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Debbie’s Empowerment Story

I was the girl in Elementary School who always flunked the President’s Fitness Test. I was usually chosen last for teams on the playground.  I ran only if chased by big dogs and hated to sweat.  Getting older, making really poor food choices, liking margaritas too much, and having three babies had done absolutely nothing positive for my physique or my mindset about exercise.  I was tired all the time, could pinch way too many inches, and was really unhappy with the way I looked.

I had gotten to a point in my life where I was pretty disgusted with myself.  I’d been doing nothing but yoga to stay fit for five years.  That was a lot more than I’d done before but it really wasn’t working for me.  As a Valentine’s Day present (which I asked for, mind you), my husband got me a personal trainer.  She put me through the ringer for almost a year and I was seeing muscles where I’d never seen them before.  Unfortunately she moved away and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to maintain the fitness level I had achieved with her on my own. Luckily, before she left she told me the majority of what we’d been doing was Crossfit.  I had never heard of Crossfit, but had really enjoyed our workouts and had seen a tremendous improvement.  Not long after that, I started personal training sessions with Coach Big Mike Gregory.  The idea of joining the gym was really daunting for me, but after a few months he convinced me that I could tackle the classes at Crossfit Central.  I haven’t looked back since.

Now, I am pushing myself physically for the first time in my life.  I have learned to make better choices for myself and make exercise a priority.  When I finally acheived a handstand push-up and doubleunders I got a huge confidence boost. With each new accomplishment, my drive and commitment to exercise becomes more solid than I ever expected.  On the rare mornings when I would rather just stay in bed instead of going to class, I force myself to get up and go because I know that the sense of accomplishment I get from just finishing a class is infinitely better than a few extra minutes of sleep and feeling like a loser all day.  I find myself making fitness goals now—sometimes it takes months, even years, to achieve those goals, but I’m committed and know I can do whatever I put my mind to.

In my first year of doing Crossfit, I gave myself a hard time if I didn’t finish a WOD in time or if I didn’t PR on a benchmark (which was quite often).  My attitude sucked the joy out of a lot of workouts.  It also made me come up with a lot of excuses for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be.   I realize now that the journey is just as important as the destination—if not more so, and that I’m the master of my attitude.  If my attitude ever starts to slip, I just focus on the fact that I’m 40 years old and most days I can hang with the twenty-somethings in class.  That’s pretty awesome!  Valuing success in the little things is a much healthier and rewarding mindset than only accepting it for the big things.

I’ve always said that life just keeps getting better and better, and I’m in a really great place right now. I owe a lot of that to Crossfit Central.  I feel good, my husband tells me I look good (which he always has, but now I don’t doubt him), and I am committed to staying that way. The best part, though, is that I’m setting a good example for my kids.  All three of them are doing Crossfit Kids now and loving it.  They’re already seeing the benefits in their other sports activities.  I love it because we get to bond while we compare how beastly our WODs were.  Maybe one day they’ll even appreciate the importance of healthy eating.  The thing I value most, though, is that my girls are growing up exposed to exercise, not afraid to sweat, and able to push themselves athletically.  I’m thrilled that I can model that for them, especially after having lived the first 37 years of my life without really exercising at all.

One of the things that has kept me so committed to Crossfit Central is the fact that the coaches are truly invested in the successes of their students.  It is so fun to be a part of this community and to share it with my family. Crossfit Central goes above and beyond to foster that feeling of community, by providing challenges, the Thanksgiving run, picnics, newsletters, fundraisers, and so much more.  All those things, plus a great bunch of people in my pre-dawn class, set CC apart from all the other gyms out there.  You truly get out of it what you put in—and I’m in all the way.

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