I was a runner for seven years before I started CrossFit. In 2012, I trained for and competed on the Fort Hood Army Ten Miler team. I loved running, I thought workouts lasting less than an hour were a joke. I lost 15 pounds training for the team and used running to out pace my diet. I ran to eat. I didn’t see food as fuel and my body was breaking down. By November 2012, my body was injured and I was burnt out. I took a break and did Zumba and Just Dance on the Xbox Kinect for two months.
I quickly got bored and started looking into CrossFit but thought I needed to get in shape first. I started doing at home CrossFit workouts such as a mobile version of “Cindy”: 20 minutes, as many rounds as possible of 5 push ups, 10 sit ups, and 15 air squats. After another month, I finally went to a weekend fundamentals class on Fort Hood, TX, at their non-profit CrossFit gym. I did my first workout in January 2013, a 3 person team workout, with running and push presses. I couldn’t push press a 35# barbell.
From there, I introduced many of my Soldiers and friends to CrossFit. I earned my CrossFit Level One while stationed at Fort Hood in November 2013. My husband and I soon after deployed to Egypt on a peace keeping mission and started up a non-profit CrossFit affiliate while stationed there. We ordered food from Steve’s PaleoGoods and learned that 15% of their proceeds benefit the Steve’s Club National Program. Steve’s Club provides Free CrossFit to at risk and high risk youth. By this time, my husband and I had already been throwing around the idea of opening our own CrossFit gym. We decided then that our gym would be a local chapter of Steve’s Club. It took another two years and some twists and turns but we eventually opened Break the Mold CrossFit in West Louisville on August 1st, 2016.
Since that day in January I’ve done some awesome things. I’ve deadlifted 300#, I’ve push way more than 35# over my head, multiple times. I’ve competed in over five CrossFit competitions, placed second in a novice Strong Woman Competition, and placed first in my weight class in a local Weightlifting competition. I’ve also gained 20 lbs since that day I walked into the gym in January. Food is fuel, and I’ve fueled my body into a shape and size that I love.
Was my journey to CrossFit different than yours? Probably, but in some ways it is the same. I hear many people say that they need to be in shape before they try CrossFit. I know that no matter what I thought before that first workout, you will always feel out of shape the first time you walk into a CrossFit gym and try a workout.
Secondly, I hear a lot of people say that lifting weights will make women “bulky”. Before I walked into that CrossFit gym in January 2013, I had never pick up a barbell in my life, and yes, I was scared I was going to get “bulky”. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times since that day in January that I’ve been told by men to “make sure I don’t get too big”. Ladies, I’m here to tell you, you will not get bulky. Yes, I gained weight, but I also chose to gain weight back. I chose to finally fuel my body for performance, dedicated endless hours in the gym, and ate over 3,000 calories a day. It took a lot for me to gain the weight back I needed to. You will regain control of what your body looks like and feels like. You will get awesome. You will do pull ups, deadlift, and jump on boxes. You will not look like a man. Your opinion of your body is the only one that matters.
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Left: 125# post Army Ten Miler, October 2012, Right: Post weight class win May, 2016