Saturday, August 1, 2009

August - my first post

So I thought I would share my crossfit journey with everyone - August is sort of an anniversary.

In August 2008 I walked into my first experience with crossfit. I think I found it on I thought the concept of crossfit sounded pretty cool.

So to set the stage, August 2008 was about 50 lbs ago. I had not been doing much exercise except Pilates. I pretty much used food as my drug of choice to block out some pretty crappy life stuff. I was pretty insecure and obviously didn't feel great about myself.

So back to crossfit, I still can't believe I showed up to this meetup by myself. I'm not sure I have ever gone to meetup event by myself since - I hate it (still kind of insecure I guess). I guess I was determined (and pretty excited if I recall).

I walk in and see Greg. I'm thinking to myself holy shit, this guy is hard core. I think it was all dudes too. I had no idea where I was supposed to go or what I was supposed to do, but Greg welcomed me and was pretty cool. My first WOD was a partner WOD. DAMN! I thought it was going to be just like elementary where the fat kid gets picked last. But it wasn't. Greg hooked me up with one of the dudes and it was fine. I never say dude - but am enjoying using this word. I digress.

I don't remember what the WOD was, but it was something where it wasn't completely obvious that I was so out of shape. I had good form, which Greg commented on and he was impressed with whatever score I got. It would be really cool if I could remember what that WOD was and the score and do it again. Hmmm...perhaps there are old archives...

I left feeling so completely awesome about myself.

So I show up for another one. This time there were burpees. I mean, do I really need to say anything else? Yeah, in this case I do.

Let me explain. Burpees for an out of shape very overweight person who feels bad about herself already... totally suck. And I mean REALLY suck. More than just in a physical way of sucking. The sucking is physical, mental and emotional. Think about you doing a burpee holding a 52lb kettle bell. Not so pleasant, eh?

The WOD was some pyramid I think- of like 21-15-9 maybe - we were outside and there were lunges and barbell something or others, it really doesn't matter because it is really about the burpees. I'd never done a burpee and my first one was SOOOOO freaking hard. Luckily, or not, my friend Melissa was there and she helped me through it. I think it took me like 20 minutes. The burpees made me feel like complete shit. I'm sorry for the expletive, but I don't know how else to put it. I wanted to cry and go home after maybe 5 burpees. I said so many f bombs that day. Dave was there - I think I told him to f off. He was patient and helped me through too. Although I still hated him. And Melissa. But I finished.

I left feeling like ass. Worthless. Defeated. Embarrassed. Pissed that something that was awesome before sucked so bad.

So I didn't go back.

Then, I found out from Melissa that there was a group of bigger crossfitters forming for a 6 week bootcamp. Perfect. I would be among others who are feeling the same way I do.

So I show up in January 2009 for that. Did it suck? Yes. I don't think I talked to anyone for at least a month. I was so pissed that I had to be in a group of bigger crossfitters. How did I let this happen? But I kept coming. And coming. And getting stronger. And feeling better about myself. And talking to others. My partner in crime Christie was there all along too. We started to kick ass together.

So do I join the real deal or no? I'd say after 3 sessions of bootcamp, I was probably physically ready - but not mentally. The big kids, as I like to call the "regular" crossfitters, were very intimidating. And I didn't want to leave my comfort zone and support either. Then I blew out a hip. Running always sucked, but I wanted to do it and now I couldn't. I thought for sure that I would never be able to do any WODs. But Dave helped me do other stuff - we worked around it. And still do.

In May 2009, I stepped over to the dark side and joined the big kids group. Did it suck? Yes, it sucked. It was uncomfortable. I didn't know anyone. I didn't talk to anyone for about a month. I felt crappy about myself again. I was not the fastest anymore, I was one of the slowest.

But I kept coming. And then I started talking. Well, I should say Bea started talking to me. Thanks Bea. Then Mandy. Then Sarah, and Becky and on and on...

Then there was badger. Dave said I could do half. No - I did all of it. And finished. I'm not sure I have ever felt as great about myself as I did after finishing that.

Then there were pull ups. On the bands.

Then I started staying after class. Lingering. WANTING to do more stuff.

And here we are in August 2009. I occasionally now think I am a bad ass. And I like that others see potential in me. I believe in myself now and have crossfit to thank for that. And the exceptional crossfit community. Thanks to everyone who has touched me during my crossfit journey. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to explain how grateful I am.

Wow - this is really long.



  1. Melinda,

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I love this blog...thanks Bea for setting it up! I think it may have been Mandy's idea, so thanks Mandy too! Anyways, it is inspiring to hear your story about joining crossfit. As someone who also has vivid memories of elementary school and being last to be picked for any sport or team activity, I have felt the same intimidation going into crossfit (and still do), but it helps that everyone is so supportive and truly wants to see others improve themselves. I am so glad you stuck with it after bootcamp and joined the "big kids."

  2. Mel- this is the coolest/most inspirational post ever. keep kicking ass. im not only proud of you and happy for you for all the goals youve met and accomplishments youve made, but im also motivated by you every day in the gym.

    youre the shit.


  3. Melinda - just awesome. absolutely positively totally unbelievably awesome. thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks guys! Can we have a party at 100 down?

  5. This made me cry. The people at CF durham are great. Thanks for sharing this story Malinda - you are a bad ass in so many ways.