I have always been a small guy and I can say that I have gained a total of 12″ of mass! I am super surprised at the gains that I have made. Not just physically but Crossfit has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I love it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Robbie and my Crossfit family. I can’t count how many times you guys have pushed me to finish or go heavier haha.
I look forward to another year with everyone and I just wanted to give a big thanks to everyone. You guys rock! I also want to give a big shout out to Jess, if it wasn’t for your nagging I would have never gone through with it trying that first class. Love ya babe.
There is definitely more people who should share their journey with CrossFit, so I hope my post encourages others to do so. I hope this doesn’t make others uncomfortable around me, as I am just a very open person when it comes to sharing life experiences.
As a kid and teenager, I was always involved in some type of physical sport and loved being active. Also I have a very driven personality when it comes to what I am passionate about, which is being active and living a healthy lifestyle.
A few years ago, due to some life struggles, I turned towards food and exercise as a means of coping with negative feelings. After a few years of using these habits, they gradually turned into an obsession. An obsession that could have cost me many things, family, friends and my life.
In 2009 due to concerns from my family and from work, I was referred to a psychologist. That day I was diagnosed with and extreme severe case of Anorexia Nervosa (is an eating disorder characterized by food restriction, inappropriate eating habits or rituals, obsession with having a thin figure, and an irrational fear of weight gain. It is accompanied by a distorted body self-perception)
The next day with my mother’s help I went to emergency and was admitted immediately into a hospital and soon after into an Eating Disorder Treatment Program. This consisted of 6 weeks of in-hospital treatment for my body to stabilize and start functioning properly, along with 5 months of day treatment to heal the mental damage. I am so thankful that my family and friends (including my incredible boyfriend) gave me a huge wake up call, and that this treatment was available to me so quickly. I actually kind of doubt I would be here today if things had not come together so smoothly those 5 years ago.
When I finished treatment, I moved back to High Level to begin a full time position with work in 2010. During treatment we were not allowed to participate in really any form of exercise. I really wanted to normalize my life and become active again, but I was terrified of failing and becoming lost in the vicious cycle associated with Anorexia.
This was when one of my co-workers introduced me to CrossFit (much thanks Colin 🙂 ) Like everyone else, I didn’t know what to think about it. He had taken his Level 1 Certification and could provide coaching, so I pushed my fears aside and gave it a try. I know that a lot of people were really anxious to hear that I had begun working out again, but it was different.
I could feel it was different when I first learned what a deadlift was and how it felt to be completely uncomfortable when trying new things (i.e. box jumps, just so you know, when i first started, I was using the FIRST step of my stairs and that was absolutely terrifying…). As weak as I was when I started, this felt healthy as I knew that I needed to maintain my weight to get stronger, and I was building up lost bone density by lifting heavier that when I previously was when I spent hours at the gym, or hours running. This all came to light and I was hooked.
During my time in High Level, I eventually bought basically all I would need to have a home gym (still need a GHD 🙂 ) and continued the workouts that were posted on the main page. I did make several gains and I was able to maintain healthy body weight, while still eating healthy as well. Overall I thought I had achieved a good balance. I eventually travelled to Calgary to obtain the Level 1 Certification as well, good times!
Fast forward to 2014. We decided to make the move to Slave Lake (yay!). In February we went down to look at houses, and I found out by my realtor that there was a new CrossFit gym in town. I couldn’t believe it, this further enhanced our decision to move! The next day after looking at houses I decided to check the gym out. This was very terrifying. I had never been at another CrossFit gym besides the one in Calgary, and didn’t know what to expect. After walking in the door, I met Shoni and of course she is totally awesome so I took a card and left.
We officially moved in March and I probably signed up for classes a week after we moved :). Driving to the first class was so, so scary. I don’t think I slept the night before with thoughts of “will I be good enough?” consuming my brain.
After the first class I think I signed up for a 12 month membership… Yep I did, enough said.
