Good Morning CFTP Peeps,
I generally use these spotlights to speak to you about a particular skill or mentality we need to be a better CrossFitter but today I am going to change things up and hopefully do this more often in the future. I am still going to leave you with a challenge but I am going to let one of our members do the talking today. Before I do I want to make one observation and then I will let Steve do the talking.
In our gym we have many different types of athletes with just as many different goals. With that being said, just because someone else’s goals aren’t your own doesn’t mean they are wrong. Whether your goal is to lose weight or to become a regional CrossFit athlete it doesn’t matter. Both goals are just as important and we as a gym should support you to accomplish that goal. Be supportive of each other. Off my soap box and onto the main focus this week.
Today I have the opportunity to spotlight Steve Arnoldus. Steve came into the gym last February and has made amazing changes since. I would like to tell you why I believe this is the case and then I’ll let you hear it from him. Steve is a very dedicated and coach-able athlete. He is always looking to improve and better himself. When myself or another trainer puts a challenge in front of him his first reaction is. “Yes, coach.” He never complains, at least not to my face, and he believes in the process. A good example of this is just this past week I told him he needs to finish in under 11 minutes on Jackie… guess what he got? 10:46! Steve is a great example for all of us. I want us all to listen to his experience before making our New Year’s resolutions this year.
Coach Dan asked me to write about my experiences with CrossFit this week and I have to say I was honored.
My experience with CrossFit began in February of 2013 when my amazing best friend and wife Cammie purchased a group-on for a nearby “CrossFit” gym. Cammie and I had both become unhappy with our weight and physical endurance when playing softball or other athletic activities. On the scale I was topping out anywhere from 245 to 255 lbs. I was struggling with high cholesterol, liver issues, and borderline diabetes, along with constant back and joint pain.
Cammie and I had tried other gym memberships in the past to lose weight and had little success with no clear or outlined workout plan. So when Cammie signed us up for CrossFit I have to admit it was the first time I had even heard of it. I mentioned it to friends and co-workers who told me it was insanely hard and informed me “you’re crazy it’s going to kill you!” We attended our foundation classes and as we worked through the core movements I was clearly struggling with my endurance and muscle fatigue. I watched the more advanced athletes I thought to myself “What have I gotten myself into?”
Starting out, Cammie and I would make it one or two times a week. We felt intimidated by everyone that was WOD’ing around us. Everyone knew all the acronyms on the board and movements. We felt like fish out of water. That didn’t last long however, our CrossFit the Point family took us under their wings and helped us through the movements we didn’t know yet, and showed us “the ropes” in every aspect. I was so impressed by this and was amazed; this did not happen at the other gyms we’ve attended.
I ended up going on a business trip in April that kept me away from home for most of the month. I ate wonderfully bad (but yummy) food and did zero working out. When I came back home and started up again at the box I had a very difficult time re-adjusting. I would work out one or two times a week, and my body was thrashed. The soreness which followed after a WOD days after was agonizing! I kept thinking to myself that it would get better; I just need to let myself recover longer. Man was I wrong.
What I needed was a routine; coach Dave challenged me to “get your butt here every day!” I took his challenge and it was exactly what I needed. The soreness from pushing myself was (and is) still there but I now have the methods and skills to overcome it. Stretching, rolling out and keep moving, it was working! I was starting to see changes in my weight, my endurance and strength. Not to mention all the great compliments from my CrossFit family!
As I started to improve physically I noticed that the mental aspects of CrossFit were as challenging if not more than the physical. Another defining moment for me was during a WOD that contained a lot of double unders and burpees. I was physically and mentally tapped out. On the verge of quitting, there was Amber “Momma” Smith and Caleb Deibert watching me about to quit. They got in my face and encouraged me to keep going. I threw every excuse at them I could think of, “I can’t breath, I’m going to puke, I can’t keep going”. Amber smiled and said we’re going to do this together. Along with them both, I completed that WOD, although not in record-breaking time, I completed it.
It was at that point when I finally got it, CrossFit is about friends, family and being part of a team. We all work on our own goals and have our own obstacles to overcome but we’re not alone. CrossFit’ers encourage each other and push each other to become better. We each know what it’s like to be dying in the middle of a workout and that sometimes you just need that extra push from a spouse, friend, athlete or coach to get us through it. I was hooked!
Along came Lurong.
In August coach Dan challenged our box to participate in the Lurong Living Paleo challenge. Great, “What the heck is “Paleo?” I thought to myself. After little research and a lot of encouragement from coach Dan; Cammie and I decided to sign up. We found out really quick that eating clean was extremely challenging. Challenging but doable with the right amount of planning. Again our CrossFit family was right there supporting each other.
I noticed as we moved through the Paleo challenge that my strength and endurance was improving and the weight just started falling off. I had made a commitment to Cammie that when I hit 220 lbs I would make an appointment with our family doctor for a check up. By the end of the Lurong challenge I was down to 210 lbs and haven’t felt this good since high school. Cammie reminded me that I needed to see the doctor so I made the appointment.
Lab work and a week before my appointment I kept wondering what the results would be. I was down nearly 40lbs since my last visit. My appointment day came as I waited for the doctor to come into the exam room I found myself getting nervous and anxious to hear the results. As the doctor started going over the result she literally was doing a happy dance in the room with me. My liver function was back to normal, my bad cholesterol was 10 points below normal and my good cholesterol was 10 points above normal. I was blown away as was my doctor. She asked me what I had been doing, I told her enthusiastically CrossFit and eating clean.
“Keep it up!” the doctor said, and that I intend to do. Although I’ve seen major changes in my health I still have goals to complete. There will always be a new skill to master and times to improve upon. For anyone that’s on the fence about CrossFit I would encourage them to come to CrossFit the Point and hang with us for a month. The love and support you will receive is second to none. I can’t thank my new friends and family at CFTP enough. They have helped my wife and I change our lives for the better and for that, I will be forever grateful for the encouragement and support we’ve received.
My experience with CrossFit has been simply amazing; I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I love CrossFit and I love my CrossFit family at the Point!
Thank you Steve for answering the call once again and sharing with us your experience. I think I speak for the whole CFTP Family when I say we love having you and Cammie at the gym as well.