Written by Katy Newman; age 48 (CFHE Member; July 2015 onwards)
My very first CrossFit class; I remember it well for the simple reason that Joe Blaylock made me cry, yes ladies and gentlemen you read that correctly, our very own Hawk Eye box owner, Coach and all round genuinely great guy Joe Blaylock reduced me to tears!
Now I suppose I need to put this outrageous statement in to perspective, what I meant to say was that the Workout that Joe programmed on my very first class reduced me to tears because it included a 400-metre run. To most people who work out this doesn’t sound a particularly long distance but for me, who at 44 years old at the time and who hadn’t done any running since leaving school a zillion years ago, it was the worst thing I had ever gone through! Cue the drama queen moment… I couldn’t breathe, my legs gave way, I came in to the box last, and I ended up in a crumpled heap on the floor! The only thing that made me feel better was a big hug from Emma (whom I had never met before!) The reason for the tears? I realised how incredibly unfit I was and I felt embarrassed.
Don’t get me wrong, I had always been pretty active, I had a busy job as a chef in my 20’s but I didn’t “keep fit” and had no desire too but when in my 30’s I started a job that involved most of my time in a car, in a meeting or sat in front of a laptop hence I began to realise that if I didn’t start doing something about it, I would end up regretting it.
Fast forward in to my 40’s and I was doing some fitness, I was walking my dog and I was very proud of the fact that I had joined a gym and had gone 3 times in 1 year, money well spent, I don’t think so!
My fiancé John introduced me to CrossFit, he had been going for 6 months and he kept going on and on and on and on and on and on about how brilliant it was and that I should give it a go, he would tell me what he had done after every class with such enthusiasm and kept going on about WOD’s, AMRAP’s and EMOM’s, it was another language and another world but to me it sounded like far too much hard work, especially at my age (yes folks I threw the age card in at every opportunity)! But one day to appease John I went along in trepidation, for a free trial.
This sounds quite dramatic and it’s meant to because it’s true, on this very day, April 7th, 2013, CrossFit changed my life.
I couldn’t get over how much fun it was! Everyone was so friendly and I didn’t feel embarrassed, working out with a talented group of people made all the difference to me. I had found that when I went to the gym on the 3 occasions I dragged myself there, walking in on my own, trying to work out how to use the machines (I think that was just me though) and leaving on my own, was no fun at all.
I soon began to feel fitter and healthier than I had ever felt. I had found something I really enjoyed and I could scale to my ability so I never felt I wasn’t capable of doing any of the movements and lifts and over time. I was beginning to feel confident with a barbell and swinging from a rig! After 6 months, I did something I would never have dreamt of doing before, I entered Total Warrior and a CrossFit competition! I had never competed in anything in my life, what was I thinking….
I managed to complete the 10k Total Warrior obstacle course, John stuck with me all the way round, it took me a while and I didn’t run all the way round but god it felt good to get over that finish line, I couldn’t believe I had done it!
Competing at the ‘Rainhill Trials’ was one of the most nerve wracking things I had ever done! I was in the beginners’ category and the day consisted of completing 4 workouts, it felt great working out with like-minded people of all ages and I found myself getting in to the final and finishing 4th overall in my category. I have never been what you call an achiever, I have always lacked confidence and belief in myself so coming 4th at ‘Rainhills’ was the best feeling in the world, I felt a sense of achievement and pride I had never felt before and that I was actually OK at something, CrossFit made this happen.