So I have been attending classes for over a year. Gains have been unimaginable. I’ve increased my lifts ten fold along with my endurance and flexibility. Things I am doing now I never thought I would even attempt (heavy snatches… What?!?) However the gains didn’t stop at the gym, but carried on in life. I have literally had to suck it up and throw out the majority of my clothes (ug jeans!) since they don’t fit anymore. I’ve had to drastically change my eating habits. It’s been so uncomfortable. Trust me I cried a few times, and there will be more difficult times ahead. There’s some days where I really have to battle negative, irrational thoughts, but each and everyday my body image is becoming more realistic. My values of “healthy lifestyle” has changed from fitting into a certain size to being able to lift my body weight over my head. I have put the scale out of view since realizing that I may weigh a lot more compared to when I started, but that doesn’t matter when it comes down to what I can do with the strength and courage have gained.
Most importantly, Robbie and Shoni are amazing coaches. If you have worked out when I am there, you know they put up with my swearing, squealing, grunting and crying, yet they have never given up on me or anyone else that is committed to making a change. They are accepting people, no matter where you came from or what your activity background is. You guys are truly kick ass coaches, we are lucky to have you!
I hope that when you read this it gives you some courage, because if I can make it to where I am now compared to where I was, you can to. You are all worth it, trust me. Keep moving forward.
I’m creating this post for those of you who have the impression that you need to be fit, to start CrossFit. I’ve met most of you, after my physical transformation. Some of you are under the impression that I’ve always looked the way I do currently.
When I started CrossFit. I could barely run more than a minute without wanting to stop and catch my breath. I used dumbells instead of barbells and I could do only four sloppy push-ups before my tank was empty. Pull-ups were nowhere in sight for me.
Within the first few months of CrossFit, I was able to run a 5km spartan. I had only done a couple practice runs. The rest of my cardio gains came from CrossFit workouts themselves.
Within a year (just over) I ran the Tough Mudder in Montreal. (That’s the middle picture I posted) and could do 21 unbroken, unassisted pull-ups in a row.
Currently, I can do 50 unbroken, solid form push-ups. Chest to bar pull-ups and just recently moved into the RX division of a CrossFit competition.
It took hard work and almost three years to get here. I have no idea what I weigh. I haven’t been on a scale in over a year. I can tell you though. My weight went up and down over the last few years while in CrossFit but the inches continued to drop off. I don’t even care what I weigh. I feel great in my skin and clothes.
Results take time. They take patience. They take hard work and dedication. We will all see results. Some may see them quicker than others but they will come.
Starting is the hardest part. Get over that hurdle and and it will get easier. I promise.
Robbie and I have been impressed by Jenn’s hard work here at the gym and when she shared her story with us about her journey to become healthier, we asked if we could share it with all of you. It didn’t start here with CrossFit Slave lake but we love that it brought her here along her way Jenn’s words ” I started approximately 3 years ago. I decided I needed to make a change and wanted a healthy active lifestyle. With the help of a friend and trainer I started exercising regularly. From there I started making healthier food choices and setting goals for myself. My first goal was to successfully complete my first triathlon after that I was very motivated to continue making changes and set new goals (I’m a very goal orientated person) This was never about a quick fix it was about making a permanent lifestyle change” “I had so much support along the way, so many words of encouragement…often from people I didn’t even know. ” -Jenn Be that little piece of encouragement for others. You’re words can be that little bit of fuel that someone needs to keep going. Thank you Jenn for sharing this. Sharing your story will help start someone else’s journey or give them that extra push they need in their current journey.
Joy McGregor- Sept 12, 2014
Hi my name is Joy McGregor and in January of 2014 I knew I needed to make a change in my life to get back on the healthy train. When I was 30 I was in the best shape (body) of my life, or so I thought. I work and am trained in Aquafitness, so I know how important it is for a balanced healthy life style.
