Before finding CrossFit I had no strength whatsoever, and even though I ran, I wasn’t particularly fast. And worse, I just kept gaining weight every year. I had never been thin, but over the years, I just let myself go way beyond where I should have been. It finally took a physical exam 2 years ago when the doctor explained the ramifications of my weight and my blood test results to make me realize that I needed to make a drastic change.
Luckily, a co-worker had just joined this gym in Natick that followed a new exercise regime called Crossfit. He would come in every morning telling everyone about the workout of the day involving running, lifting, pull-ups…all in multiple combinations. Having never lifted in my life (not to mention having never done a single pull-up, rope climb, etc.), I couldn’t imagine ever doing Crossfit. But after several weeks, he convinced me to give it a shot.
So, there I was on a late June day strolling into CFNE for a free Saturday introductory class. To be honest, I almost left before I started. All I saw were a bunch of very fit guys hanging out after their workout, and I was the only one there for the intro class. But a couple of the coaches caught me before I left (thanks again guys!), and we got to work. I was winded from the warm-up alone. Literally. Then we got into a workout that involved a few rounds of a 200 meter run, some box jumps, jumping pull-ups, burpees and some overhead presses with a light barbell. That was by far the toughest workout I had ever done. Even the runs were hard and I thought I was a runner. I came home and gave my wife a blow by blow of the entire session, from the warm-up to the workout. She could tell I was hooked.
That was in June of 2010. But as much as I saw some improvements in the first 3 months, it wasn’t until I completely changed my diet that I really started to see significant gains. In September 2010, we had our first paleo challenge. Thanks to two members, Ronda and Michelle (who convinced me I could win if I tried), I went all in. What an eye opening experience it was to realize that it was actually possible to eat healthy and have fun doing it!
Since starting at CFNE, I’ve lost over 50 pounds (in addition to converting a lot of fat into muscle). I’m lighter and leaner than I’ve ever been in my life. And my overall health metrics have improved dramatically. My blood pressure went from 128/90 to 108/76 and resting heart rate went from 56 to 42. My overall cholesterol went from 190 to 165, HDL went from 43 to 80 and LDL went from 127 to 75. My doctor said it was the most impressive change he had ever seen.
And physically, I am doing things I never thought I would be able to do, I can do pull-ups, deadlift over 400 lbs and run a marathon and just generally feeling more confident about myself. And even though we don’t do any long distance running, my race times across the board are faster than when I last ran a marathon. I ran the Chicago Marathon this October in under 3:30.
Finally, none of what I’ve accomplished could have been done without the environment that Ben and the coaches have created at CFNE. From world class athletes (first place team at the Games!) to weekend warriors like myself, the programming, coaching and supportive environment really works. And I think I can speak for everyone at CFNE, the community is what it is all about…it keeps me coming back and pushes me to work and push myself harder every day. I count myself fortunate to train at CFNE.