I joined CrossFit in May of 2012 (just in time for my 30th birthday)! I felt fat, fluffy and had been physically inactive for over a year. I desperately desired to feel strong and beautiful in my own body and to actually like what I saw in the mirror-none of which I had been experiencing up to that point.

When I first started at Hydro, I went through a period of feeling really uncomfortable (shame, guilt, embarrassment). However, I committed myself to CrossFit. So despite how inadequate I felt, none of these internal obstacles were going to stop me. I was riddled with anxiety, fear and brimming with self-doubt about my ability to even run-let alone put a heavy weight over my head. I was intimidated by the combination of beefy guys, svelte ladies and a keen awareness of the eternal jiggle that occurred in my own body with each movement that I bashfully attempted. However, some of these same sources of intimidation became my most sincere, encouraging friends and cheerleaders-celebrating my growth and accomplishments-even before I would acknowledge them for myself.

CrossFit has changed my life each day by getting me out of my head and into my body. It continues to change my life through consistent confrontation on variable levels, but always in tandem with the support and instruction needed to progress through each obstacle that presents itself. From the very first day, I was invited to let myself feel very vulnerable. Through regular exposure to patient coaches and enthusiastic gym-mates, not only was my body going through training and becoming stronger; but my inner dialogue was also being re-trained-becoming positive and encouraging. I have experienced breakthroughs of personal significance within the gym that have directly correlated to the steady confidence I enjoy inside the gym.

To anyone thinking about getting into CrossFit: you will very likely come face-to-face with what you perceive to be the worst, most unlovable parts of you at the beginning. This would naturally seem unbearable, except for the strong hands, sincere hearts, and powerful influence of the positive men and women you immerse yourself in every time you show up. These elements, combined with my willingness to participate, are what serve to progressively edge me deeper into my thresholds and propel me to achieving any goal I set for myself.