Meet our next Member Spotlight! This is Wendy, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person you’re missing out! Read below to see her reasons why she does CrossFit, her fears & triumphs and goals.

My personal journey into CrossFit began with a Groupon special in 2015. Before I knew what I was doing, I had clicked on “checkout” and was the proud owner of a shiny new three month membership. Yikes! After money had been spent I figured I now HAD to try it out. But I hadn’t been even remotely physically active since I had reconstructive surgery on my foot back in 2011, so I was terrified. Terrified, and honestly, a little ashamed of the fact that I had let myself go so badly. I’m also socially awkward and not great with having to meet new people, and the idea of group workouts was something I had to talk myself into. It was so bad, I almost forfeited the Groupon voucher because I waited almost the full 180 days to use it. So on day 178, I contacted the coaches by email and committed to the elements class in March 2016.

I first got interested in CrossFit when my husband and his friend started following the CrossFit website workouts while we were stationed in El Paso around 2003-2004 (I think). I was intrigued by the variety of exercises that they were doing and liked the fact that they were relatively short workouts and they both seemed to get a lot from it. I come from a weightlifting background in high school, but I didn’t know much else about things like metabolic conditioning or “functional fitness”. I also wanted to find something that wouldn’t bore me to death like some of the fitness DVDs I’d work out with in my living room. I finally decided that sitting on a treadmill at Gold’s Gym wasn’t getting me anywhere so I decided to take another look at CrossFit – what it really was about, how to “do” it, what people really said about it. The internet can be a scary, lonely place and there was a lot of bad things said about CrossFit – but there were a whole lot of good things said too. I know I thought CrossFit athletes had amazing physiques and the games on ESPN were so impressive I decided I wanted to see what it was about with my own two eyes. Thank goodness for Groupon, lol.

To say that I was apprehensive about showing up that first day for the Elements class is a huge understatement. I was actually sick to my stomach because I was so nervous! I get really uncomfortable in new social situations so starting something that is so focused on membership and community was really out of my element. Would I be a washout? Would I hate it? Would everyone laugh at me?  I figured they’d take one look at the fat girl walking in with all the problems and injuries and tell me it wasn’t going to work out. I can honestly say that putting aside my fears and marching inside to introduce myself was the best thing I could have done and I’ve never regretted it. I’d love to say that I totally KILLED it that first day – but that would be a bit of an exaggeration. I have to admit that I asked my husband to install safety rails in our bathroom because sitting on the toilet was so painful that first week, haha. I also may or may not have been seen sliding on my butt down the stairs at our house…

I’ve had a few rough patches that have tested both my mental and physical mettle. My body is extremely arthritic for my age so on the days that I am faced with setbacks or limitations I tend to get frustrated because I’m just not where I know I could be if I were 100%. I’ll be honest when I say there are days that it’s a struggle to show up to work out, and I’m not too proud to say that I’ve let that negativity and frustration win out many times. I’ve wanted to quit because I feel like my body keeps failing me. But then I come in and am surrounded by some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around and end up feeling like I did something great – even if it wasn’t the same workout that everyone else did. I’m learning that I’m not failing if I modify things to make it work for me. I’m eternally grateful for the wonderful coaches I’ve had that can scale or modify exercises and WODs that allow me to still get an effective workout in without making me feel like I’m being a pain in the ass. I also couldn’t ask for a better group of folks than my 5:30pm peeps!! They are the best cheerleaders and I love how we all encourage and support each other and congratulate each other’s successes. I can’t imagine going back to working out any other way.

Going forward, I’m hoping that I’ll be healthier and more able to improve on my overall strength and perfect technique. A few new PR’s would be great. I’m also holding out hope that one day I’ll be able to do an unassisted pull-up 🙂 I am also going to try tweaking my nutrition more to maximize my fat loss and improve my overall physique. Patience is not one of my strong points so I have to work every day to remind myself that slow progress is still progress. I will continue to work on keeping a healthy mindset as I believe that’s one of the most important pathways to overall health and success.