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Jenn H: What I Am Capable Of

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My story begins with another embarrassing physical fitness test failure for the military. It was hard to pinpoint why I failed again. I have been working out, the usual stuff at the usual gym. Days divided up by body part and a grueling 45 minutes to an hour on the (insert whatever cardio torture machine here). Barely passing or failure has been my fitness history, and I was miserable. My workout routine was boring however necessary, year after year, it was the same thing but different gym.

Then late one night, I googled gyms and fitness clubs, and Crossfit South Bend came up. I had limited exposure, so I decided to do a little more research into it. Compared gyms and decided, Crossfit South Bend will be my next journey in fitness. Maybe this will be better, maybe, finally I will find enjoyment in working out… then my anxiety decided, “maybe not, look at those people, lifting all those weights, you couldn’t possibly fit in, in a place like that, go back to comfort and boring…” Anxiety won out a few times, I kept going back and forth, arguing with myself, “but why not me!” Eventually after two months of agonizing over my decision, or indecision… I signed up, I was doing this, regardless of what my anxiety said I was capable of, or incapable of. I ended up skipping the fundamentals I signed up for, because as much as I wanted that to be me… I was just not there yet. I signed up for the personal training option which was a much better option for me and my anxiety, since like it or not she was along for the ride… but we were doing this. Sitting in the parking lot at 0530 … I took a deep breath and walked into one of the best decisions of my life.

I won’t lie… it was tough in the beginning. I had never put my body through such intensity before (other than basic training when I was 18). Even though, looking back, it really was not that intense. Brandon was so awesome to work with. Not once was I judged because I was feeling nauseated, or couldn’t go into a full squat, or a number of other things I was unable to do at the time. He worked with me and my limitations, and pushed me more than I would have pushed myself. I could lift more than I thought, I just didn’t have the confidence in myself. With each class, and each lift, and the encouragement of each coach, the confidence came, and it stayed. I found a place I felt I belonged, which has always been a problem. Every time I walked in and saw people from all different backgrounds and body types working out together, encouraging each other, cheering for one another, celebrating a PR, I knew, without a doubt, this is my place, these are my people, I have found a place where I belong.

I have now been a part of the CFSB family for over 2 years now, and yes, it really is a family. Everyone cares and celebrates together, they notice when you are gone and remember events in your life and ask about them. I have lifted more weight then I thought possible. In the beginning, I firmly believed I would not be able to move anything over 100 pounds, now all of my lifts are over 100 pounds, now that is a warm-up weight. Now, I know, if I put the work and dedication in, I will hit that 150 pound power clean and that 300 pound deadlift. I have also recently ran my second fastest 1.5 mile. The last time I hit it that fast, was years ago and a very much younger me. I also competed in my first powerlifting competition, and yes, I belonged there, among the athletes (which I never in my life would ever call myself, but there I was, an athlete competing). Aside from my own personal gains and new found empowerment, watching others in the gym succeed, hit their goals, make their transformations both physical and mental, is amazing. I am so glad I decided to join the CFSB family, I love who I am now and nobody can tell me I cannot do something, now that I know what I am capable of (even if Carl has to tell me my weights are too light sometimes).