How did you start CrossFit?
I actually started in boot camp because I was at the highest weight I have ever been at in my life. After about six months it switched to CrossFit. The intensity increased tremendously and I was excited about the outcome of all the hard work.
What were the challenges when you started? Were you scared? Did you have any injuries/medical issues?
I felt so weak when I started. I could barely manage a push up from my knees. It seemed my strength was so low. I had knee and lower back problems and was concerned how I would progress.
When did you start to notice a difference in your body? Did you stay the same weight for a while or did you start to notice right away?
After starting boot camp it took about four months before I noticed a change in my body and before the scale started dropping. Then CrossFit started and the weight loss increased and so did my strength. After about 8 months a took my nutrition very serious and lost 10 lbs in two months.
Today, what’s your thought on CrossFit? Go into detail on how your life is different. How has your diet changed? Sleep habits? Your attitude towards working out? Really anything and everything that you want to say!
CrossFit has changed my life in such a positive way. I eat healthy foods based around all natural foods and avoid sugar, white flour foods, fast food, and processed food. I sleep really well at night. I have reached a level of fitness that now I can’t wait to go workout and see if I can improve from my last workout. I feel so strong and fit that I consider myself addicted to CrossFit. Thanks to CrossFit and Dr. Ryan Berlin, I no longer have lower back pain.
Would you recommend your girlfriends to do CrossFit? Why?
I would recommend my girlfriends do CrossFit because I feel great and I feel strong and they should also! Actually, my girlfriends are so excited about my progress they have asked me about CrossFit.
Do you think of yourself as being bulky? Do you see yourself down the road as being bulky? How do you see yourself 3 years down the road? Will you still be following the Crossfit regimen?
I don’t think I am bulky. I am fit and trim and wearing size small when I used to wear large and medium. I hope to be even more lean as I continue on my CrossFit path. I will never go back. CrossFit is my future. I feel awesome and always want to feel and look this way.
End with what your favorite wod is …
My favorite wod is Helen!
Change is required for improving our personal development. We must step outside our comfort zones, take a deep breath and take the step, leap or more like a jump across the Grand Canyon! You get the point– it’s hard!
For those lucky people the change into CrossFit has been quite a journey. The best part is that we ALL went through some type of change in order to be even telling our story. Come across any diehard CrossFitter and guaranteed you will find an emotional connection to a certain moment or WOD! That emotional response keeps us driving to be super humans, better parents or just fit enough to run up a flight of stairs.
CrossFit Cornerstone has so many great stories our goal is to dig deep within all of you and see what keeps you ticking.
Two certain guys that normally attend the 7 AM class have caught our eye and started all this wondering why people love this sport so much! Mike and Mark come in EARLY every day and STAY for extra skills/WODs after the normal class. I’ve watched these two squat more than most of our 20 something year olds, attack weaknesses and most importantly inspire myself and others watching. Both have had set backs and doubts about starting, sometimes even questioning if CrossFit was even for them! Like all of you fighting through tendinitis or minor personal issues we encourage to fix it–work on mobility, take your fish oils, drink water. Everyone gets our coaching on how to push past it, some listen, some don’t .
We’ve asked both Mike and Mark to share their story. Not too long ago these two never met, today they are training partners fighting to stay healthy and alive.
We all come to CFC to better ourselves, the journey may be almost impossible but remember hard work pays off. Today you may be in pain but tomorrow is another day. Mike and Mark–thanks for being awesome. Your story will encourage those to push through whatever’s challenging them and hopefully become beasts like you both!
Being a 45 year old trial lawyer, I have pretty much mastered the ability to speak out of both sides of my mouth. It does not matter which side of an argument I take, I’m pretty darn persuasive. I have tried many cases to jurors, argued multiple times in the appellate courts, and handled lots of claims involving significant issues. Life seemed to be going my way.
Then on hot summer day, my office building had a fire drill. Upon returning to the building, I overheard others exclaim that they would take the stairs to avoid the elevator lines. Good idea! It was only four flights of stairs. Who can’t make it up four flights of stairs? Although I made the climb, I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and I was gasping for air. “Wow” I thought, four lousy flights of stairs almost defeated me. From that point in time forward, I started noticing other things as well: I was tired all time; I avoided any activity requiring exertion; I was winded simply going up one flight of stairs to the bedroom. I was fat and my body was hurting. I had back and neck pain most days. By the end of the day, I felt stiff and rigid…I felt just like a dead person. My cholesterol levels were extremely high. My diet sucked. I began to wonder how long it would be before I would end up in a hospital cardiac unit.
As luck would have it, I passed the local box every day on the way to work. I wasn’t sure if CrossFit would be my cup of tea, but I was more afraid of not walking into the box then what may be inside. The first day was the worst day. I was asked to do as many sit ups and push-ups as I could in one minute. It was an extremely long minute. I call it the ”CrossFit minute”. I swear the clocks are purposefully slower in the box. Next, I had to row 500 meters. At the end, I almost passed out. Although I met with the trainers following the row, the only thing I remember is feeling sick and dizzy. I could feel my heart throb in my temples. It took over two hours for my body to recover from less than 5 minutes of a workout. It confirmed that I was truly dying. I was scared. I had but two choices, starting living or finish dying.
