YOSEMITE HIKE UPDATE
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IN YOUR OWN WORDS #4…
A blog post from one of your fellow CrossFit Fresno athletes:
by Thomas Niven
April 19th is my birthday, and April 20th is my one year anniversary of CrossFit.
I started last year at three hundred and eighty pounds or so. Today I’m at three hundred and five pounds. I had kinda wanted to get to an even three hundred by my birthday, but what I did accomplish was still a hell of an achievement.
A year before my journey into the land of CrossFit, I weighed so much that the scale simply didn’t go up that high. Even thinking about getting on the treadmill for five minutes was enough to run me out of breath. My back, after numerous injuries, was so bad that there were days where I just couldn’t get out of bed due to the pain.
I wasn’t always that way. There was a time where I used to be a fairly decent football player. I was amazingly strong and I could do wind sprints for fun. FUN. I loved to exercise, and I enjoyed that feeling of being sore, of my muscles re-knitting together, stronger than they were before.
Then I got into a car accident that really screwed me up and eventually I was left at the point where I couldn’t even tie my own shoes. That was humiliating, but instead of facing the reality of the hole that I had dug for myself, I instead dug deeper into self-doubt, depression, and over-eating.
Two years ago, I resolved to be a better me. I have a yellow sticky note that I wrote down my reasons why I should restart my exercise. It reads:
More emotional relaxation
Happier/Less Depression and Nervousness
Lose weight – less risks
I carry it with me now, wherever I go. At first, it was a constant reminder of what my goals were. Now, it is a reminder of just how far I’ve come.
But I have struggled. Especially that first year without my CrossFit Family. Doing a treadmill routine gets really, really, really, boring. I tried P90-X, and it did help me lose about forty pounds. Then I put twenty back on after stopped because I got bored of the same exact thing, week after week.
When I first messaged Jon and Rosanna, I was nervous as hell. I needed to find something that would get me back on the road that I knew I wanted to travel, but I did a little bit of research… and some of the things they were doing scared the hell out of me.
Like putting any sort of weight over my head. I had seriously injured my right shoulder from football. The thought of doing overhead squats filled me with terror. I kept thinking, “What if my shoulder goes out and I drop the weight on my head?” Luckily, Jon pushed me beyond my comfort zone and I found a new strength that I never knew I had. Now I look forward to days where we do shoulder presses.
And it didn’t stop there. I remember more than one of my coaches, back in my football days, trying unsuccessfully, to teach me how to use a jump rope. I think my previous best before CrossFit was six singles in a row. Six. I had confined my thinking to the fact that I was a big, albeit strong, lumbering oaf and I could never do anything that required as much coordination as jumping rope.
With Jon and Rosanna pushing me, I went from stumbling over my own two feet, to getting ten in a row, to thirty, and then suddenly I could do one hundred, in a row. I began to dread jump rope days. I had progressed from two per double under, to three, to five, and at one point Jon even joked about ten singles per one double under. It got to a point where just keeping track of the number of singles I needed to do in a round was taxing, so I started actively trying to attempt double-unders. A year ago, I would never have believed I could ever do one. My current record is twelve in a row.
A similar thing happened with pull-ups. I used to think of myself as, while strong, just too damn big to do an actual pull-up. Body weight movements were just my weakness, something to accept and move on from. Then one cold night in November, I somehow managed to actually do one. CrossFit just broke my entire self-image. Up until recently, I had never done a pull-up. Not when I was a little kid, and not when I was regularly doing two workouts a day for football. I can now point to at least this aspect and say that I am in the best shape of my life.
The accomplishments I’ve made through CrossFit are definitely great, but the one aspect of CrossFit Fresno that keeps me coming back is the people. I’m a naturally shy guy, I don’t say much, but I appreciate each and every one of you. Without the motivation of trying to keep up with AJ, Joe, or Dane, watching Che, Dustin, and Rosanna get their first muscle up, or making sweat angels with friends after a hard WOD, I would have a hard time keeping myself going.
Without my CrossFit Family, I don’t want to know where I would be. Each and every one of you keep me sane and motivated to be a better person.
P.S. Jon, after a year of abuse, I think my folder is ready to give up the ghost and retire =p
-THANK YOU SO MUCH TOM FOR BEING A PART OF OUR CROSSFIT FRESNO FAMILY AND SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO SO MANY!
“In Your Own Words” is a regular feature on our blog. This is our opportunity to let you, our amazing athletes and friends, share whatever it is you want to share about your experiences at CrossFit Fresno, what keeps you coming to CrossFit Fresno, changes in your life, and any other musings or reflections influenced by CrossFit. It can be short or long, include pics or stories, and be about really almost anything you want it to be about. It’s all up to you!
There are many of you out there that have some amazing, inspiring, and interesting stories to tell. And there are some of you who just have a way with words no matter what it is you talk about. We hope you’ll grace us and share your experiences and ruminations. If you’re interested in being a part of this feature, please feel free to email me (email@example.com) with your own words.