afraid of re-injuring my back. By the middle of 2009 I weighed 164 pounds, which was as heavy as I have ever been. My cholesterol was 248 and I was in extremely sad physical condition. I felt like there was no way for me to get back into shape and feeling good again.
I was invited to try the Crossfit free workout a couple of times before I decided to do it and on Saturday, December 12, 2009, I finally walked into the box and left it all on the floor. The free workout kicked my butt so hard, I didn’t know what to make of it. But I immediately knew it was the right kind of workout for me. I signed up on the spot and never looked back. It took me about two months to really acclimate to the new moves and level of intensity, but it was without question, the best thing I have ever done for myself. Since December, I have lost over 30 pounds and I have gained an amazing amount of muscle mass. I am wearing a size 6 for the first time since high school and I can definitively say that I have zero residual back pain, ever. Crossfit has completely changed my body in ways I never thought it would. Just fourteen weeks after starting Crossfit, my cholesterol went down 40 points and my overall health has improved dramatically. I’ve run a 5K, a 10K mud run and am looking forward to many more fun physical events in the near future. Crossfit changed everything for me and I am so thankful to the coaches and the Crossfit community for their amazing ability to keep me motivated and coming back almost one year later. Thank you!
A Heartfelt Success Story
I have always used food as my comfort since I was a little girl. Being of Italian decent eating everything on your plate was a rule in our house. I struggled with my weight since I can remember. Then a tragedy struck my life and unfortunately in April 2005 my husband died suddenly. I was left with 10 month old twin boys and a 7 year old boy. So needless to say food became not only a comfort but an enemy too. As time went on so did the weight. Finally I felt the need for a change. A change for me only to do something for MYSELF…After hearing my niece(Coach Griffy) and my sister Lucinda (Coach Cind) talk endlessly about crossfit and nutrition I decided to inquire. On September 17, 2009 I had my first crossfit workout and it was like no other. I was instantly committed to this. As I started crossfit and felt I was reaching one goal in my life there were more that I needed to conquer. When I confided in my sister and reached out to her about the other goals in my life she guided me towards the Herbalife program and the The Biggest Loser Weight Loss challenge. So I started that on October 1, 2009. I was then totally motivated I had my family, crossfit, herbalife and my commitment to change my life ahead of me.
My life has changed for the better. In 16 weeks I lost 15lbs and 9 inches and came in first place in the Weight loss challenge. I could not believe how much my life was changing, I have gained control over food, who by the way is my friend now! My self esteem has reached a level that I have never felt before I actually can hold my head up high and say WOW I did it! I have also met some really incredible, loving and strong people in the crossfit community. I need to say thank you so much to the Griffith Family for introducing me to this new lifestyle that I love and cherish. I am also so grateful for all of you standing by me through this incredible journey and never second guessing me for one moment. I love you!!!!!
- Update: Oct 2009 – May 2010
Total lost 19lbs and 17 inches!
- My success story!
- Words can not describe how CrossFit has changed my life so far. After gaining 80 lbs thru pregnancy I found myself continuing to gain weight and struggling to stick to any diet or exercise routine. My self-esteem was at an all time low when I found myself tipping the scale at 307 lbs.
Now it was up to me to do something about it or continue on this road to obesity.
Danielle (Coach Griffy) had suggested to give CrossFit a try. At first I was a little reluctant but I had nothing to lose so I did a trial workout.It was one of the hardest workouts I had ever experienced, but with Danielle’s belief in me, I went back. After about a week I found myself addicted. It relieved stress and started making me feel better about myself. I found myself looking forward to my next workout.
To my surprise, I started wanting to eat better so I attended Lucinda’s (Cind) nutrition classes to learn how to do so. Now the whole Griffith family was behind me helping me thru my journey. It felt good to have people see in me what I couldn’t see in myself. Not only are the coaches motivating and supportive, but so is the whole CrossFit community! It was amazing to have people I don’t even know supporting me like I knew them forever.
I started my journey in July ‘09 and as of Dec ‘09 I am down 49lbs and 31 1/2 inches! For the first time in my life I know I will be able to reach my goal weight. 175lbs. It’s not just a dream any more; it’s now my reality.
I am truly thankful for the amazing support from Danielle, Mark (Coach MuscleGeek), Lucinda, and the entire CrossFit Lithium family.
CrossFit saved my life
As I sit down and write about what CrossFit has done for me, I can’t help but to stop and really appreciate what I have accomplished and where I have come from. When I first joined the army in 2003, I was about 120lbs soaking wet and my body was never used to the constant beating of running or even working out. Through those early years in the army, I was technically never “in shape”; I just had the drive to keep pushing through the long runs and the ruck marches. Having the opportunity to go to Airborne School, I was jumping out of planes with around 100lbs of gear on and “landing” very hard.
The tail end of my first 4 year enlistment was very rough for me. I had degenerative disc disease in my lower back, the arches of my feet had collapsed and I had chronic shin splints and patella tendonitis. At 22 I never thought I would be able to run, play sports, or be pain-free at any point in my life ever again. During the 8 months following my discharge, I was collecting VA disability that would have continued for the rest of my life, and was going to physical therapy 3-4 times a week.
During this time, I decided to slowly try to get back into lifting but with no running. I heard of CrossFit through the Special Forces Community before and decided to try it out. After a few weeks, I could noticeably feel a difference in the pain in my joints and especially my back. With CrossFit and a good stretching routine, I was fighting back becoming decrepit. After some time of doing CrossFit and feeling a decrease in pain, I decided to give running a try. Within a month I was competing in triathlons, 5k races, and anything I could sign up for.
With my new found fitness I decided to sign back up with the Army and try for the Special Forces. In order to even try out for the program, I had to give up my disability. I was confident I was in the best shape of my life so I gave it up and ended up passing the selection process.
Without CrossFit, I would still be in physical therapy feeling sorry for myself. Instead I am in one of the toughest military programs trying to earn a green beret. Now that I am certified level 1 trainer, I try to help people understand what CrossFit can do for you. Any age or skill level can benefit from the training and the lifestyle changes that CrossFit brings forth. I recommend it to everyone, and it can be done by anyone anywhere.
John “Rambo” Fitzsimons