Over the next months, I kept coming back. I promised myself that I would show up as much as could. I want to live a long healthy life. I did scaled versions of WODs with a personal CrossFit trainer. Other CrossFitters would cheer me on and provide me with encouragement. I had to break up the rigidity in my body. Squatting was nearly impossible. My neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs were stiff. I was weak and I had little flexibility. And I couldn’t even do one pull up. But I wanted to live!
CrossFit motivated me to begin living! My body started to respond. I was getting stronger and more flexible. It made me crave life again! I started doing the WODs and finishing them with everyone cheering me on. I was doing this thing called the paleo diet and my cholesterol dropped into the normal range. The WODs sucked and I usually ended up on the floor panting, but I got stronger. It was affecting every part of my life. The pain in my back and neck disappeared. I was becoming active at home. I was living again!
I have been a CrossFitter now for 18 months. My life has changed drastically. I can run up four flights of stairs with little effort. I can hit over 20 unbroken pull-ups. I can run multiple miles even though I’m slow and it sucks. I can do things named Fran and Grace. I’ve loosened up. I am dead-lifting nearly twice my body weight. I’m Olympic lifting more than many, less than some. My form may not be the greatest and my time may not be the fastest, but I’m living! Although you can still find me on the floor at the end of most WODs, I usually finish before many of the younger athletes. The CrossFit minute hasn’t gotten any slower, I’ve gotten faster.
While I can argue most sides of everything, I can’t argue against the benefits of CrossFit training. It has transformed my life. I am not dying anymore. Instead, I am living a stronger and healthier life.
I am a 44 year old who man who over the past several years had really let life get in the way of my personal well being. Growing up I was very active, participating in several sports. I stayed active playing hockey a few days a week up until a work transfer 7 years ago. It was at that point that I stopped all physical activity, letting my new job consume my life. Two years later my employer closed up shop and I found myself unemployed and overweight.
It was at this point that my family and I decided to move back to Ohio and start over. Then in late 2010 I had a life altering experience. I ended up in the emergency room with tremendous pain. I ended up finding out that I had two blood clots in my right calf that broke loose and traveled to my lungs. I then spent the next six months taking daily blood thinners. It was this experience that woke me up. I have two teenage girls and a wife that need me. Soon after ending the daily meds I began looking for a way to get back in shape. I knew hospital stays and medications were two things I never want to experience again. This is what motivates me still today.
Over the next several months I worked out in my basement, first with kettlebells, then I started lifting, focusing on compound movements. After a while though I knew I needed something more. I had been following Mark Sisson’s website and primal eating plan. One day I clicked on a link for Crossfit, and after a few weeks of looking at everything I could find about CrossFit I called and scheduled my introductory class with the intention of adding twice a week classes to my workout schedule. However, by the time I finished my 3 foundations classes I had decided to sign up for the unlimited plan. It became apparent to me that only coming in twice a week would leave me missing out on the tremendous variety you get daily.
In the beginning my goals were to lose the remaining body fat that I couldn’t seem to shed. The first few days were tough. Despite my daily workouts prior to joining I was really sore, and humbled by the condition of many of the athletes. I remember clearly one morning while getting ready for my 7:00am class looking at the website to see the daily workout. I almost talked myself out of it, seeing thrusters in the workout, and having some real issues with my right elbow. In fact, about a month in I was enduring so much pain in my elbow that I almost packed it in. I didn’t know if I could continue working out every day. I talked with the trainers and they kept telling me that it was something that would get better over time. I wasn’t sure that at 44 I my body could handle Crossfit. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I didn’t give up. I look forward to my morning class every day.
I also learned the lesson that looking at the website first is a really bad idea. I have never looked at the website before going to class since. I will not allow myself the opportunity to skip class because I don’t like what we’re doing. If I were going to do that I could stay in my basement and continue to do only the things I am best at. I also found out very early on that I love the atmosphere of class. Having played sports for much of my life I quickly realized that the competitiveness gave me a drive to complete the WOD’s first. Put someone in front of me and no matter how tired I am I push till the end to catch them. If they are younger (which is most of the time) it drives me even harder. I love to win, and I haven’t had that competitiveness for a while. CrossFit fills that need. I can honestly say that every person in our morning class has inspired me at one time or another.
Now, seven months later I am in better shape today than I was at 24. I am in class every morning with no thought of whether or not I am working out that day. I can squat and deadlift more today than I did 20 years ago. I still struggle with many of the movements, but I am determined to be able to conquer all of them in 2013. Although I am sore many days, it doesn’t compare to the back pain I had from carrying around 250 pounds everywhere I went. Today I am 8 pounds heavier than when I walked in the door for the first time, but I look and feel so much better, and my strength is going up every month. In fact, yesterday I hit a PR on my deadlift at 415 lbs. That’s a 40 pound increase over my last PR. I can’t believe the results.