I first want to start off by saying that I’m not writing this to show off or try to brag about what I’ve “overcome” or how “brave” I am. I am not brave. I’m just a girl who found a new passion, and clung on for dear life.
I’m writing this in the hopes that people will read it and relate. If my words touch just one person and help them get through tough times, I have succeeded as a writer. To that person: know that things do and will get better. Find something you’re passionate about and I can promise that only good things will come from it.
I like to believe that CrossFit came to me at the perfect time in my life. I can maybe even go as far as saying that CrossFit saved my life, or at least I can say it was the thing that dragged me out of the seemingly endless, dark hole that was my depression.
Depression will do funny things to you. Even though it seemed like I had everything together in my life, my world constantly felt like it was crumbling around me. I tried to glue it back together with alcohol and unhealthy relationships but it turns out that crappy vodka and shitty friends don’t make things get better. Instead, it makes things much worse. More often then not, I would find myself at the end of the night, drunk on the bathroom floor of my apartment drowning in an ocean of self-hate and regret, praying that someone would help me.
On my 21st birthday, during an out of control night, my roommate actually did try to help me. I was hospitalized overnight for my depression, self-harm, and self-destructive behavior. I was also kicked off of campus and my rowing team. Happy birthday to me!
Then, my second semester senior year, the same thing happened. Two years in a row---I was on a roll. And it was the hardest thing I ever went through in my 24 years.
As I watched my friends and classmates having the times of their lives, I commuted to and from school everyday. When they were enjoying their graduation commencement, I was home alone, too ashamed to be there for such a joyous occasion. I had never been in such an awful place.
While I was living at home, I got a job to fill up the free time I had. I tried to fill the void in my life that school, friendship and competitive rowing once fulfilled. I tried to change my attitude about how I approached life, and it actually helped. I started forming new relationships and friendships at work. A whole new side of me started to come out. I was bolder, more confident, friendly and seemingly happy on the outside.
But the inside of me was always crying, angry and depressed. I was missing something. I missed my team and competition. I missed always having something to depend on. I had been rowing for seven years, and it was always something I knew I could go to when I couldn’t deal with my depression. It was always there for me. But then, it was gone. I needed something to fulfill this need again. I was hungry for a challenge. And that’s where Crossfit came in.
A Step In The Right Direction
I had heard about CrossFit over the years and it always interested me but I never had the time or the money to try it. But just looking at the workouts and the athletes, I knew that someday I would get there. It never seemed intimidating to me. It seemed like a challenge and, like most things, I wanted to tackle it head on. The day I got my first paycheck, I emailed a coach at my box and never looked back.
A New Outlook On Life
CrossFit has changed my life in ways nothing ever has. Every time I think of the progress I have made in the two years I’ve been at my box, I am completely amazed at the things my body can do. With rowing, I never realized how powerful I was. I took my rowing ability for granted and never appreciated it. Even though I was in great shape and one of the fastest girls on my team, it still was never good enough. My body was never good enough. I was never good enough.
CrossFit has changed my outlook on life and has pulled me out of the deepest depths of my depression. Everyday, I can finally look at myself and see the beautiful, strong woman I have always been but was too blind to see.
I finally see that the human body has no limit to what it can do. I see it in myself and in my friends and fellow athletes at my box. Working out with these people inspires me daily. Whether it is someone who can bust out a two minute Fran or do muscle ups, or it is someone who is just starting, I am in awe of every single person who steps through that door.
It takes courage to step into a box. It takes courage to try something new, or increase your weight in a workout, or attempt a new PR. But most importantly, it takes courage to fail. I think this is the biggest thing Crossfit has taught me. It is okay to fail because it will always make you stronger. It takes hard work, encouragement, determination and faith to succeed in Crossfit.
Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends
The CrossFit community has showed me this courage. It has given me strength. It has shaped me into the person I have always wanted to become. I can finally look in the mirror and say, “You’re f*cking awesome, and you can do anything you want.” It’s given me a purpose and a new passion. It has filled the competitive drive that I had missed so much. It helped me build new friendships with people I would have never otherwise been friends with. It challenges me every time I step into my box and it makes me want to be better everyday.
If CrossFit never came into my life, I don’t want to know where I would be today. But I can say, that I would not be the confident, strong woman that I am right now. CrossFit will always be the one thing that I can say saved me from hell and it will always be a part of my life. I am so thankful that I am part of this immensely wonderful community. I am so excited to see the places it will lead me in the future, because even if I fail—and I will--I have learned that I will always be stronger because of it.