We all remember that first day we walked through the doors of our first CrossFit gym. For me it was March 23, 2012…
But let’s rewind a little…
On Sept 25, 2011, my boyfriend and I moved 450 miles away from home, just the two of us (and our cats). I telecommuted from our condo in VA for a company based in Rhode Island, and traveled back to New England every other week. I joined an all-woman gym down the street from the condo and would go before dinner each night. My days consisted of working on my computer from my home “office”, and working out solo in the gym down the street - rinse and repeat. I was lonely. It was hard…it sucked actually. NOVA did not feel like home to me.
My only friends lived in Maryland and we would see them once a month when my travel schedule allowed. One night over dinner they started talking about how awesome their morning was and this “PR” that they hit. “WHAT? You HIT something? Like with your car?” I thought to myself. They told us about their CrossFit box. Again I thought “WHAT? A box? Huh? My cat likes to sit in boxes??”
A few months later we joined them for a birthday celebration. Suddenly, our little group was surrounded by all these fit individuals at Fogo de Chao in Baltimore, friends from their “box”. They were so intimidating! Conversation naturally strayed to CrossFit and I thought, “CrossFit is for sure not right for me, I don’t look like that at all!!” But the entire group was so friendly and inviting and talking about how great it was and that I should give it a try! “Well, wouldn’t hurt to try it”, I thought to myself.
I researched CrossFit and local boxes around us; on my lunch break I stopped into one. There was this guy working one-on- one with a group of ladies on ring dips. Everyone was smiling, laughing and having a blast! I chatted for a few minutes with him and he invited me back for a trial class.
The following week I was a bundle of nerves, I had secretly spent all weekend watching CrossFit videos on YouTube and had thoroughly freaked myself out. What was I getting into? OH MY GOSH! Can I do this?
I drove over to the gym that afternoon sweating before I even started working out. I sat in my car for a few extra minutes giving myself a pep talk. I’d just go to this one free trial then starting tomorrow I would go back to my woman-only gym. I could practically hear the elliptical calling my name. I’d tell my friends I had tried it but it wasn’t for me.
I slowly walked towards the building and saw a guy stumble out and lay on the sidewalk. “Don’t go in…it’s a hard one today” he said with a smile and a wink. “OH CRAP!! What am I doing!!! Can I turn and run?” I thought. Then another group of people stumbled out giving each other high-fives and sitting on the curb. Ok, no one looked like they were dying. They were actually smiling and having fun, maybe I could do this.
I walked through the doors that day, March 23, 2012 unsure of what I was doing. I walked out an hour later, still unsure but knew that I loved it! I felt something I hadn’t felt since leaving New England. I signed up the next day for a membership. Over the course of the next 6 years I made more than PRs, I’ve made friends and family. My own little family in NOVA. That first day of
CrossFit meant more to me than just simply working out. I was becoming a part of a community in NOVA. No one knew me when I walked through that door but immediately I felt included.
Participating in CrossFit doesn’t just mean that you will get a good workout – you will, but you will also join this amazing community. One that doesn’t judge you, that helps you achieve your goals. I always say I came for the workout and stayed for the friendships. It doesn’t even seem like working out– not when you are among so many friends. And that’s what CrossFit means to me. Friends. If you feel like your workouts are missing something, come try a class. Come for the workout but stay for the friendships you will make.