One year at Crossfit Impavidus has changed my life.

One day in June 2011 I was walking out of work and I had to go down 3 steps out of the building  to the side walk. I fell down the steps. I could not believe that I had lost my coordination and balance. I knew I was overweight and out of shape but I did not know it was that bad. So I played it off as best I could and popped back up and hoped no one saw me. I was at least 250lbs when I fell down those steps. I was always active growing up and playing sports. Heck I was 6’4”, 150lbs in high school. How the heck did I fall down? I had let myself go, in a big way.  My clothes were tight and going up in size. I was drinking 2-3 cokes a day and eating whatever and whenever I wanted — candy, chips, and other junk food. Plus having two kids I would eat  to help “cleanup” after dinner. Whatever they did not finish, I did. I also lacked energy. I was not motivated to do anything when I got home from work except watch TV and sleep.

I needed to do something and fast. Some one told me to check out this place called Crossfit. I had heard this person talk about the free workout on Saturdays and how they liked it so much. Something about tractor tires in parking lots and tossing medicine balls on walls if I recall.  I couldn’t do the free Saturday  workouts because of work, so I set up an appointment during the week for an introduction to Crossfit.

During the intro, coach Mark showed me around and explained the routine for the classes which are about an hour long. You come in and the board will tell you what’s going on for the day – a warm-up, skill, WOD (workout of the day), and athlete times. Then it was time to try to complete the intro workout to see if this place was really for me. I remember Mark joking “you won’t die, you have pass out first before you die”.

My intro workout was a 400m run followed by 40 air squats, 30 situps, 20 push ups, and 10 pull ups. Coach Mark kept encouraging me to keep going. All I thought was “I’m going to die, stop yelling at me” and “Do they do this to everyone?” I did not make it to the pull up part. Mark saw that I was dead and said I was done. I thought I was going to puke. I then got up off the floor and told Mark thanks and headed home. It was a humbling experience.

After I got home I started thinking about trying another gym. Should I go to Golds or Lifetime and try the one of those free trials?  I decided against it because I did not want to waste anymore time to get in shape by trying out these places I knew I was not going to like anyways. The next day I joined Crossfit Impavidus. The class schedule worked with my work schedule and I liked that it was only an hour out of your day. You work you ass off  knowing it will be over in an hour.  I started the 3 day a week program . 5A WOD, done by  6A. Off to work. Workout for the day: DONE!

My first 5A class included four other athletes with Coach Nick.  Because it was 5A,  I was not even really awake to understand what was  in store for me for next hour: I think the part of warm up was – hold a plank while your partner does 5 burpees, 5 rounds. What the heck was a burpee? My poor partner had to hold that plank while I figured it out! I can’t even remember what that first WOD was…

The first week was hard, good but hard. Changing your lifestyle is always hard, but I kept showing up at  5A every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It became a habit – like I needed to be there. Not because I was scared of the workouts, but because I didn’t want to leave any of my fellow athletes to have to do a WOD one on one with the coach. We became a team and didn’t want to let each other down.

Every week I started feeling better and better. I started to eat healthier and was not eating as much at mealtime. I found myself not going to the vending maching at work as much as I had been. I started to bring my lunch to work –  salads, fruit, vegatables, and other healthy things.

What is great about Crossfit Impavidus is the family atmosphere at the box. A bond forms between the athletes during class because you are completing the WOD side by side. No one cares if you are doing a scaled version or an Rx version of the WOD. The point is you are doing the WOD and pushing each other to the finish, and when you do finish you talk about the good and the suck

The social part of the this box is special. Everything from being on facebook to going out on a bar crawl is a blast. The CFI ladies go out for ladies night. The guys have yet to get their act together to go and do something but we will. These athletes are all great people and tremendous friends.

This box and its athletes are a big part of my life. They are supportive, kind, funny, and good hearted people. I would like to thank Co-owners Conan Bruce and Jerry Haran for opening this box in Ashburn. To the coaches, both former and current, thank you, thank you, thank you. Without you, who would push, teach, and motivate us? You are the best.

With year one in the books, I have lost at least 55 pounds and 7-8 inches of off my waist line. The photo below was from July 4, 2011 (left)  and the other was taken May 3, 2012 (right). My focus this next year is to work on better techinque in the weightlifting movements and to complete more WOD’s Rx. No excuses. WOD ON.

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