Coming from our 2nd place finisher in the Whole Life Challenge:
I joined CrossFit about five months ago to work on my health and fitness. I had always been fit but somehow life got in the way and the pounds and inches began to stack up. I started working out on my own, at work, but I soon realized that didn’t accomplish what I needed nor did it provide the fun environment necessary to make it last. I had heard about CrossFit when I was in Iceland earlier in the year and again from my daughter whose friend is an avid CrossFitter, so I decided to look it up online. I found CrossFit Woodbridge, contacted Dan and things were set in motion….haven’t looked back since.
I can admit that I was a bit intimidated after showing up for the first time to observe a class. The WOD was “Angie”!! I recall thinking to myself “this is crazy……but wow I have to do this!!” I mean, really, who wants to, or can, do 100 pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and squats? It’s insane, I couldn’t do one pull-up, but the people in the class did it! Some were fast while others took longer; some had the assistance of rubber bands for the pull-ups but one way or another everyone managed to get through the workout! That’s what intrigued me — everyone got through it at their own pace and that was ok! That is exactly the cool thing about CrossFit, anyone can do it as all they have to do is adjust each movement to their level. I realized that day that in order for me to do this I had to be willing to check my ego at the door…..I did and although I still hear the “ego voice” every now and then I ignore it and just keep going knowing that’s the only way l will reach my goals!
A couple of months into my membership the box announced the Whole Life Challenge. It was an eight week challenge that basically requires you to think about food differently than before, emphasizes the importance of exercise every day (even as little as ten minutes of active recovery), along with ten minutes of daily mobility and taking fish oil every day. The biggest challenge for me was to stay away from all sugars as it didn’t take me long to realize that much of what I ate and drank included sugar!! It’s not rocket science but it sure works! I lost a total of sixteen inches of my body and haven’t felt this healthy and fit in a very long time. I will definitely continue to follow the basic principles of this challenge!
I grew up being very active in sports and played soccer at a high level, including in college. I’ve coached soccer and consider myself a true soccer fan. It didn’t take me long to realize that CrossFit is more than just another way to get fit, it’s a fantastic way for athletes of all sports to bring their game to the next level! Coming to that realization I quickly enrolled two of my kids in CrossFit (one in CrossFit Kids) and they love it and have both found improvements in the way they play the game. They are stronger, leaner, quicker and faster but the transformation has just started as they only recently signed up.
CrossFit has become an important part of my life, I started out with going 3 days per week but soon realized I wanted more so I signed up for the unlimited package. I know it works as long as I just show up and try my best! The coaches, Dan, Nick, Lloyd and Eve are all fantastic and the environment at the box is great thanks to their leadership! They make sure that every exercise is done properly as that maximizes results and helps prevent injuries. The membership is energized and motivated to not only improve themselves but also to help and encourage those around them. The atmosphere is unique…..there is just something there that I can’t quite put my finger on…..it’s just a very cool box!
Your local New Orleanian here…I still consider myself new to the area, even though I’ve been here since 2005. I Lived in Bowie until 2008…Lorton until 2009…got married, moved to Woodbridge…had my first son…then got fat…lol. My wife didn’t gain a pound, but I gained 50. I couldn’t even make it up my stairs without panting. I started thinking, if I kept this lifestyle going, how was I going to play with my son? What type of role model would I be eating whole pizzas and a dozen donuts in one sitting (yep, that was me)?
I had a couple of friends that were doing CrossFit, and one of them told me there was a “CrossFit Woodbridge” near my house. I sat on this information for about 4 months, telling myself that I would check it out one day. Then, a phone conversation with my Dad made me reach out and contact the gym. My Dad told me, “Son, you’re getting fat”. I mean, I knew it, and so did my friends and family but, my Dad was the only one who had the courage to let me know.
When I did my introductory WOD, I almost didn’t sign up. I could barley breathe. But, I hate being told I can’t do something, and for the first time in my life, I was telling this to myself. I wouldn’t let me beat me anymore. I wanted to take control of my weight, eating habits, and life…so I signed up.
I joined CFW in June (Weight: 250 lbs, Waist: 43 in., Hips: 50 in.). By July, I was seeing amazing results (Weight: 225 lbs, Waist: 39 in., Hips: 47 in.). August was even better (Weight: 217 lbs, Waist: 36 in., Hips: 45 in.). September was better than August (Weight: 207 lbs, Waist: 34 in., Hips: 44 in.). I mean, you get the point. My goal was to reach 200 lbs, but as of yesterday I have exceeded my goals and expectations (Weight: 190 lbs, Waist: 33 in., Hips: 40 in.). 60 lbs down, and bout 10 inches all around.
