image1My CrossFit journey began after a conversation w/ a co-worker. She had been going to CrossFit Fishers and told me that there was a Box in Zionsville. After a couple days I researched it and sent an email to CrossFit Zionsville. I looked at the pictures of the people on the sight and was pretty apprehensive but Ali responded the same evening. I agreed to come in and talk w/ him. I have had several health issues throughout my adult life. Kidney Transplant at 24, Quintuple bypass at 36 and a second Kidney transplant two months after that. I wanted to make Ali aware of these things before I started anything. I had exercised on my own but could never stick with it for more than 6 months at a time. We agreed that I would work out privately w/ Ali until I became more comfortable. So, the second week of Dec. 2014 I showed up for my first workout. Other than being sore for days I can’t remember much else about those first couple weeks. Ali reminds me of my progress every so often when I get frustrated. I had to take a rest during a 10 calorie row in that first week. Now I can row 10k in under 50 mins. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of working out in “class” but Ali convinced me to join the wellness challenge that started January 2015. Of course I started in the beginner class but shortly after the challenge was over Annette began to encourage me to attend the regular class. Truthfully, I think she saw that I was bored during a portion of the beginner class while Ali was teaching a particular skill. So, since March of 2015 I have attended 4 regular classes a week almost every week. My fear has gone from not being able to stick with it to something happening to keep me from it. I have enjoyed getting to know the regulars that attend the 5:30 and 6:30 classes and feel out of place when I have attended classes at other times. When I first started working out in a group was the least appealing thing to me about CrossFit. Now, much to my surprise, I find it to be the best part. I doesn’t matter what you do for a living or how old you are but you come to class we are all equals. We may not be at the same fitness level but we all struggle and progress together. We encourage each other when we fail and we applaud each other when we succeed. I consider myself lucky to be a part of the CrossFit Zionsville family. Now if I could get just put the same consistency in the kitchen all would be well. However, it’s still early in this journey. The workout part is easy! All you have to do is keep showing up. Now that Jodi is in this with me we help hold each other accountable. Not all the time but you have to start somewhere. Rich and I have known each other since grade school. He is the first boy to ever kiss me. We went our separate ways in high school, married others, divorced and with the help of some insomnia induced FaceBook stalking by me, renewed our friendship after not seeing each other for over 20 years and have been married 4 years this June. Rich had been CrossFitting since December of ’14 and had been after me about improving my health and staying alive for a while longer (he kinda digs me!) So, after a couple of phone calls and texts with Ali, the “box” (I hate using this word) owner, one of my future coaches and thorn in my side, I showed up for a 6:30pm beginners class. May 19, 2015, the day I started my journey that would make me doubt my own sanity at times. Running!! No one told me there would be running! “2 laps” would become a dreaded phrase. I couldn’t run 1 lap (200 meters) without walking, at minimum, a quarter of the way. But I did it, and steadily improved. Burpees…pretty sure there are burpees in Hell, and NO DONUTS! But I do them. Some day, depending on the creaking in the damaged right shoulder, they are uglier and more modified. I even managed to knock out 80 of them in under an hour to raise money for Alzheimers. October 2015 and I can now run 1200 meters without walking any of it. It is slow and ugly, imagine a hippo in quicksand, but I get it done. I can deadlift 95# and almost perform a legit knees to chest. 3-2-1 beep still sends a rock to the pit of my stomach but then I start and just do work. March of 2016 has seen me row 10k, not once but twice and under an hour each time. I’ve participated in a challenge resulting in lost weight, lost body fat, improved indurance and strength. I can now deadlift 165#. I have made some incredible friends and added to my tribe of loveable misfits. Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend 2016. Every year, CrossFit boxes around the world participate in a WOD (workout of the day, don’t worry, the lingo will stick with you) called “Murph” after Navy Seal Michael Murphy, KIA Afghanistan 2006. This WOD consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups and 300 squats followed by another mile run. I completed this in 54:10, WOO! Me!! I am 18 months away from 50 and probably in better physical shape since my teens. I get frustrated when I can’t do the WOD as prescribe and have to scale and modify but then I get asked “Did it kick you’re a$$?” When I reply “yes” I get told “Then don’t sell yourself short”. The coaches are an eclectic mix and I appreciate each and every one of them for the gifts they bring to my life. Through coaching on proper form, good natured teasing when I start whining, diet tips and just a “where have your been?” when work prevents me from making it to class. My box mates are a blessing to my husband and me. Sweaty hugs and shouts of encouragement, cheers when the weights clear the floor or a chin makes it over a bar. Advice on what works for them, reminding me the difference in a jerk, a press or a thruster. Like I said, this is my tribe. When you are a chubby, out of shape, old broad that hasn’t done more than ride a stationary bike while flipping through a magazine, this place can seem intimidating. Then you learn we are all struggling with something. And I have never felt so welcome in a gym. From the guys and gals with the 6 pack abs and sculpted muscles to the ones just a little further along on their journey, I have never been made to feel like I didn’t belong and wasn’t welcome. Like I said, this is my tribe and I can’t imagine the journey without them. -Rich and Jodi