I led a pretty sedentary life until I was 39, when I decided to run a marathon before I turned 40. I ran my first marathon and loved the feeling of accomplishment, so I kept running. I ran 22 marathons between March 2007 and March 2013. I’d been sidelined by a foot injury since May 2013, but the injury seems non-existent now, so I’ll be training for my 23rd marathon in October in a couple months.
I was first exposed to CrossFit when I was going through chemo for breast cancer back in 2010. My niece had started doing CrossFit around that time. She was already pretty fit, teaching Zumba at 24 Hour Fitness and being a police officer; but when she started CrossFit, she literally transformed into a beast! At my lowest point during my treatment, I decided that I was going to come back stronger in my running and try to run as many marathons as I could for as long as I could. Needless to say, I hit the proverbially wall when I tried to break 5 hours, consistently getting within 15 minutes of my goal but failing. So I decided that cross-training was my key. I thought about how strong my niece had become, so I decided to try CrossFit. I tried an intro class at another box because PCF was wait-listed, but I didn’t really like the vibe of the gym or the people who worked out there. I tried PCF again about a month later and the wait-list had just gotten lifted so I signed up for the intro class, then On Ramp. The rest is history…
The first WOD I ever did was an intro class at another CrossFit box. It consisted of a 400 meter run, 40 air squats, 30 abmat sit-ups, 20 push-ups, and 10 pull-ups. I got through the air squats and sit-ups okay, but got stuck with the push-ups (did knee push-ups with horrible form and took F.O.R.E.V.E.R.) and the pull-ups (used a green band and STILL needed assistance). It was pretty exhilarating when I finished though and I felt like a bad-ass, even though I couldn’t do half the movements well. I couldn’t wait to do something that awesome (but awful…LOL) again.
Since I started CrossFit and did the EIE Challenge last year, I’ve leaned out a lot. I got down to my Jr. High weight, which I would never have imagined. I’ve lost about 2 sizes in my clothes. I’ve gained back a few pounds, but I’m still at the smaller clothing size, so I’m guessing the weight gain is from muscle gain. I’m definitely a lot stronger. I still get stuck on some of the movements, but the movements that I need a band are down to a few things and really just on the more complex movements. If I were to do that first WOD that I did at the other box again, I would totally crush it.
The first time I got a pull-up and a rope climb are pretty epic moments for me. Also, about 2 months after I started CrossFit at PCF, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon with a friend who is a retired Marine and hadn’t really trained for it. We ran it in 5:20. Six days later I ran the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis and ran a 4:47, finally getting that sub-5 hour marathon monkey off my back (and PR’ing by 27 minutes!). I probably would have finished a lot faster, but I towed in a guy for the last 6 miles who was struggling to finish so I slowed down to help him out. If I hadn’t done that I think I probably would have finished closer to 4:30. I’m pretty sure I owe that to CrossFit.