My Crossfit Success Story doesn’t read much like most of the others I’ve read so far, which makes writing it a little tricky. I wasn’t fat, unhealthy, or inactive when I started. I played rugby for the three years while I was in college in Chapel Hill, doing two-a-days about three times a week, and worked at the campus gym for a year and half. My body fat percentage when I started Crossfit was probably somewhere around 17-20%–nothing to write home about, but not a red flag for eminent heart disease either.
I started doing Crossfit at school at Carolina but I was never serious about it. Once I moved to Wilmington, I went to the gym automatically but I kept going out of vanity. It worked and I started looking a little tighter.
Stepping in to CFW can be downright scary. My first introduction to the gym left me completely intimidated by what I saw. The sheer number of countable abs on both the men and the women inspired me to forswear Crossfit entirely. I was convinced I would never EVER look like those girls, and I already had a guy, so. No longer in a competitive sport, I would content myself with ab workouts and my favorite study buddy, the elliptical. My frame lends itself to being thin, which was traditionally my goal in life. That was the first impression. Were I not dating one of the trainers when I moved to Wilmington, I doubt I would have ever looked back.
The more I worked at Crossfit, the more I realized I was able to do. I am not naturally positive or confident and I’m even less so when it comes to working out. But every time I tried to give up on something, there was someone else with another suggestion or another tip, and eventually I did learn to kip, do double-unders, and even did a couple workouts as prescribed. Each thing I learned gave me a little more confidence and kept me from walking out. I went to a competition in October (on Tony’s suggestion—I was still terrified of him back then, so probably would have jumped off the top of the building if he’d told me to) and did horribly but it was fun. I learned a lot at the competition including my own limits. I’m really glad I went. I learned how much father I could go if I kept at it. I came back more motivated and determined to get myself healthier and stronger. After months of listening to everyone drone on about the evils of grains and the merits of the paleo diet I finally bit the bullet and gave up my bagels, chai lattes, and baked goodies (well, mostly… let’s say I made an effort).
I made considerable progress until February of this year when I hurt my back doing an infamous “stripper deadlift.” It was 220lbs, which was a huge gain for me, but it was also the last deadlift I would do for four months. That back injury was the most serious and limiting injury I think I have ever sustained. I was in constant pain and couldn’t even tie my shoes without having to sit down. Putting on pants was a whole different challenge. I went to a chiropractor, and it got worse. I tried working out anyway, and it got worse. I finally went to physical therapy where they misdiagnosed it once, then figured it out and began to help me correct it. I was in physical therapy from March through late April. You would think that a back injury would have kept me out of the gym, and at best I would be writing this post to say I would like to get back into it. I’m too high stress not to work out, so I went hunting for an alternative, in the form of some good advice from Tony. When I asked (somewhat sheepishly) if I could do the lean out challenge, even though by all measure I am and always have been thin, he didn’t laugh at me and say “Why would you want to do that?” like plenty of other people did. Rather, he told me to meet him for lunch and came up with a strength program and supplementation regimen for me to do (that took into account pretty substantial limitations based on my back). I followed it, and gained about 7 pounds while losing a couple percentage points off my body fat. People noticed, and it felt good to have people tell me they could see the progress I had made. For the first time I wasn’t just thin, I was strong. I actually ended up complaining to Tony that I had to do something else because I can’t afford to replace my wardrobe to accommodate my thighs and shoulders. He suggested his Olympic Lifting Course, which has been an endless source of frustration for me, but nevertheless I can see myself improving. Each little bit is enough to keep me coming back the next day.
My success story doesn’t boast impressive weight-loss, overcoming a disease, or any trophies. My before and after pictures do not jolt the viewer. I think my story is more demonstrative of what CFW can offer the average individual– someone who doesn’t have any real problems, or any seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but who wants to improve herself, her confidence, her image…who just wants a challenge. CFW and the staff have offered me chances and strategies to do all those things. I’m not done, but I never will be. I can always work harder, eat better, and train smarter. I know Tony and the rest will never let me get complacent. That’s what I love about the gym, you can always do better.
- Sara Clark
Top, Sara the summer before joining CFW, 118 lbs and roughly 17% bodyfat. On the bottom Sara this week and at the Brave Soldier Challenge, 135 lbs and just under 13% bodyfat. A gain of 20 lbs of lean body mass. Congrats!
Myofascial Release – Posterior Chain
Band Stretching – Shoulders, Pecs and Hamstrings