See, I have been taking pointers from each of the coaches at the gym. I was, and am, always observing the coaches and the “superheroes” in the classes. I learned about how to live the Paleo Lifestyle, how to pace myself, how important mobilizing is, and I am still learning and improving on different movements and techniques everyday. I found out that this getting fit thing is not just a place to arrive, but is truly a journey.
Right near October I started to stray away from my diet a bit. Then, the Whole Life Challenge came around. I was already eating Paleo, so it wasn’t much of a change for me, but it really made me re-adjust things and get back on track. Once I saw that following the guidelines
I really never thought I could lose weight or get in shape. I never thought I had the time. Really, this CrossFit thing was my last hope. Now, I feel like I can do anything. I have more energy, I sleep better, I stopped snoring (Thanks CFW…straight from my ol’ lady). I am addicted to fitness now. I even do my own WOD’s on the weekends.
You know, now that I think about it, I am really forging elite fitness…and friendships. CFW is almost like a home away from home for me. I can’t thank the coaches enough for just being themselves-regular cool people- and living healthy lives. People are always watching you, and I learn by example. Each of you have taught me more than you know…and in time…I will destroy all of you in a WOD…lol.
-Jared (New Orleans, 9th Ward…GEAUX Saints!!!)
Some things in life simply change you and stretch your capabilities. Joining Crossfit has been one of those experiences. From the challenging WOD’s to the encouragement you receive, you are pushed to become more then you think you are. While only a few months since joining I have learned a lot about fitness, dieting and myself.
Before Crossfit, I believed I was in decent shape. I would have sporadic visits to the gym, going quite often, but the habit would only last a month or two. In high school and college I prided myself on my strength and athleticism. Through college old habits would creep in and any gains I saw would fade away. I first heard about Crossfit during college where I played D-I rugby and dabbled trying out some WOD’s while at the gym. I moved down to Virginia in 2011 without knowing a soul. A sedentary lifestyle and a bachelors diet became destructive. In the summer of 2012 I was the heaviest I had ever been at 290, I shook my head and would become depressed at a poor body image. Something needed to change.
Crossfit started becoming a habit when I found out a friend at church was a level 1 coach. We would workout in his house gym on Sundays and would keep up with one another during the week. Accountability is a big part of Crossfit and later that would increase when I participated in the Whole Life Challenge. I needed more and looked at my schedule for something that would fit. Introduce Crossfit Woodbridge.
CFW quickly became a motivating factor in life. Before the Whole Life Challenge started I had lost 14 pounds in two weeks and was hungry for more. Then we started the Whole Life Challenge. The mix of a points system (I cursed myself about 15 times when I forgot to log points), accountability, diet change and pushing myself at the gym started to payoff.
At CFW I have seen a lot of progress and proud accomplishments. During the Whole Life Challenge I lost seven inches around my hips and three around my waist. Fear would creep in that as I lost weight I would become weaker. I laughed away that fear when I PR’ed my back squat at 465 and have watched my bands get fewer and thinner on the almost daily pull-ups. I can’t remember a time when I was in better shape and have enjoyed fitting into clothes sizes that I wore in high school. Taking the principles I have learned at CFW and introducing them to the people around me has become second nature. From my co-workers to the teenagers I teach, they have seen my transformation and want in (even when they laugh when I eat chicken without any rice). It is a happy moment when the students stop eating the cafeteria food and ask to eat the food I have brought, even when it is just vegetables.
Crossfit provides you a community to become something more. You dread the “no-rep” from the coaches but it motivates you to get it together and do it right. It becomes family as you push each other and cheer each other on as we all finish the WOD. Competition drives us all and motivates the soul. We are pack animals and need to know where we stand. It is exciting, humbling and joyful at the same time. Six in the morning is early, but when you can start the day laughing with one another and complete a WOD you can truly say you have accomplished more in one hour then ninety percent of people do in their entire day. You simply need to show up, the rest will take care of itself.
CFW is the total package. Great coaches, great members, great workouts. They want to see you accomplish more, a lot more then you can on your own, and go out of their way to see it happen. You will not find a better place to forge elite fitness, find community and have fun.