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Thoughts on CrossFit From a Woman's Perspective - Part II

The second installment in a continuing series of testimonials from the ladies of CrossFit Dilworth. Once again, this is hopefully a great chance for some of the women I train with each week to provide a glimpse into what CrossFit has added both to their fitness, and their lives overall.



As a female, what does CrossFit mean to you?

"I started CrossFitting for purely superficial reasons – to get “in shape” for my upcoming wedding. I’m almost embarrassed as I type that. While CrossFit did change my body in ways I never imagined any form of exercise could do, at some point it became more than a daily trip to the gym.

The initial intimidation wore off, and I began to welcome what I previously considered fears. The movements whose names I did not understand (what is a Clean and Jerk?? A Manmaker?!), the knowledge that I would finish last in the class, and the nausea that ensued from pushing myself beyond my physical limits were somehow addicting.

What’s more, these fears were empowering because little by little, I overcame them. Except the nausea – that still happens, just ask any Crossfitter."


How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?

"Empowerment is perhaps my favorite word to describe how I feel as a female crossfitter. Feeling strong inside the gym translates to feeling strong outside of the gym.

Working out alongside like-minded males and females who share in both my triumphs and defeats is exhilarating and motivating. I could not and do not remember what exercise was like before CrossFit, nor do I care to ever go back."




What does CrossFit mean to you?  

"Well, where do I begin…..I got to a place in my life where I had gained weight and was at my heaviest. So I tried: P90x, Group Power, Spin classes, Insanity and Kickboxing, which I did see some results but not enough because I still struggled to keep the weight off, tone up and I got bored. So I decided to try Crossfit (which I was pretty intimated by) and my body started changing, I noticed definition in my arms/abs and legs.

Crossfit also introduced me to a new way of eating and I have never felt better. So what does  Crossfit mean to me? I can’t really sum it up in one word because it’s so much more then that…..Physical, Emotional, Life-changing, Community, Healthy Living, Challenging and Passion but in order to really know what Crossfit means--you have to experience it for yourself!!"


How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?

"I was never really scared to weight lift: light weight and high reps. I was very scared of lifting heavy weights because I never wanted to look like a bodybuilder, I always wanted to have lean muscle and be tone. So when you so start lifting heavier weights you do get a little bulky but what is happening is your muscles are getting bigger and pushing the fat out.

Over time your muscle/body burns off the fat and then you have a lean/tone body. The important thing to remember is muscle burns more fat than anything! Now, I get excited when I post a PR (personal record) with any of my Olympic lifts! I also learned it doesn’t matter how long you work out, but the intensity you workout at…..Now I can’t imagine working out for two hours (like I use to at a gym)."


What would you say to other women who may be scared of, or intimidated by CrossFit?

"We were all there….walking into your first Crossfit box - everyone is yelling at/cheering for each other, dropping weights, equipment you never seen in a gym before, men with no shirts on and women in sport bras. It’s a lot to take in but after your first couple classes you find yourself craving that atmosphere and then you wonder how you ever workout before.

Working out a regular gym with different machines, treadmills, trendy classes, and everyone with iPods on (with no interaction with each other) is pretty boring and not effective to reaching your fitness goals. Once you start, your friends will begin saying stuff about Crossfit and won’t understand why you love it so much….. some of my friends call me “Crossfit Kristi” and personally I don’t mind it at all because I have never felt stronger and healthier!"




Why is fitness important to you?

"Growing up I never thought much about fitness, ate horrible and thought if I'm in decent shape now I'll be fine later. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with a heart condition and had surgery did I realize how important it was to challenge myself mentally and physically at the same time. My biggest struggle was as simple as walking up the stairs. I couldn't go but a few steps before my heart would pound, I would have a hard time breathing get frustrated and have to stop. I knew I had to do something if I wanted to enjoy everyday activities long term."

Why did you start CrossFitting?

"I decided to start CrossFit after talking to multiple people who had been doing it for only a short time and their bodies were completely transformed. I would get text messages from a friend in Seattle with a daily WOD and thought she was talking a different language. I had to keep asking “what is this?”, “what does that mean?”....”TTB...(toes to bar)...where is the bar??”

It took a while to convince me that what this fitness fanatic was doing was something I might be capable of. I was told I would absolutely love it and become addicted but I still harbored a fear that I would be too weak and not be able to keep up. I finally faced my fear when Jackie (who also trains at CFD) said, "Try it once, if you don't love it you don't have to come back. Just realize that everyone around you is at a different level and you go at your own pace."


What keeps you coming back to CrossFit Dilworth?

"The challenge, sheer exhaustion and the definition I see in places I never knew there were muscles! But most of all, it’s the environment. From the first class I took and still today, I've been encouraged not to give up and take it at my own pace.

The support you receive from people when you're the only one who is still doing the WOD and yet somehow you don't feel judged....it’s a feeling that is hard to describe. It’s the chants from those around you telling you "You got this, Amber" that make you seek out that last ounce of energy you thought was spent. The coaches and members at CFD have provided an environment that makes me want to push myself and make me realize it’s not what you can't do, it’s doing the things you never thought you were capable of."