It's wild how time flies. Ten months ago on August 15th 2011, I hobbled through the doors of CrossFit FX TX. Little did I know that it would change my life. At that time, bad health had taken a terrible toll on my body and I did not know how to fix it myself. The years of Chinese buffets with the guys at work and the array crappy foods I had eaten since moving to Dallas was leading me down to diabetes or worse. I was a sorry excuse for a human being, rotting and collecting dust like antique furniture in a thrift store. When I went to the doctor earlier that year, I went home with three different prescriptions. I decided that I had had enough and that I was going to do something about it, but I didn’t know what. My incredible friends, Mike and Trish Armstrong, had been talking about it for awhile and it got to the point where they would not shut up about it. It was always CrossFit this, CrossFit that. Thoroughly annoyed, I finally agreed to go. On August 15, 2011, scared out of my pants, I mustered the small amount of courage I had and marched my sorry butt into CrossFit FX TX. The first thing I saw was the sign on the front door saying "Leave your ego at the door" and I automatically respected the humble, but mighty place with the black rubber mats on the floor and the pull-up bars in the far right corner. Yes, I really liked and enjoyed the place itself, with the smell of the sweat, and blood shed there and the little intimidating sign on the door. But, I mainly loved the amazing group of people that occupied the establishment on a daily basis: Dylan, Coach G, Mama G, Melissa, Dustin, etc. I went in on that first day solely to lose weight, but I came out with a completely different perspective and a couple symptoms pointing toward asphyxia. I was there to better myself physically, including improving my cardio health, acquiring muscle, eating right, improving flexibility and balance, and overall working out correctly and safely without hurting myself, all while "Unleashing my human potential". That first month, I was so sore that I couldn't move. Nine months later, that still happens, but I've persevered through the soreness and have accomplished things I never imagined possible. Case in point: on New Year’s Eve 2011, I ran a 5k for the first time in my life and now even see a couple of mud races in my future!
Since then, I have continued to accomplish many more goals. Acquiring a six-pack has yet to come, but that is next on the check list! At 43 years old, I am fully confident I can kick the 23 year old Ahmad’s behind. Since the "CrossFit Epiphany", as I call it, I have lost 40 lbs and went down from jeans size 40 to 33, and God knows I never want to see those pounds or inches again. I feel good, have a great support group within my CrossFit Family, I look good because I’m in the best shape of my life, I have more confidence than ever, and I am ready to get in even better shape. I couldn’t have done all of these monumental things without the help of Coach G, the 6 P.M. class of misfits that I love, and my family. Because of you guys, I will show everyone at my next doctor’s appointment that I don’t need medicine...I need CrossFit. I will see at the Crossfit games, maybe!!
I have always been an athletic person. Through high school, I played every sport and was always on the go. Entering my adult life, my "activity" ended up consisting of a softball league and chasing my three kids. As a nurse, I was somewhat active at my job, but definitely not where I had been growing up, which eventually caught up to me. Add the stress of working nights for several years, and all of a sudden, I was tired and about 30 pounds over weight (60 pounds up from my overly thin early adult weight). I tried different workout programs, had a membership to two different gyms, attempted several different fad diets, even tried darn near starving myself. Nothing worked. I found myself yo-yo ing but never really happy with my results.
COURAGE, STRENGTH, AND DETERMINATION
My name is Sharon and I want to share my story and achievements. I want you to know you can do anything you put your heart into. Not your mind… your heart. Anyone can “think” of the goals they want to achieve, but only those that have a heart and a real passion for those
goals are the ones that can achieve them. And passion comes from the heart.
I started my journey to where I am now back in 2008. I was 367 lbs. I was sad, frustrated, mad at my self for not being able to keep up with the 2 kids I have. I had high blood pressure, borderline for type 2 diabetes, no drive to do anything. People that I work with didn’t really care for me because I was always so short with them. I was miserable.
I had tried every fad diet in the World, I even considered surgery to fix my weight. The easy way out as some would call it. I even printed a form to fill out and try out for the tv show called “The Biggest Loser”. But I would stop everything I started and never achieved anything but failure.
One day in the Spring of 2008, we were in our backyard building a fence after our old one blew down and I hurt my back badly. After numerous doctor visits, I ended up seeing an orthopedic who told me I would need injections from the pressure in my back after the injury. He said that some of it is old due to my weight and that is just pushed it over the edge from the injury during the fence building, but regardless, it would mean injections for the rest of my life.