May 15, 2011 was a day that rocked our community and my life, both mentally, physically and spiritually. I went into survival mode and that sent my whole life on a crazy train ride. We lived in our shop for over 2 1/2 years which made cooking (something I love and am good at) an absolute nightmare. We ate out a lot and I know I was just trying to “Eat myself happy” well for anyone that has been through a tough time food is never going to replace or change those sort of issues. November 22, 2013 we moved home! Yahoo, a kitchen with 2 sinks, running water and just how I planned it to be, ” The heart of your home”. I cooked and baked for weeks, had company over again, threw parties which all revolved around food. After Christmas I knew I needed to get on the right track. I have 2 amazing kids and an incredible husband that I needed to be around a long time for. I always kept doing Aquafitness, which I love, love and still do it 4 times a week. It’s my happy place, along with my new found happy place “Crossfit Slave Lake”. January came, my life was busy but I knew I needed to get back into a healthy balanced life. No pills no quick fix no more saying next Monday, it was something I needed to do now. I was at my heaviest I had ever been. I don’t own a scale but signed up for TOPS which is a once a week weigh in and meeting. That was a start but I really needed something else new for my body. It was used to the water and needed a new challenge. I saw a post on FB (I think) that said CrossFit coming to slave lake, watch for details. I did a little research, not much, looked at a couple sites on the Internet and thought, OMG who am I kidding I wear size 16-18 pant an XXLG shirt and I can barely see my toes, how in the hell am I going to do this but the more I thought and looked at info, the more my minds healthy balance said TRY IT, if you can’t do it, you can’t but if you don’t try, you won’t know.
So Feb 15th I headed down for a FREE intro class. I met the trainer Robbie he was knowledgeable, kind, didn’t look at me like, ya right your way to out of shape for this. He said try your best, do what you can do, push yourself a little, just try it, no worries if you can’t pull your chin over the bar (who was he or I kidding I couldn’t even hold onto the bar without 3 bands and then I was still just hanging there). I left there after 90 minutes and I knew, I just knew it was FOR ME. I was home on the computer, signing up for the next 3 fundamentals, I was going back. I was sore, sore, sore. Who am I kidding I needed to use the wall and the vanity to sit down to pee, I even held out till I was going to pee my pants. I couldn’t walk up the stairs and I have 16 of them to get to my room I crawled up them for 2 days then knew I had to get it together so I put a cup in 1 hand a plate in the other and made myself walk up them. My family thought I was crazy. Why, why, why would I go back but there was something about that place, I didn’t quite know but I knew it would come to surface soon. So I went back, knee brace and elbow brace on( Rexall brand not from the doctor) I had some runners and water and away I went. 1st fundamental, done. 2nd fundamental, done. 3rd fundamental, done. Yahoo I knew what it was. It didn’t matter that I was so out of shape I could barely breath, it didn’t matter I couldn’t do a sit up or push up with out a box, it didn’t matter I couldn’t squat. What mattered is I felt COMFORTABLE, I felt SAFE and I felt WELCOMED. There was 2 others done their free class and fundamentals and we were ready to come to our first WOD (workout of the day). I was scared but knew this is what was going to get me back on track and balanced. The first WOD was called, ‘WELCOME JOY’ (now that I’ve been there 7 months I’m honored to have that as the first workout) it was
The 2 weights are men/ women what is needed to RX. Well RX, I didn’t even think I would ever be able to do a workout properly to put that by my name on the board but what the heck, I have a few times now and even made the board on the wall. It was hard but I did it with 2 great people, Paula and Chris so it was okay to struggle and try because I still struggle today but someone is always cheering you on.
Well fast forward to April, I was hooked I was addicted, it made my mind clear, my heart happy and body hurt, what more could I ask for. I liked the fact that there is lots of times to choose from and always different but great people at each time. I stepped up my teaching at the pool it gave me new ideas and new ways to challenge my body and my participants body. I did some yoga to help with stretching as well. This is the first summer I have worked out entire summer and glad I did. Pool, 3 times a week, CrossFit, 4 times a week. I’m happy to say I now am a size 12 or Lg in workout pants and an Lg in a shirt. I feel strong both in my body and my mind. This place is now my new family, everybody helps each other, encourages each other, keeps each other accountable. Robbie and Shondrel have taught me it is okay to struggle and push through even when it’s hard and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere but I know I am. I can run again not fast but the whole distance asked of me. I can carry groceries without a problem, I can run up and down the stairs but best of all I feel BALANCED, in my mind, body and soul and for that I will be forever grateful for CROSSFIT SLAVE LAKE and the family it has become to me.
