In 2007, after losing a loved one, I realized I needed to start living life healthier. I was 43 years old and weighed 274 pounds, my feet hurt and I became winded just from walking up a set of steps. I needed to do something and the sooner the better. I started that commitment by losing weight, and although I hated anything related to activity, I knew I had to add activity into my life in order to become healthy. First, I started walking in the evenings after dinner and progressed to running. Along with running I eventually included participating in a boot-camp style training three times a week. By doing this I became healthier and accomplished my weight loss goal by losing over 100 lbs. (See before picture below).
In 2009, I was in great shape and life threw me a curve ball. I was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t believe it; I had worked my butt off to get in shape and this happens. I had a choice, I could continue to stay active or feel sorry for myself. I chose to stay active and fight. During my treatments, I continued to run and participated in the boot camp when my energy levels were up. In fact, I ran a half marathon during my treatments. I’m convinced that because I was healthier at that point and in good shape, it was probably the best time to have cancer if I were going to have it.
Everyone needs to change up a bit every once in a while to take your body into a different challenge and technique. Otherwise you get used to your same old routine and you don’t see results, you just maintain and get too comfortable. I still wanted to keep challenging myself though — I love a challenge. In January 2012, I joined Crossfit Woodbridge. That gave me a place to work on my tone and my strength. I have really enjoyed the competition, the camaraderie, and the community atmosphere. Everyone supports each other and motivates. After finishing the daily WOD athletes cheer others on who have not finished, creating a team atmosphere which motivates everyone, helping them achieve their very best, and even go the extra mile. The coaches have what it takes to keep everyone on track regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and they challenge you. I found out about that when I had to have shoulder surgery that left me with the inability to use my left arm. I had the encouragement from the coaches prior to surgery to begin the training to support a right-arm regime. That helped me gain the confidence and strength to continue the WODs. They were creative in helping modify my workouts to allow me to fully participate. They even figured out the best way to modify the Whole Life Challenge (WLC) WOD which gave me the opportunity to participate in the entire challenge. My participation in the WLC taught me that I need to be accountable and pay attention to the signals my body and mind give me. When I felt bad or needed more energy it made me reevaluate whether I was eating enough of the right foods. It also showed me the importance of not only activity, but mobility as well. They all pay an important part in maintaining a healthy life style. Also, I learned the impact of not following these guidelines. When I choose to use the bonus points, I felt how my body reacted. It also taught me that it’s okay, as long as I get back on track.