I’ve been fairly fit and lean my whole life and have always engaged in one activity or another, in fits and starts: joining gyms, aerobics, personal training, weights, spinning, yoga. But I would usually get bored or busy and abandon working out for a time, only to come back to it a few months later. It wasn’t until my husband and I finally got a dog that walking at least 30 minutes a day became a habit.
In 2008, I almost died from a sudden ruptured brain aneurysm. It knocked the wind right out of me and I had to reboot my entire life. Coming back from a coma and losing about 20 pounds, I could barely walk my dog for 10 minutes or climb the stairs in our house at first. But time and rehab healed me body and soul and two years later, I was ready to get back into some sort of regular fitness routine.
A Crossfit gym opened up about a block from my house in Seattle and with no excuses, I joined, not knowing what to expect. At first, I didn’t know what the heck was going on and struggled with the moves, the lingo and the long road ahead. But over time, confidence overtook failure and I became stronger in both body and soul. Who would have thought I’d have gone from coma to Crossfit in 2 years?! This energy and confidence spilled over into my work and personal life: my business boomed, I wrote two books and I felt unstoppable for the first time in my life.
When I moved back to the Bay Area, my Seattle coach recommended Crossfit San Mateo. I felt immediately welcomed and starting going to the women only WOD’s twice a week. With Coach Melissa’s support and more discipline on my part, my body got even stronger, more defined. My posture improved. My husband even said, “You have muscles in your back I never knew you had!” I was never one to worry about weight or the scale but only about the fit of my clothes, so even though all that muscle meant I weighed more than I ever had, I felt and looked great.
My old PR’s became my new starting points. Progress was evident every single class and I was addicted. Life gets pretty stressful as a business owner but I mark these times on my calendar and keep them as sacred as a client meeting. This is my time to succeed, relax, challenge myself and support and laugh with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Combining this with healthier eating and nutrition has just added even more joy that keeps the addiction cycle going!
Now I’m 7 months pregnant with a high-risk pregnancy but my doctors have supported that I still go to class twice a week. Sure, I’ve had to modify (no more attempts to nail one unassisted pull-up, but hoping to resume that quest post-baby!) and the bump gets in the way, but I’m having a healthy pregnancy as a result and I feel like my recovery will be ten times faster than it would be without Crossfit in my life. I’ve been extremely lucky with a smooth pregnancy that thankfully allows me to keep going to Crossfit and I’ll go as long as I can before our son arrives. And I plan to work hard with my coach as soon as I can post-baby to get back to where I was before and start tackling those PR’s again. One of my biggest joys comes from encouraging newbies who were exactly where I was over four years ago. If I can do it after all my medical issues, anyone can. And I can definitely see that unassisted pull-up in my future!