He also gave me 3 different prescriptions that he told me I would be on for life. I then asked him if I chose to lose weight, if that would help my situation. “Maybe” but it would have to be a substantial amount, is what he told me. Between the doctor visits, copays, prescription copays and the antacid medicine I was already taking, my bills started getting really high really fast. And so began my journey. I decided at that moment in the doctor’s office that I was going to change my life forever. Now, just like before, my first thoughts were that I wouldn’t last a week. But I went and bought my first book on dieting and started adjusting my eating habits. I watched and wrote down everything that I ate and drank. Yes, even a mint went into my book. I tracked everything. I even preplanned my meals for a week so I knew what I could allow myself. I was at the time, on restriction from exercising so eating was my only tool I could use. Two painful weeks into my new “diet” I saw my first results of losing around 20 lbs. I recorded that too! I recorded everything!
By the time a month went by and my doctor told me I could start exercising, I had lost around 30 lbs. That’s when I decided to go ahead and try myself out with a workout video. So I found one with a stability ball and small dumbbells and started a few days a week in the
morning. After 3 months and about 50 lbs., I decided to go ahead and broaden my horizons with joining a gym.
As you probably feel now, I was uncomfortable and nervous in that gym. I felt inferior and judged. But I put my headphones on and just did what I could. I went out and bought another book on weight lifting and started following that. I started working out at the gym for
2 days a week. I made sure and did my cardio every time. I started with 10 minutes on the elliptical. 10 minutes was a long time to me! But 10 turned into 15, 15 to 20 and before I knew it I could stay on for 30 minutes.
A little short of a year later, and 5 days at the gym a week, I had hit my personal goal of losing 100 lbs. I made two promises to myself. First, don’t ever go back to where you were and second, keep going and pushing hard. Everyone has a comfortable limit and you need to go one step beyond. That one step is what makes or breaks you. Before I knew it, people were coming up to me asking me how I did it and how they can do it too!!! Asking me for advice, I felt absolutely amazing!!! Even my family members were asking me for advice and training tips!! That’s when I knew it wasn’t over for me. My next goal was to reach losing 150 lbs.
Four years later, I have shed 216 lbs. and feel amazing!! I know I am not done, nobody is ever really done, but I feel I am at the best shape I have ever been in for ME! I have really changed my life and my outlook on life. People like being around me, I can keep up with my
kids and I am giving out advice left and right!! I started taking a spin/cycle class with a local gym and it was the best thing I ever did!! I
decided after a 2 months of taking that class, I wanted to start teaching my own class. And that is what I have done!! I now teach 3 days a week! I also recently got hired to teach boot camp classes for Transformation Boot Camp on top of teaching spin! I am setting goals and busting right through them left and right!!! With a huge support system from my family(especially my mom), I have become the people I used to envy!
I reached a point about a year ago with my workouts that I knew I needed a little extra push and motivation. No motivation, no results. It was then I decided to try out a local gym I had heard so much about. Crossfit FxTx is a gym in our local city and many more throughout
the U.S. I had heard it was very tough and more of a boot camp style gym. This is no fad gym and from the outside doesn’t have the gym look. But step inside and you are in a different world.
I decided to try a class out and fell in love. CrossFit FxTx is made up of an amazing family that are all unique, motivational and supportive beyond all limits and it really shows on the inside and out. I take the 5 a.m. class during the week and look forward to seeing everyone each day! We come together and push each other through our workouts. Now almost a year later with bruises and soreness in places I didn’t know muscles existed, going to Crossfit FxTx is more of a drug than a must. I now have family at Crossfit FxTx I didn’t even know was missing from my life! I look forward to my WOD’s everyday! I have seen amazing results with my cardio, endurance, muscle definition and even my confidence! Crossfit FxTx was the ticket to achieving goals I didn’t even know I had. Now my goals are bigger and better thanks to Crossfit FxTx! The best part is they work with anyone and everyone and no one is left feeling out of place. Crossfit FxTx is for EVERYONE!
Oh and the medication I was taking, I no longer take any of it and never had to get any more injections after the first set of three I had to do at the beginning. Today I have run a few 5k’s and I recently ran a 15k and I am training for my first half in April. I am constantly asked how I did it and I can honestly say it was hard work and determination. Nothing more, nothing else. The right way, the hard way!! I competed in my first Crossfit Games at my box where I came in 2nd. I love to inspire and I will continue to do so as long and I am alive.
I have been told by so many that I am an inspiration and a motivational leader. I stay very humbled by those around me and thankful to have so many great people in my life, ESPECIALLY MY CROSSFIT FXTX FAMILY. Without them, I would not be the person I am today. THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU!
My journey with CrossFit started in October 2009. Some friends who belonged to the gym talked my husband and I into joining. I was quickly obsessed and in love with the workouts. I found it difficult to describe CrossFit FX TX to others. It was described to me, for lack of a better term, as “a cult”. I think that description fits perfectly. CrossFit makes you do things you never thought you could do or would ever want to do, like a 3-mile run in 30-degree weather while it’s snowing. I was working out four to five days a week and I think my weights and form were really coming along.
