April has been a month of highs and lows. I think that’s just how life is most of the time. I wrote a blog post about change a few weeks ago, and got a lot of positive feedback about it. Most people admitted that change is something they struggle with regularly. I think that being able to spin change that occurs in our life in a positive direction is very important. It’s sometimes difficult to not view change from a victim point of view; as in “why has this happened to me?”
In my life, my mother has been the person that has taught me the greatest lessons about dealing with change and adversity. She helped me see that viewing change negatively will not do anyone any good, and she has helped me to value change as an important learning tool for living. My mom has also been steadfast in assuring me that making decisions is important and staying true to your decisions while moving forward in a positive direction is how we change and grow. It’s not always easy, but it works.
My brother, Kyle, and I have had the pleasure of working with both of our parents for the last few years as they each began their CrossFit journey. They supported Kyle when he began working out with people in our basement, and gave him the courage to rent his first garage space back in 2011. Our mother’s transformation has been amazing. I always remember her being a role model for me when it came to eating healthy foods and living an active life. As I got older I began to pick up on the adulthood struggle with weight. My mom always called it a “constant battle”. I always wondered why it was so hard and if I would have to face it myself at some point. After 3 years of consistently working out and eating a healthy, whole-foods diet without grains and refined sugar Mom has won that battle. She is one of the most dedicated members, she listens, takes time to work on weaknesses, and participates in the wonderful community of TFCF. We often joke the she is aging backwards, or “getting younger with age”, like the movie character, Benjamin Button.
I am so thrilled to recognize Charlene, known around the gym as Char, as The Fort’s April Member of the Month. Congrats, Mom, you deserve it. Please read about Char’s journey, in her own words, below.
First off, thank you for this recognition; this is something that I never EVER considered for myself. I actually cried when I read the email from Ashley and then I thought……they must be joking with me! Ash assured me that it was not a joke and that I should write about the journey.
So here goes…….My journey has been in the works for about three years. I started with the sole purpose of being able to converse with my kids in this new language…..burpees, paleo, WODs, AMRAPs, DUs… In the beginning, Kyle had the pleasure of meeting me in the basement at 5AM and taking me through the movements. This has probably been his biggest lesson in patience so far! Let me be clear, I have never played a sport, I’m not competitive and not quick to grasp movement cues. So time has passed and I have plugged along consistently doing banded pull-ups, and modified movements. Little by little, the bands have gotten thinner and the modifications have become less. I’ve practiced the hell out of double-unders (DUs) and now can do 20-25 unbroken pretty consistently. I’ve done the same with pushups and have that skill now too. Consistent practice is my key to learning. I really love the EMOMs and lifting cycles because the repetition helps me GET IT. I was able to hit a front squat PR of 155 this week and was thrilled! (Thanks Ash for the magic shoes!) I also was able to do 2 deadhang pullups …….those were a LONG time coming! I struggle with overhead movements and wall balls but little by little, as my mobility, strength and coordination improve, I make some progress.
The paleo journey has a similar timeline and has been the other key to changing my body composition and improving my overall health. These changes have been slow and steady just like in the gym. I’ve lost 20-25 lbs and 3-4 clothing sizes. The paleo lifestyle has become very satisfying to me and I seldom feel deprived or have cravings.
My journey is simply about consistency; coming through the door and doing the best I can on that particular day. I compete with only myself but LOVE witnessing the progress and transformations of my FORTmates. The safe, positive environment of the FORT, our AMAZING coaches and programming provide the template for mastery, we just need to show up, listen and work hard.