Meet CFCC Member Jill and learn more about how she started CrossFit!

My curiosity around CrossFit began after I graduated college. The late-night snacking and boozing of my collegiate years continued with me as I sat sedentary at a desk and crunched through a ton of Excel spreadsheets, answered emails and hopped onto conference calls. Why meet in person when we can just instantly message or call each other at our desks? I started to realize that this complete disregard for needing to move during the day was probably why my pants felt tighter and my energy was super low. I took naps before making dinner and would pretty much lounge on the couch, iPhone in front of face, TV on, every single night until bed. At the recommendation of my sister, I started utilizing the gym in my apartment building and reading healthy lifestyle blogs to get inspired and to keep myself motivated. These blogs are where I first stumbled upon CrossFit and my curiosity skyrocketed. Everything looked super fun, but also super hard. Barbells, pull-ups and headstands…yeah ok.

I immediately told myself I was so out of shape and there was no way I could do it. Somehow that same sister convinced me to try doing one of the travel WODs these bloggers would post. Long story short, I ended up walking out halfway through it, gasping for air, completely frustrated and even more unmotivated. I told myself to look elsewhere for fitness because this CF stuff was for legit athletes, which I never ever was and never ever will be. So for some reason, my next idea was to start running. I mean anyone can run, right? It’s just one foot after the other, over and over and over. I started tackling longer and longer distances and started participating in races around Philadelphia – through the Art Museum, Kelly Drive and even down the infamous 10 mile stretch of Broad Street. As proud of myself I was for being able to complete all of these races, I still never felt like an athlete.

One day while catching up with a few co-workers, we got around to chatting about our latest fitness routine which is where I found out that one of them did CrossFit. I immediately responded with, “OMG I have always wanted to do that, but I don’t think I could” to which he told me, “No way. You definitely can”. Because of his unexpected response of complete encouragement that I COULD actually complete a CF WOD, I started asking him a ton of questions – How long have you been doing it? What is it like? Where do you go? Do you feel like you’re going to die every time you go? Am I going to stick out in the room of chiseled god-like creatures? (Jk didn’t ask the last one). After much patience and probably a ton more stupid questions, he sent me to CFCC’s website to sign up for the Foundations program. I puttered around, gave excuses like “ugh I’m so busy at work!” or “I have an upcoming race!” until I finally decided to try it out. What did I have to lose? I had just turned 26 so why not now try and become the athlete I never thought I could be?

To put it frankly, I came to CrossFit after a long time of trying to tell myself I couldn’t do CrossFit. And after finishing the Foundations program at CFCC, I now know I was completely wrong.

On day 1 of program, I walked into CFCC and was introduced to the amazingly rad, awesome Coach Erin and….handstands. I mean, the last time I tried a headstand I’m pretty sure Rugrats was still being shown on Nickelodeon. This is the craziness I knew I couldn’t do and wasn’t prepared for as a non-athlete. But through Erin’s helpful coaching and extremely supportive environment of my fellow CF newbies, I found out how much I am capable of anything – including handstands, olympic lifts and pull-ups! I actually even audibly surprised myself after being the first person in my Foundations group to complete our met-con. Was that really me that did all that? Guess so. Through the process of learning all of the movements, I also found out that building up strength and confidence continues to build even after transitioning our of Foundations and onto the main floor. Was I going to leave Foundations being perfect at everything? Nope. No one really ever does. But what I learned in the introductory sessions has laid a great path for me to understand myself so I work with the coaches to continue to improve and get better and stronger. Erin told me that I was more than ready and prepared for my test-out through the twelve Foundations sessions. When I met with Morgan, I was a little nervous but she quickly told me that I had nothing to worry about as we completed each of the movements.

Last night I completed my first WOD and it was a doozy. But was it enough for me to walk out just like I did earlier when I tried out a WOD with my sister? Nope. I stayed until the very sweaty end and fought for every single one of those thrusters, squats and pull-ups all because of the amazing support and training I got through the Foundations program with Erin. So for those people out there that don’t think they’re enough of an athlete to try out CrossFit, I highly recommend signing up for the full Foundations cycle and I hope that they find out their true athletic potential, how fantastic the CFCC staff is and how hilarious, supportive and fun the fellow CFCC athletes are just like I did.

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