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What’s CrossFit iQ? It’s more than an industrial building with a Big Ass Fan and some weights, bars and ropes. It’s a place where I once stalked out to my car, unspeaking, ready to burst into tears after a tough workout that left me feeling like a failure. It’s also the same place from which I’ve practically skipped to my car, beaming and proud about getting RX.
CrossFit is intense. The workouts challenge you daily. What made the difference between those two trips out to my car? The first experience happened near the beginning of my time at iQ. The trainer, Q, text me that night: “Don’t ever leave feeling that way. Talk to me. Let me give you some perspective.”
I let him in that day, and I’ve had a new perspective ever since. Q doesn’t let his ego get in the way of coaching, and he certainly doesn’t let mine. In fact, egos don’t count for much at iQ. The members support one another to no end, even when that means having their own time or weight beaten. An individual accomplishment provides a proud moment, but it’s truly something when shared by a community.
We’ve injured our eardrums shouting words of encouragement (Eric!), slowed our pace to run alongside another while sweating on the way back from Clearly and posted hundreds of excited comments about others’ PRs online. We’ve felt the disappointment of a missed goal, and not just our own.
So, yeah, CrossFit is intense. It’s also fun, inspiring and something I can’t live without. Coincidentally, that’s also how I feel about iQ.
I always thought I knew what fitness was, and how to get myself into shape. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, playing on nationally ranked youth soccer teams and a nationally renowned collegiate team. I have raced in multiple 5k’s, 10k’s, as well as half-marathons, so I depicted myself as an elite athlete. However, after six months of crossfit I couldn’t have been farther from the truth….actually it only took one day.
When I first heard about crossfit I thought it was an aerobics class where people gathered to some isolated location to workout, like the kid in the gym who works out in the corner. Being a fitness enthusiast, as well as being bored of my same old same old routine, I figured I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a shot.
I will always remember the first time I stepped foot into the box, a.k.a the gym. There were three people doing power cleans, push ups, and air squats for 3 minutes and resting for 1 minute, for a total of 5 rounds recording their total number of reps (I later found out this WOD was called “The Chief”). Still not intimidated by the sweat, grunts, and cries from the members working out, I figured it couldn’t be as hard as anything I have done; after all I’ve been through 3-a-day soccer practices in summer heat.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was on my back after only 3 rounds, and struggling to complete the last two rounds. My world had been rocked….choked, slapped, and body slammed all after 1 workout!!!
The next day I had felt pain in every part of my body, pain I hadn’t felt since the first time I lifted….and I loved it. I knew right then and there that this wasn’t your average aerobics class. No, this was something that only a crazed maniac with no regard for their body would try, and I was hooked.
I have been crossfiting now for six months and don’t see myself ever stopping. In my brief time of crossfiting I have set PR’s in every physical category, I have more energy, lower stress levels, and have transformed my body into what was once a figment of my imagination. My friends thought I had a problem, because the first thing I talked about when I saw them was the WOD I did that day. However, when I Googled their nearest gym and signed them up for a free trial, they too fell victim to the crossfit addiction after only one workout.
6 months ago, a friend of mine suggested I try this new CrossFit gym that just opened up called CrossFit iQ, so I called and scheduled my free trial. I walked into the first class and was introduced to “Q”, who welcomed me to the other 4 members of the class. I noticed that they were all in pretty good shape and about half my weight, which made me a little nervous. I was then introduced to the “WOD”; little did I know that would soon be a term I used in my everyday life.
“5 Rounds For Time! 3, 2, 1, GO!” 13 minutes in and I’m ready to quit. I hurt, I’m tired, I’m out of breath, and I just can’t seem to get enough water to compensate for all the sweat. Everyone else has finished and I’m barely halfway done. One of the members of the class, Eric, came over to me without hesitation and picked up a set of weights and started doing the workout with me! He was visibly exhausted but he counted the reps out loud right alongside where I was. “Let’s Go! Come On! Push!!” 7, 8, 9 “Almost There! Time For The Run! Don’t Stop!!” He ran behind me and pushed to make sure I didn’t quit. He showed me how to breathe so I wouldn’t get out of breath or cramp and he made me complete it all. When he yelled “TIME!” as I entered the gym I gave him a huge hug and I felt like crying. I never would have been able to do it if it wasn’t for him and I couldn’t believe that I did it, I finished.
That moment changed my life forever. A complete stranger wanted to help me and believed in me to do it. He showed me that I didn’t have to be this person anymore and that it was time for change. I took the jump and signed up with Nicole and made the commitment. She worked with me on the importance of nutrition and got me hooked on the Paleo Diet. The weight was just melting off of me, right along with my walls of insecurities. I’ve lost over 50 pounds so far and I’ve gone down almost 9 sizes. I actually enjoy shopping now and I love playing sports, surfing and running with my dog, all things I couldn’t do because I was so out of shape. When I look back, I see a stranger. A stranger with very little self-esteem or confidence. I see someone who wanted to make a change but was too afraid of failing to act upon it. Yeah, sure I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I’ve gained so much more inside. I’ve gained self-confidence, a sense of worth and achievement, but most of all a family. My iQ family.