In February 2010, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I continued to do all the workouts without scaling for the first three months of the pregnancy. It was shortly thereafter that a very observant trainer noticed I was not doing my max deadlift and called me out on it. That is when I told all my CrossFit FX TX friends and trainers that I was pregnant. I think a little pregnant girl was new to all of them, but they were very supportive and eager to help me through the workouts. I was unable to work out for eight weeks due to medical reasons, unrelated to CrossFit. One of my last workouts before the eight-week break was “Murph”. I was so proud of myself! It was very hard for me when the Doctor said I could not work out. I think I went through withdrawals.
I was able to return to CrossFit FX TX when I was five months pregnant. At that point I definitely had to scale some of the workouts. I could not run more than 400 meters with out having to come in and pee. The baby did not like burpees either; the ligament pain and jumping up and down just did not mix. I substituted push-ups and air squats for the equivalent numbers. I also started using the 35-45 lb. bar for all my lifts. I had to substitute step-ups instead of box jumps because the jarring motion was difficult and I felt like that was too much for the baby. I did not really monitor my heart rate; I just listened to my body and rested more frequently. As we all know, just stepping foot in to a CrossFit gym and some of the warm ups make your heart rate go up. I felt really good doing the workouts while being pregnant.
It got very hard for me in the ninth month though. I didn’t even finished some workouts simply because I would have been there for an hour or more. It was discouraging always being the last one to finish, or calling out my small number of AMRAPs, or worse, not finishing a workout. Toward the end of the pregnancy, I was able to do most every workout with substitutions with the exception of sit-ups. I did do crunches for a while until even that became too difficult. I did “Filthy Fifty” when I was seven months pregnant. My husband said maybe I should take it easy. I told him “ are you kidding, I just did “Filthy Fifty” and I’m seven months pregnant”. I’ve never felt better.
My last work out at CrossFit FX TX was October 1st. Our daughter, Emerson, was born October 4th. I literally worked out until the end of my pregnancy. All the trainers and people were so awesome with supportive words or helping me set up or take down my weights. My labor and delivery was awesome compared to our first child. With our first child, I was in labor 16 hours and pushed for two and a half hours before he was born. I was in labor nine hours with my CrossFit FX TX baby and never had to push. Medically speaking, I’m not sure I can credit CrossFit FX TX for the easier labor and delivery, but if you ask me, I will tell you it was worth it. CrossFit FX TX has also played a big roll in getting my body back into shape after the pregnancy. After giving birth, I was up and going the next day in the hospital. I never felt better and was back at the gym within three weeks. Returning to CrossFit FX TX has been pretty humbling though. Workouts have been rough. My weights are not even close to my max and I am realizing my body is not quite back to normal yet. Perhaps it’s the sleepless nights. The trainers are helping me get back in shape and lose the last 10 lbs. of the weight I gained. I have never felt better and can’t thank CrossFit FX TX enough for being so encouraging and supportive!
My brother is in the Navy and was stationed in Japan. All he would talk about was Crossfit and how awesome it was. He came to visit last summer for his 30 days leave. He was adamant about finding a Crossfit gym and happened upon Crossfit FX TX. He went everyday while he was here and would get home and just go on and on about the awesomeness that is Crossfit. I went and watched him workout and was very intrigued by the whole thing. It’s different and I’m not an aerobics type of person, I need someone to tell me what I’m doing wrong and to push me. I read they offered a free try out and figured what the heck, why not. Well after I was able to walk again, I was hooked. It was like nothing I’ve ever done.
When I started in August of 2009 I weighed close to 230 pounds. I was going as often as I could, but it was very hard to be diligent. I had a meeting with Gerard and he started a plan for me. I needed to change the way I ate as well as change some other things regarding my lifestyle. It’s not easy; it’s actually the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
A couple of the many things that Crossfit has helped me with is that I’ve gotten stronger and I'm not afraid to try. I’m not scared to jump on higher stacked weights. I’m not scared to run. I’m not scared to just try and I have to thank Gerard and the rest of the coaches. I’ve learned to trust them in that they won’t let me get hurt and they know what’s best for me. They push me harder and my Crossfit friends push me to finish. When I first started all I wanted to do was quit, now all I want to do is finish, finish as fast as I can, finish as many rounds as I can and finish with nothing left in my tank.
I’m still going and I’m still finishing. I’m having so much fun and the people I’ve met have become my Crossfit FX TX family. When you do Crossfit, you’re not alone. It’s intense but anyone can do it.
I want to say thank you to Crossfit FX TX and especially to Gerard, you’re giving me my life back.
Above is a picture of me before and on my way to my physical and emotional transformation. I haven’t reached my goal, but I can see my goal and I’m not quitting until I get there.
Gerard BEFORE CrossFit Gerard AFTER CrossFit