Thank you and if you’re thinking about trying it. JUST DO IT!
Jess- Sept 14, 2014
My name is Jess and I started at Crossfit Slave Lake in February of 2014. My sister had approached me about trying out crossfit earlier in the year when we were both looking at getting into shape. I had absolutely zero idea what crossfit was, nor did I have any idea about how it could change my life; all I knew is I needed to make a change. So when the box finally opened up, we checked out the schedule, I convinced a girl I work with to check it out too, and the 3 of us went to an Intro Class. Shoni was our instructor and she was great! She made us feel welcome, never once made us feel like our abilities weren’t “good enough”, and she was even able to keep my attention after just coming off a night shift! At the same time that our Intro Class was taking place, Robbie was also coaching a class. These people were doing pull-ups and things that I could never imagine even being able to do, but Shoni just kept reassuring us that “we can’t do them, YET!”; this something that stuck in my head from that day forward. After that class I was hooked. I went home and the first thing I did was sign up for my Fundamental Classes. I didn’t even care about the cost, something I had been wavering on before I had even gone to the free class!
Now I am 27, I have never been athletic, I’ve been overweight my entire life, and ALWAYS found an excuse not to go to the gym. I went to those Fundamental Classes and I sweat my butt off! Was it hard, most definitely! Was there a voice inside my head saying “Quit”, there sure was! But did it leave me wanting more, ABSOLUTELY! I can remember in one of the Fundamental classes after doing box jumps and kettlebell swings, lying on the floor and completely out of breath, making a comment about being completely out of shape and too fat for this! Robbie simply replied, “but you’re here!” (something that has also stuck with me). I kept coming back, I finished all three classes and after that last class, I signed up for a membership!
I started going to regular classes on March 10. I started going anywhere from 3-6 times a week, I was hooked! I made time after work, before work, and I would make special trips in on my days off JUST for crossfit. This was something new to me, never in my whole life did I MAKE time for exercise! At work, all I ever talked about was crossfit this, crossfit that. The joke about “how can you tell someone does crossfit, don’t worry they’ll f***ing tell you about it!” was totally me! I would show up to every class ready to vomit, I was so nervous but once I walked into the box, that feeling went away. I quickly started noticing my progression, even though it was minor or was minor to some, it was still progression. I took my measurements before I started and on April 10, one month into crossfit, I took them again. I was down 6.5”! I was stunned! This only made my love for this new found passion even stronger and I just knew I had to power on, regardless of how difficult the WOD was!
Just before my 3 month mark at Crossfit Slave Lake, I injured my lower back at work. I was put on modified duties, was not allowed to do any lifting, and couldn’t do a lot of bending at the waist. I truthfully thought my crossfit days were done! I was upset! When I went to talk to Robbie about it and explain what was going on with my injury, he was very accommodating! He convinced me not to cancel and that he would scale the WODs to meet my needs, even if that meant I wasn’t doing the same WOD as everyone else. And he didn’t just tell me what I wanted to hear, he actually modified the WODs for me so I could still workout and not aggravate my injury. So glad I didn’t cancel my membership!
It is now September, I am still at Crossfit Slave Lake, I am getting back into the rhythm of going 3-5 times a week, and I am still loving it. I have convinced my husband to join and he is also loving it! Every WOD is still hard, but it’s getting easier; it’s tough while you’re doing it, but you feel like a million bucks afterward! Do I still talk about crossfit all the time? Yep! I don’t think that will ever change! I don’t think for a second that you have to be at a certain fitness level or weight to do crossfit and be successful, I think you just have to want to be ready to make a positive change in your life! Not only physically, but emotionally! I gained a new respect for people who go to gyms, not that I didn’t have respect before, but when you are overweight and struggling to do something basic there isn’t that sense of community at a conventional gym I found. I’ve found that the more you are struggling at crossfit, the more people are cheering for you and the louder they are cheering for you! It doesn’t matter what place you finish, first place or dead last, it’s the fact that you finished that matters!
I will be eternally grateful to Robbie and Shoni for opening up Crossfit Slave Lake! My life will never be the same, in such a positive way, and I will always be thankful!