I have gone through just about every exercise phase and craze there is: Running, Swimming, Les Mills programs (Body Pump, RPM, etc.), Kickboxing, Yoga, Personal Strength Training, and, at one point, I was even a certified spin instructor: I was never an athlete. I only played sports to be social in high school, but I have always loved exercise, specifically group exercise. While I am able to motivate myself more than most to work out on my own, a group setting has always been my favorite.
As much as I have always loved exercise...it is important to note that I have the worst eating habits...ever! I have eaten like a 12 year old for most of my life as the standard. I love fried foods, sugar, and bread and eat almost no veggies or fruit. In the past, I would try "quick fixes" like crazy diets that are unsustainable or diet pills. Nothing ever stuck. I would eat better for a small amount of time, or in the case of the pills, I would just eat less of the crappy food. It would work for a short time but I would always eventually end up going back to my horrible habits.
Enter CrossFit City Limits.
When I moved to Austin, I was trying to find something that was going to work with my schedule, budget, and exercise needs. I was able to use the gym at my apartment and I would try to incorporate strength movements from a book but it was miserable and I could only motivate myself to even do anything about half the time. I tried Title Boxing in North Austin because I had done those classes while living in NYC the year before and had loved them, high energy, strength work, and you get to HITT stuff:) However, I quickly realized with the behemoth that is Austin traffic, I was never going to be able to have a regular routine there that would work with my schedule.
I had been talking (complaining) to a colleague at my school about my lack of a "good workout" in my area. He is a CrossFit convert and had actually been promoting it since I met him. I had blown him off and called him a cult member and all of the regular things you say to someone who does CrossFit. He finally convinced me to try it...I told him with as close as I lived to CrossFit City Limits, I really didn't have an excuse not to at least give it a shot so I signed up for the free intro. I was apprehensive to say the least. I had many preconceived notions and judgments about the "type of people" that do CrossFit, but I went in anyway. I was super up front and had no problems sharing my preconceived notions about how CrossFit people that just want to lift a bunch of heavy weight and how it's a fad that gets people hurt because they really don't teach proper form. By the end of the intro session, their knowledge of fitness had convinced me to give it a try. I signed up for the intro month which allowed me to have a couple of one-on-one sessions to go over the basic movements and then jumped into classes. I still very vividly remember one of the first workouts. I was halfway through a set of burpees on a time limit and I realized I don't think I had ever been that challenged physically or, if I'm honest, mentally. I HATE BURPEES! I seriously questioned what I had gotten into and for a brief moment wondered if I was cut out for it and if I should even come back....almost 8 months later and I'm still here....not planning on going anywhere anytime soon:)
I do have to say that, surprisingly, the biggest effect CrossFit City Limits has had on me is my nutrition. For the first time in my life, I realized and felt how much the extra weight I carry was affecting my performance. I think in other areas (spin, swimming, even weight lifting), I was able to perform even at a heavier weight. I remember there was a moment about 3 months in at City Limits that for the first time ever, I thought to myself "I work too damn hard in those workouts to completely negate it by eating so unhealthily." For the first time, I wanted to eat better so I could perform better, not just to look better.
Enter the Wellness Challenge in January.
At just the right time, they started advertising for the Wellness Challenge. I was in a different mindset than I had ever been before and I was ready for something to help guide me, keep me accountable, and teach me how to eat in order to get my body to perform better. "Winning" wasn't even a consideration for me as I am the least competitive person in the world. The challenge was just a way to utilize others around me and the knowledge that the coaches brought to tap into my desire to be healthier. The first week was absolutely miserable, but with the help of seeing others' misery on the Facebook page, and this newfound motivation, I got through. I finally felt what it was like to have my body function well. My energy levels were amazing and I just felt great! I also saw the eating patterns as something I could continue to stick with, again, for the first time in my life. Eating healthy was totally doable. I ended up losing almost 13 pounds and several inches in 6 weeks which felt GREAT. Also, I won!!! Winning was super cool but was secondary to the life changes that came from the challenge. I am far from perfect but I am a completely different person in regards to nutrition than I was a year ago, which is probably the biggest "win" for me.
What CrossFit City Limits Means to Me
I am convert, a Kool-Aid drinker, a cult member, and a lifer. In such a short amount of time, I have seen my body change, become stronger, function more efficiently, and I am able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. Every class I take, I am challenged and pushed to my limit, causing me to get stronger (literally) every day. I said I am not a competitive person, which is true, but I do compete with myself. I hold myself to high standards and will push to meet those standards. CrossFit gives me something to work for every time I step into the gym. I still scale down so many things in work-outs, but I now know what it feels like to push myself.
I would be remiss if I neglected to talk about the impact the CrossFit City Limits community has had on me. Moving to a new city is never easy and finding a community of like-minded individuals is typically one of the hardest parts. Starting with the Barbellas girls group, and eventually many others in the gym, what I found at CrossFit City Limits was a diverse group of individuals that are supportive, genuinely like being around each other, and all place wellness and fitness as a priority in their lives. How can you not love a group like that?
To sum it up, I would say that City Limits has given me a supportive community that has helped me make life changes and grow physically and mentally stronger through putting fitness and nutrition as a priority in my life. Not to mention....CrossFit City Limits throws killer parties:)