I began my CrossFit journey a little over three years ago. At this point, I can’t imagine life without it. Ever since college, I have had a focus on some form of fitness. Of course, in college I was very focused on beach muscles. Spending every day in the gym benching, curling, triceps extensions (what the hell is that squat rack for?). These workouts were tough to fit into this Frat boy’s busy schedule of drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and napping. After college, I spent many years participating in triathlons. I even signed up for an Ironman at one point. Fortunately, I developed three stress fractures during my training and had to pull out. It took several years, but I realized one very important fact; with a mind-numbing passion, I hated running and swimming.
A friend suggested CrossFit. “Try CrossFit, it’s so much fun and we never do any running.” This was in November, so at the time it was true. However, once April arrived I realized what kind of a lying asshole he was. Regardless, CrossFit has been one of the best decisions I have made. I was aware of what it was, and I admit that watching people clean and snatch and overhead squat this crazy amount of weight was very intimidating. Ok, let’s be honest…I was scared to death. But after my first class, it wasn’t the workout that brought me back. It was the people. I still walk in to the gym with a level of pre-wod anxiety. Most evenings this anxious walk into the gym is the highlight of my day. I get to walk into the gym and spend the next hour with great friends. And we get to experience something together. That experience is different every day, but it almost always includes pain, hyperventilating, support, humor, and a great feeling of self-achievement. Little by little that fear and anxiety turns into confidence as you leave. You walked in knowing you couldn’t do something, and you walk out after succeeding, or at the very least exceeding your own expectations.
I started CrossFit looking for physical results. I never imagined how it would change my entire lifestyle. I have become more driven and focused outside of the gym. I have met and become friends with amazing and fun people of all ages and backgrounds. I met my girlfriend through Union Fitness. And even though she won’t let me win one single workout…ever, I’m still so thankful to have met her. I’m so appreciative of the coaches and the constant positive attitude they reveal in class…It has to be exhausting. I also enjoy watching the impact it has on others. I have had the opportunity to participate in several competitions, and I would encourage anyone at any level to try one out. It is really something to watch the quick transition from self-doubt while standing on the starting mat, to the focus and determination during the event, and finally the “I did it!” face they wear once the event is done.
Bottom line is I am incredibly thankful to all the people and coaches at CrossFit St. Louis Park. You have had a tremendous impact on my life and I’m honored you allow this silver hair to be part of this great community.
Interested in sharing your CrossFit story? Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.