My journey to Crossfit started the same as most. I didn't throw myself boldly into the ring confident that I would rise up and become an elite athlete, I stood on the periphery and watched as people I knew were getting the results that I wanted, assuming that I'd never be able to achieve them for myself.
Growing up I was never an athlete, in fact I was the smallest kid in my school. I lacked the physical prowess to compete with the stars Creston had to offer, so I stuck to the stage and did theater instead. I could shine in the spotlight in front of hundreds without so much as breaking a sweat, it worked pretty well. I eventually grew and caught up with most people but had what you would call a slender frame. When I graduated I was roughly six feet tall and only about 135 pounds. This is who I was and had always been, not athletic and certainly not physically imposing. Fast forward a decade and I'm now a father of two who does IT for a living. For anyone who didn't know, being in IT is oftentimes a very sedentary lifestyle. We sit around most of the time trying to solve the world's problem through a computer screen. It's a career I very much enjoy but it doesn't do much for my physique.
In 2012 I dislocated my shoulder and required surgery to repair the damage that had been done. It took a year of recovery to gain full range of motion and "strength". Why the quotes around strength you ask? Well, when all the healing was said and done a friend of mine asked me if I would like to come over after work during the week to do a workout program. The program involved push-ups, pull-ups, and various light dumbell exercises. When we started I quickly realized how un-prepared I was. I couldn't do a single push-up or pull-up, it was like I had a person standing on my back or hanging onto my legs. I fought my way through that winter and finally was able to do most of the workout, but I was still way behind physically.
The following summer I met Chris Doster at his gym in Mt. Ayr to try this new program called CrossFit. Friends of mine had been traveling down to work out a couple days a week and thought I should give it a shot. *Cue dramatic inspirational music* That gym, those people, that coach, changed my life. We were working our entire body, HARD. We were sweating and running and lifting and biking and having fun doing it. I know that last part doesn't make sense, but I really was having fun.
I'd spent thirty years of my life on the outside of the athlete box, but CrossFit, the community of people, and Chris made me realize I didn't have to anymore. I could be as much of an athlete as I wanted to be. I just had to show up and do the work. No one ever looked at me and smirked because I couldn't lift a weight or finish a workout. They helped me find what I could do and pushed me to do the best that I could. I never once felt like I didn't belong or that I should come back when I could compete, everyone is there with the same goal: to find the best version of themselves.
For those of you that stood with me on the outside of the box looking in, follow me now inside. Joinm me at CrossFit TYL and stop wishing that you could have the results that you've seen others have and get them for yourself. No, the journey is not easy and no one is going to do the work for you, but if you do the work you WILL get the results. You wouldn't stop going to work and expect the paychecks to keep coming, so don't hope that you'll magically find your way to fitness. Take control of your life like I did mine. Chris offers any prospective members a free week trial. You can come in and see for yourself just how welcoming and inspirational the athletes that work out every day are. I may still not be elite but I can finally say that I am an athlete. I show up and give everything I have to give and walk out proudly knowing that tomorrow I can come back that much stronger, that much faster, that much better prepared to improve.