For a decade I have struggled with my body image- specifically my weight. I do believe that this has had a lot to do with the types of girls and women I saw in magazines, in the movies, on TV, etc. I wanted to look flawless in a bikini, to be able to wear short shorts in the summer time, to never be ashamed of my jiggly thighs ever again. It has only been within the past few years that I realized that I will never be a “skinny girl,” but I am a strong woman. I am made in the image of my mother, aunts, and grandmothers, and no matter how hard I try, my thighs will always be a force to be reckoned with. So then, why not make them an unstoppable force?
My mom and I started doing a race a month in 2013. It was great, we ran 5ks, 10ks, 12ks, and half-marathons. I did get better at running, and I did hate it less, but I never really felt that I was getting in any better shape. “Maybe I should run more,” I told myself. With that thought in my mind, I set a goal to run a marathon on my 26th birthday. 26 for 26 sounded like a great idea to me! However, despite the countless miles of running, I never felt that I was actually getting into better shape. Yes, my calves looked great, and I did notice I felt I had a greater lung capacity, but I wasn’t losing any weight or getting any stronger. About half way through the first year of “a race a month” I decided to try something new. I ended up trying Crossfit, since I had a few friends who went to a “box” that was literally less than five minutes from our house. Ian and I went for several months, and I liked the workouts, but it never really felt like the right fit. I have weird social anxiety, which I know anyone close to me would find hard to believe, but I get quite flustered around groups of people I don’t know.
About six months after starting, and after my diagnosis, I stopped attending Crossfit and for the most part stopped running. I still got in the occasional workout, but I was much more sedentary. And this continued, for another year. Then I got this awesome new co-worker who also felt stuck in a bit of a fitness rut, so we started making little challenges; jumping jacks while waiting for a machine fan to come on, complete work on a machine, do ten push-ups, etc. It was nice to actually be doing something again, but I wanted to do something more. I contemplated joining the Y again, but it’s so far from our house it didn’t seem reasonable. I asked our friend Charlie which box she was going to, and it turns out it is less than five minutes from the park-and-ride where we catch the bus to work.
I’ve learned that Crossfit truly is about the community. I love the box I go to now, and that’s because of the people there. Everyone has made me feel welcome, and there is constant encouragement to try harder and make myself better. Every day I feel stronger, mentally and physically, and I have even reached some of my goals (doing ten “real” push ups- not on my knees). I always look forward to going, and there is always something to work on improving. I would not be so excited about it were it not for the amazing people there.
From now on, I am never going to try to be a skinny girl. I am going to be fit, strong, and determined. I am going so set goals, and work toward them, but it will never be about a number on a scale again. It’s a lot more fun that way!