It was not my idea to begin CrossFit.

My daughter began doing CrossFit with a friend in Fort Lauderdale. She thought I would benefit from CrossFit, so when I was visiting over Christmas in 2015, she researched the CrossFit boxes in the Grand Rapids area, thought Friction looked like the nicest and most compatible with me, and she actually arranged my no sweat intro with Jeff.

I agreed to give it a shot, as I have always had a sedentary job, and needed to get some weight bearing exercise as I had been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I was nervous and had my doubts. I had never been much of an athlete, never lifted a barbell and was not knowledgeable about CrossFit.

When I first started training with Jeff I could not do a pass-through with a PVC pipe, my balance was horrible, I could hardly squat … the list goes on and on.

I was so exhausted from my sessions with Jeff that most nights I would come home and fall asleep on the couch in my workout clothes! I did personal training with Jeff for 3 months, and the last month was a mixture of personal training and regular CrossFit classes.

I was so scared in that first class, but thanks to the great coaches, other supportive members with their helpful comments and scaling, I was able to effectively participate in the classes.

One of the many things I love about CrossFit are the varieties of movements and how every class is different! I never thought I would understand all of the different names for the barbell lifting techniques and really struggled with the sequences of most of them. Over time, I have been able to get the techniques down and begin to add weight to my bar.

It has been a slow process, but I have definitely noticed an increase in my strength and mobility.

(And, my friends have noticed my well-defined arms & legs!)

Plus, I began to feel SO MUCH better.

Last June I participated in the Paleo challenge and awakened my love of cooking again! I have been keeping myself amused with trying new recipes from the 5 Paleo cookbooks I bought! I felt so much better on the Paleo diet, and I had more energy too. This year I participated in “The Open” and it was very challenging for me. In my mind I was going to kill each workout, but my reality was much different. I found many new things I needed to work on, but that’s o.k. The goals are always changing and that is the cool thing about CrossFit for me. I keep thinking “I’ll meet that goal some day!”

Author: Athlete Candace Strong

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