Sometimes, it’s all about the subtleties. Names and labels matter. This whole time, I’ve been referring to myself as Member of the Month… but that’s not accurate. The actual title is Athlete of the Month. Hmmm… puts a whole different connotation on it… an emotional association wholly different than “member.” It’s interesting that I had no realization that I’d internally changed “Athlete” to “Member.” Let’s get real. At no point in my life have I been anything remotely associated with “Athlete.” However, I’m changing inside. I’ve spent the last nearly-a-year changing into the person I want to be.
So, what’s an “Athlete?” My online dictionary says an Athlete is a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or a game requiring physical skill.
Hmmmm… but I don’t look like an athlete. In my head I am NOT an athlete. Referring to myself in the same sentence as the word “Athlete” feels very, very wrong. I don’t know if I’ll ever *be* an athlete in the traditional sense of the word. However, I can keep traveling the path that I’m on… keep changing my mindset, and maybe one day, I can be a sort of real life athlete. It’s certainly something that I’ve never considered and it sounds like a pretty good goal to me.
I had to do a write-up about being Athlete of the Month and I didn’t post it here. I was thinking I would save the summarizing for my official one year CrossFit-versary. But why wait… so here’s what I sent in to my Box:
CrossFit is changing my life… and we all say that… but I mean it quite literally. CrossFit is extending my life and making living it much, much better. Just a few weeks ago, I climbed a rock wall and rode an elephant… unthinkable a year ago!
It’s been nearly a year since I walked into the doors, scared to death that I’d humiliate myself and leave defeated, once again. My last two children, the twins, had just gone to kindergarten and I’d dubbed the year, The Year of Me. It was time to swing the focus from 100% kids/family to spending time focused on me… during the hours of 8:15am-2:50pm, at least. Lol! I’d looked into CrossFit for well over a year and finally, the time was right. My goal in the beginning was to show up and do what the coaches told me to do. It still is my goal.
A few months into my Year of Me, I added Paleo to my routine. There have been lots of ups and downs, I’m still trying, but when added to CrossFit, even my feeble Paleo attempts have yielded amazing results. I may not always feel like my outside shows much of a change, but there’s no doubt my blood chemistry has been radically and totally transformed.
My A1c, the diagnostic test for Diabetes, has gone from the being in the Diabetic range to completely normal. I am no longer a diabetic. I’m not even borderline. I’m normal. For the first time in 7 years, I don’t have to take shots every single day of my life… no more needles!
My ALT, the test for fatty livers, has gone from being significantly elevated to completely normal. I no longer have a fatty liver. I’m not even borderline here as well. I’m normal. I’ve had a fatty liver for most of my adult life and now, my liver has completely healed. I also have a hormone imbalance called PCOS and I’m nearly symptom free because of the changes in my body chemistry. It’s truly amazing.
There have been amazing changes in my body and what it can do. My stamina and my endurance have greatly improved. I can lift heavy things. My back squat and my dead lift are currently 235#. I can do a 125# thruster from a rack and I’ve benched 125#. Yesterday, I power cleaned 125#. I’m excited by how strong and capable I’m becoming. My lifelong fear of running is still alive and well, but I’m actually running short distances now and even completed Jerry in about 36 minutes… shocking!
My entire life I have been known as the girl who avoided physical activity. My childhood friends are amazed that I do CrossFit and remind me that I was the girl who didn’t play flag football because I might get dirty or out of breath. It’s true… but something happened when I turned 40 and the last of the five kids went to school. I looked into the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. My outsides didn’t match my insides and just maybe there was something I could do about it. My outsides still don’t match my insides, but they’re closer. I’ve lost nearly three pants sizes and my stomach is much smaller than it was.
It’s a daily struggle… changing my life… trying to be Paleo and faithfully making my CrossFit class. I have so far left to go. I’m still usually the biggest and slowest person in the room… but struggle or not, I’m doing it because it’s making my life so much more liveable. It’s making my life fulfilling. For me, CrossFit is not about being a size 6. It’s about having enough energy to do the things I want to do… ride more roller coasters without worrying about fitting into the seats… riding an elephant… climbing a rock wall… playing soccer with the kids… hiking up a mountain… learning to ski… and anything else that comes up. CrossFit is changing me, slowly and steadily; it’s giving me my life back.