Hanna And Olivia

 In BAMF

Words from Hanna…

WAIT REALLY?! I’m beyond honored to be the BAMF of the month with my sister!! Rybolt’s represent!

When I started at GCF a little over a year and a half ago, I did not expect to be where I am today. Every sport that I tried throughout my childhood lasted less than a season. I refused to practice because I couldn’t see myself ever improving, and I found myself becoming more and more discouraged. I ended up playing basketball for several years, but it never really stuck. The workouts were essentially the same every time, and I still refused to practice. Fast forward to my freshman year of high school, I decided to try P90X to “get skinny for summer”. Although my purpose behind doing it sucked, it was one of the first times I fully committed myself to something athletic. From there, my sister forced me to start Foundations, and I haven’t looked back since.
My first ever lifting goal was to clean 65#. In my mind, I thought that would be a perfect weight to stick at forever as to not get “bulky”. Before long that 65# clean – something that seemed so terrifying – was achievable, and I wanted to have that intense feeling of accomplishment again. That goal led to another goal, then another, and another. Since then, I have achieved what I thought was unachievable.

I have learned so much in the past year through GCF. I learned I can survive for 30 days without chocolate (woohoo whole30!), row a half marathon on a random Saturday morning, set goals I can stick to, not actually die during a hero WOD, lift stones, flip tires, and walk with my bodyweight in my hands (THANKS PAUL!!).

Being a 17-year-old girl, there is SO much pressure to look a certain way. If you walk down the halls of my high school, you will see that 90% of the girls look exactly the same: super straight hair, caked on makeup, and no muscle mass whatsoever. I wanted so badly to be like them, but why? CrossFit has shown me that it’s okay to be different, and I think that’s what makes me love it so much. Instead of having posters plastered to my walls, I have lists of goals and Zone blocks, and I’m good with that. And so what if people look at me weird as I walk into an AP exam with a TRUNX shirt on? Why go get bagels after an exam when you can go lift some weights 😉

These past several months, GCF has become my home. The community is absolutely amazing, and you guys push me harder than I could ever push myself. All I ever think about is “how long I can stay at the gym today?” and “how should I approach the WOD?”. I see Miki and Lee more often than I see most of my friends, and I really wouldn’t want it any other way. You guys are the best coaches anyone could ever ask for, and I may just have to bring you with me to college.

I’m excited to see what this year will bring. My quest to row 1,000,000 meters this year is already under way (hooray for over 19k a week!), and I’m hoping to compete at least twice. Again, thank you, Miki and Lee, for helping me get to where I am today. Now lets see where I’ll be next year.

Words From Olivia…

No way! Me?! The co-BAMF of the month with my sister?! I was seriously so excited and shocked when I found out! Crossfit has changed everything about me for the better and I’m so happy that I found the awesome community that is Gardens Crossfit!

With my dad having an athletic background, it was important to him that Hanna and I played team sports from the time we were little. Growing up I played soccer, softball, and basketball, but for whatever reason they didn’t stick. Back then I was super tall compared to everyone else, and basketball was my main sport up until sophomore year of high school when I played JV for my school’s super competitive team, which was a major reality check. Suddenly, I wasn’t tall enough to play my normal position compared to the 6’5” girls on my team and on other teams and my skill level did not match up to the other girls. Although it was hard, I decided that I was done with basketball and I needed to do something else. I did cross country earlier that year, which I liked, and I first joined track in the spring of that year. My coach had me throwing discus and shotput as well as running a few events, which was totally different and new for me. It was ugly at first, but I loved playing a strength-oriented sport and lifting weights with the other throwers and, for the first time, I believed that I was strong.

After track season ended, I needed to find something else to fill that athletic void. A few of my friends from track were going to GCF and, since they talked about Crossfit so much and seemed to love it, I decided to try it. I remember the first time I walked into GCF, people were doing a WOD with sledgehammer hits on a tire, and my first thought was that they all looked crazy, but a part of me got super excited and really wanted to pick up a hammer and try it! After my first Foundations class I fell in love with Crossfit. I had done hard workouts with my basketball, track, and cross country teams, but Crossfit was a totally new challenge that I couldn’t (and still can’t) get enough of! Once I started going to normal WODs, I was so happy to find that Crossfit really is a team sport. I loved how everyone cheered me on during the WOD and how welcoming everyone was; I felt so at home! And now, almost 2 years later, nothing has changed. I walk in every day and see so many friends and friendly faces, which is so fun!

Crossfit has transformed me into a revamped, better version of myself. Prior to starting Crossfit, I really struggled with my personal image and self-confidence. I always equated beauty with the stick-thin models I saw in magazines and the skinny girls I saw at school, and I disliked myself because I didn’t look that way. When I started Crossfitting that opinion completely changed, and I began to love my body for what it could do and how strong it had become. I also started eating (mostly) Paleo, which entirely changed the way I thought about food. I attribute this newfound confidence completely to Crossfit, and I will be forever thankful that I found it and allowed it to change my life. Now I can’t even imagine life without Crossfit! I find myself talking about it constantly and boring my non-Crossfitting friends with stories of my last PR and how awesome yesterday’s WOD was. I even raved about Crossfit on college interviews (couldn’t help myself). But I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love the feeling of getting stronger and achieving goals and PRing, and I feel like I’ve come so far since I started Crossfit. One of the coolest feelings so far has been getting my first pull up. I just always thought that I wouldn’t be able to do pull ups and was a little disheartened every time there were pull ups in a WOD and I had to go grab a band. But that first time that I did an RX WOD with pull ups was so exciting! Now I can’t wait until I can squat 250, deadlift 300, and snatch 120 and just get stronger overall in all my movements.

If you would have told me 3 years ago that I’d be squatting over 200 pounds, competing on my school’s powerlifting team with my friends and sister, spending Saturday mornings at Olympic Lifting class, and doing Strongman competitions, I’d have said you must have the wrong person. I never thought I’d be able to do any of this stuff, and I love that now it’s totally normal for me to walk in to the gym and start flipping a huge tire, lifting heavy weights, or throwing a keg over my head. I think about Crossfit constantly, and when I’m on vacation or just not at GCF I start to crave hang power cleans. I’m so so so thankful to all the GCF coaches for all the love and support for all this time, whether it’s in the gym or the cheering section at Powerlifting meets, and I don’t even want to think about leaving the whole GCF community when I go to college. You guys are all so awesome! Thank you Miki, Lee, Paul, and Wayne for everything!

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