I started at CFR 4 years ago (almost to the day). Prior to 1997, I always thought I was pretty fit. I played, coached, and refereed soccer and enjoyed the occasional hike and bike ride. The thought of going to a gym seemed so unnecessary and unappealing. I always felt fit. In 2014, I was about to begin to understand that my previous feeling of being fit was a delusional state of mind.
A few months into 2013 I had come to accept that I had become too obese to continue playing. I was aware that the added weight and lack of other exercise was contributing to the frequent injury to my ankles and knees. I vowed I would not return unless I lost 40 pounds. I was beginning to wonder if I'd be able to walk without pain in my retirement years.
So what brought me to CFR? For two years, my wife Janet and son Nate, both Crossfitters (at Sobo, now Pennant), had been bugging me to join their box. I visited their box in Southborough and didn’t like the smell of the air from off-gassing of the rubber mats covering the floor nor lying on them. In January of 2014, Nate suggested we plan on doing a Spartan Race together. Only problem, we all knew I would have to get in much better shape to live through the ordeal and I only had 6 months. He suggested we check out CrossFit Resilience making me aware that it was only 800 meters away from my house. We met Drew and toured the facility. I liked the variety and abundance of equipment, the type flooring material used, and the apparent care taken to clean and maintain the box. I decided to give the Elements a try; after a few classes with Dan and Brooks, I was hooked.
By the time the Spartan Race arrived I felt reasonably ready, though I was pretty disappointed that after 6 months of CrossFit, had resulted in me losing only about 12 pounds. But we all finished the race, jumping the burning logs together.
I managed to trim a few more pounds by the end of the year. Then along came the 2015 Paleo Challenge! It was the Dananators vs. the other half of the participants. This was a life-changing event for me. I now had a team-based, competitive reason, to develop more disciplined eating habits and to win a few bucks too. With this challenge, I took the opportunity to weigh and track my caloric intake and set a goal to lose 2 pounds per week. Within 14 months after starting with CFR, I had dropped a total of 50 pounds, and had become more fit than I had been in 40 years. As I promised my soccer teammates, I returned to play at the start of the 2015 season, now being able to run circles around them.
I’ve come to realize my primary CrossFit goal is to focus more on maintaining my strength, fitness, and resilience the best I can for as long as I can, rather than trying for another PR. My favorite work-out activities are deadlifts, hang power cleans, back squats, and sit-ups. When I started, I was barely able to do one sit-up. Now it's one of the few movements of a WOD where I feel like I'm getting a rest.
The only advice I can offer CrossFitters (particularly newbies and senior citizens): don't be hesitant to scale the work-out to the level that best suits your goals each day. It's more important to just keep moving.
“Resilience” is the perfect description of what our box represents. Indeed, I may often feel battered and bruised, but am thankful for our coaches who are always flexible and helping me to never feel broken. Resilience is the perfect name for our box.