|Google image...not me!|
Community. It's something I had read about and watched countless videos about. One of the big allures of CrossFit is not only the ripped abs and bodies often produced but the community that CrossFit gyms have. Due to the extremely loose requirements to open a legit CrossFit box (simply a Level One certification), what every box looks like is one-of-a-kind. From the programming, structure, class-climate, equipment, etc., it's all different. The "vibe" and community, too, are one-of-a-kind and may or may not even exist. I had been looking for this community for several months into this journey yet never found it. I found some awesome new friends but the community, no matter how hard I tried to find it or even volunteer to build it, never appeared. My new home couldn't be more different. It's normal for the grill to get fired up and steaks thrown on it after a long day. It's normal for laughter, taking fun jabs at each other, and celebrating new achievements together. It's normal for the gym to post advice on nutrition and science behind it. It is normal to have a clean gym and pride in it. It's also normal to accept that we're all built differently, have different abilities, but to expect us to all give 100% within those abilities. Heck, we're even going to hit up a Cleveland Indians game soon as a "family." It's not just about moving weight around and sweating a ridiculous amount, it's also about living and living abundantly. Doing the workouts becomes empty if not for a growing "community" and for me, I'm incredibly thankful to have found mine.
|This past Friday...a little bit of cleanup is needed! CHEST DAY!|
The Icing on the Cake. I am positive that many enter CrossFit the first time because of the pictures of others they see. The 8 packs...the shapely shoulders, toned chests and butts that clearly squat often. That wasn't my driving force...I'm the exception. I will also say that CrossFit's impact on the body is different for every person out there. Not only are we physiologically different but our stress levels, amount of sleep, nutrition, length of time spent in the gym, effort given...it all feeds into the results. Yesterday, our newest coach, Ashley, did body fat measurements prior to the squat clinic using calipers. While it's not the most scientific method, it's better than what the military does to me...jump on a scale, measure my neck and abdomen, and call it a day. For years, they have called me borderline obese. Well, I came in at 10.2% body fat yesterday when I was expecting a number near 20. I haven't even lost 10 pounds since November last year, though. However, I've essentially flipped the "pear" over. Before, I was shaped more "pear" like with zero definition of anything in my upper body with a spare tire that would never go away, even running 200+ miles a month. Today, the tire is almost gone but I have that definition up top. The jeans were a tight 34 or 36 and today are a loose 32. While the scale shows little change, the mirror reflects a total change. I've got photo proof but for today, I'm just not comfortable showing them...not sure if I ever will be! But yea, it's the icing on the cake. It's great to finally "fill out" my military uniform as it should be and have clothes fit tighter in "good" areas and loose in the previous "bad" areas.
It wouldn't be a normal post of mine without some photos so I'm going to stop typing and share some photos. I've given a bit of narration under each one to explain it. If you want to stay more in touch on a daily basis, subscribe to my Instagram feed. (link is at top right of blog if viewing on a computer) I post most often there and try to post less on Facebook.
|My little creation one day playing around. Ready to slap one of these on the back of my car!|
|Oh yes. This would be the bar I wrote about where I bled and spend a lot of time working. Of course, I cleaned the bar that day but I return daily to get stronger. I love working on this bar.|
|Yea...this is pretty normal lately along with my new addiction of sweet potatoes. Need protein!|
|Always proud of my bride. She has the attitude I need. She keeps it positive and displays the attitude I need in the gym.|
|Such a burn. It's not so bad pushing the sled with those tall bars. It's the return trip with the lower bar that light up the quads!|
|One photo from my first-ever competition during a hand stand hold at CrossFit Steeltown in PA.|
|Ah yes...gymnastic rings. The "holy grail" movement in CrossFit is the muscle up. I am slowly moving towards attempting my first one but for now, am working on pull-ups using the rings and getting my hands in the proper positions.|
|Self-explanatory. One year before and after...same spot...different morning.|
|We use the GHD's in the background and the kettle bells and boxes quite a bit. It's commonplace now to warm up with back extensions and GHD situps daily on those guys back there.|
|Honestly, I wouldn't want to do this "just me." We're approaching 23 years now and doing this together is critical for me. It's safe to say I am not meant to be alone...she can attest to that! While we may not always sweat together at the gym, we share the journey, encourage each other, and celebrate the little victories. 23 years is a long time but I wouldn't want to travel this path with anyone else. CrossFit doesn't define me or us but it does teach us how to live better and enjoy it. That along with our grounded faith and commitment to each other makes a life worth living.|
Click here for my entire CrossFit series since 11/2014