Three years ago when I was 35 my life was flipped upside down. I tripped while stepping up onto a curb and fell walking into my office one morning. I knew something was wrong because over the past year or so my leg just wasn’t feeling right. It ached all the time and hurt to run on. I could barely lift it enough to put on my own socks and shoes. I finally went to the doctor and after a few x-rays he gave me the news. I needed a new hip. I had blown out my hip and dislocated it wrestling in high school and it never reset correctly. Over the years I developed arthritis and bone spurs and my hip joint was deteriorating quickly. I opted for the surgery to go ahead and hopefully have some level of active life while I was still young.
Fast forward a year and a half…I had ballooned up to a hefty 240 pounds. I was told that I should not run. I couldn’t keep a steady schedule of going to the gym. I had no one pushing me to lose weight except myself every time I looked in the mirror. I finally had it and in April of 2011, I started working out at home doing what I called “living room aerobics”. I went through 2 rounds of P90X and 2 rounds of Insanity at home for almost a year, alone. After I had done that I was down to about 200 pounds with the same waist size and I was really struggling to stay that low no matter how much I dieted and “worked out”. The problem was that I still felt fat and honestly did not look a whole lot different than when I started. I still felt miserable also and eventually just stopped doing anything all together for about 3 or 4 months and the weight was coming back.
I eventually heard about this thing called Crossfit. I checked out the website and was confused by how short the workouts were and how these people were in this amazing shape. The abbreviations and lingo was hard to nail down at first. It was a totally new approach to working out from what I had been used to for so long. After a few months of putting it off a friend of mine finally talked me into stopping by Crossfit Pulse. I decided that I wasn’t going to just go for a trial workout and see if I liked it in order to give myself a chance to back out. I walked in, signed up and came back the very next day for my first WOD on October 8th, 2012. That was the day that everything changed.
I was nervous that first day. I had no idea what I was about to do or worse yet, what I wouldn’t be able to do. I couldn’t do a pullup. I had no idea how to do a double under. The RX weight of the first workout was so far beyond what I could lift. I stood in the back of the group as the coach went over the WOD. When he was done he called me over and said he would show me a few modifications to help me through this.
3-2-1…Go…It was on. I remember that about half way through I felt like my heart was about to jump out of my chest and run out of the gym. I was gassed. My mind told me to quit but there was something else telling me to keep going. I could hear the coach yelling over the music and from across the room, “Good job Seth!”. That little bit of encouragement was all I needed to hear to make it through. I decided right then that I was finishing the workout and I could worry about dying when I was done.
When I was done, I was soaked. Every bit of clothing I had on was completely wet with sweat. I felt awesome. I knew I had done something that my body was not used to and I was in some pain but I was already pumped about coming back the next time. The surprising part was that the whole workout was only 11 minutes and 5 seconds long. It would take me a full 45 minutes of an Insanity workout to feel like this. I knew right then I was going to like this and it was going to work.
At first I only went twice a week for the first two months. At the end of the first month I was already seeing results. I weighed before I started and took a few pics at home. When I started I weighed right at 200 pounds. Oddly enough the very next week my scale died. I had no option but to ignore what my “number” was according to some scale. For 6 months I didn’t weigh again. I focused on eating right and clean. I adopted the Paleo way of eating and was following it about 90% of the time. I still had peanut butter and milk and enjoyed a good cheat meal once a week. I honestly never felt like I was missing out on anything and I was never really hungry or felt like I was about to cave and make a run to Taco Bell and gorge myself.
After the first two months went by I wanted to step it up a bit. I started going three times a week. With my busy schedule of balancing work and kids and life in general, this was a good amount for me. I had plenty of time to let my body rest between workouts. I just made sure that when I walked in that gym that I was about to give everything I had. Yes, I hurt for a few days after every workout, but it was a good pain and let me know that I was improving myself. There were more than just physical changes happening. I felt happier. I used to have chronic headaches and I have not had one in 6 months. I was sleeping better. My blood pressure had come down significantly and is now at a normal level along with my cholesterol. I would instantly attribute this to the fact that I do crossfit and follow a clean eating philosophy. I felt like the goals I had set for myself were within reach. When I met one I set another and another. This Crossfit thing was working.
Since I have been going to Pulse I have made some great friends. I have learned a ton from the coaches. I love feeling that verbal pat on the back at the end of each workout when everybody is about to pass out but can still manage to tell each other “good job”. I can honestly say that finding and sticking with Crossfit has been a life changer. I have not been happier or felt better about being active and healthy. I actually look forward to going to the gym and sweating like crazy and feeling uncomfortable for a little bit. I do it because I know its working and its good for me. Its fun and my friends are all there. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else to workout.