In early 2012, my life turned upside down. I went through a difficult time that I would never like to re-live nor wish upon anyone. After being put on medication and seeing a therapist for most of the year, things got a little bit better. During that dark year, I kept myself busy and distracted by working out at the local globo gym during the weeknights and spending most of the weekends drinking with friends. Alcohol and late nights out certainly didn’t cure a thing and I was definitely not myself or getting anywhere near back to my old self. Frankly, I wasn’t happy, though I probably covered it up pretty well.
OPENING THE DOOR TO CROSSFIT
In January of 2013 I decided to take my first CrossFit class (technically it was an “on-ramp” fundamentals class). I was hooked immediately and knew I would be joining this amazing place and cancelling my membership at my current gym. Little did I know, this thing called “CrossFit” would be my new therapy. I don’t know if it’s the intense workouts, the positive people that fill up the box or the satisfaction you get after a great WOD (probably all three), but this is where I felt I belonged and this place/sport was making me a happier person again.
Every single time I step foot into the box, everything else on my mind goes out the door. I don’t have a care in the world while I’m in my CrossFit mode. It really is my anxiety and stress reliever. When I am not having that great of a day or have things on my mind that are bothering me, the first thing I think of is “I can’t wait to CrossFit tonight.”
Besides just working out together during CrossFit classes, this great group of people who I have surrounded myself have become good friends. We’ve added 5K races, Spartan Races and local CrossFit Competitions to our mix of things and almost every weekend we are usually doing something active and fun together. Before CrossFit and meeting these friends, I had never ran more than a mile, let alone attempt something like a Spartan Race. What makes these things fun is we do them as a team. We don’t care about getting the fastest time or beating one another, it’s all about teamwork and getting through it together. We are all there to support and lean on one another, as well as push and motivate each other.
My life certainly has changed since I started CrossFit. I believe I have gotten much stronger as a person and I’m not just talking about being able to lift heavier weights. My priorities have also changed and that’s for the better. A fun Friday night for me now consists of burning through a WOD and then going out to eat with my friends in our sweaty workout clothes. And most of those dinners don’t include alcohol. I have stopped drinking a great amount since CrossFit came into my life. Don’t get me wrong, once in a while a few drinks and a silly night out can be fun, but I have just as much fun when there is absolutely NO alcohol involved and I’m surrounded by the right people.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Ever since I started CrossFit, I have invested a lot of time and effort into experiencing the sport outside of the box. My friends and I volunteered at the North East Regionals where we got to see and be a part of this extraordinary community. My friend Lauren and I flew out to California for the CrossFit Games this past July and got to volunteer on the Rogue Equipment and Gear Team, another incredible experience. We also managed to start this great website along with our friend Joe documenting and sharing our fitness adventures.
My life has taken a different path than I thought it would before 2012. I used to think that was a terrible thing but now I know that isn't the case. What seemed like a dead end now seems like an endless world of hope and opportunity. Thanks to CrossFit, my friends and a little internal fortitude I'm stronger and happier than I ever could have imagined.
Who said you need a therapist for therapy?