Looking at all the great spotlights below, it is apparent similar themes attract us to Gardens CrossFit: Teamwork, camaraderie, self-improvement, goal achievement, community, expert coaching and nutritional counseling, pushing ourselves beyond what we conceived could be achieved, and a desire to live a healthier and physically more fulfilling lifestyle.
We each have our own unique threads and personal stories to add as well. That is what makes this box such a great and rich place to push our limits, and inspires me every time I walk through those doors: seeing the variety of personalities and athletes all committed and ready to go to work. A robust collection of BAMF’s from all walks of life… Inspires me not so much to compete against any of you, but motivates me to get better in some way every workout, to challenge and compete with the me from yesterday. I want to kick my yesterday’s ass all the time! Thanks to the amazing 6am crew for always showing up and offering encouragement or a swift kick when needed, and Miki, Lee and Wayne for the same on top of expert coaching and advice. Most importantly I want to thank my family; wife and 3 daughters for supporting my new habit at home.
I use the term habit intentionally, as before starting at Gardens CrossFit February 2012, my fitness efforts were dormant. Between my growing career and family life, my high school and college sports background faded in the rear view mirror, and fitness took a back burner for me for well over a decade. Globo gym, try no go gym.
During that period I also became a social nicotine user. Yes, this was during my D(umb)AMF days apparently… Stress…. What can I say, don’t judge me! I knew at some point things needed to change. With my girls getting older and getting into coaching them in sports, I knew I needed to be a better role model.
The final straw was a senior colleague of mine having a heart attack at his desk at work, leaving behind a family of his own. Ironically he managed the construction of the bridge that we enjoy running over so much. He had just celebrated his 50th birthday…
At the same time, my girls were taking classes at the dance studio next door to the box. One thing led to another, I enrolled in foundations and went cold turkey sometime between Session 1 with Paul and my first class WOD (Fran – are you kidding me?!) The first few months were very tough. I laughed at Lee with his restrictor mask, and the veterans with weighted vests… I had all that built in! Most often I could be found in front of one of the box fans, trying to fill my woefully weak lungs, fighting to get oxygen. It got better gradually over the months, and I am proud to say every month at Gardens CrossFit has also been a month further away from nicotine.
Being a newbie is awesome, enjoy it. Every timed WOD, every max lift completed is a personal record, I guarantee it! I can still say the same 1.5 years into being here, which is crazy and amazing turning 38 this month, and makes it fun and challenging to figure out new ways to kick yesterday in the butt. There is also a certain peace and tranquility of mind I get in the middle of an intense workout where all I am focused on is the next rep. I enjoy that time, and I know you do too or will soon….
Goals, keep getting stronger (400 BSQ soon from 225 max when I started!), keep working on mastery of movements, keep coming and pushing my limits not to necessarily be great at exercise, but be happier in life. Seriously. Has Gardens CrossFit changed my life? Unquestionably. Whether I go on to do this another year, 5 years, or quit tomorrow, the changes I’ve made in reclaiming my health, and making fitness a priority again, improve every other aspect of my life, and will stick with me for life – hopefully a prolonged one as a result. I remind myself of that every time I run over that bridge…..