It was morning, early, about 6am. It was a Monday. Pull up day. I place the band around the cold bar, stick my foot in, and proceed to pull my 135# self up high enough to get my chin over the bar. One, two, three, four….counting in my head. I hear the coach say “Andrea, you don’t need that band, it’s in your head, it’s a crutch”. I sort of shrugged and laughed it off and jumped up there again, foot in band, One…two…three. “Hey”! From behind me, “why don’t you just try”…..So, I did. I chalked up my hands and continued to do a little self talk. “Okay, jump up to the bar, widen your grip, keep your feet together and your body tight, think about a rubber band snapping, head through the window, push back – engage your lats, press on the bar, and pull up at that moment of weightlessness…..woah….what?!” What just happened???? Holy smokes, a pull up?? Me???? I just did that???
That flash in time is one of the most exciting, still to this day. Nothing in that gym trumps the moment I got my first pull up. I remember my first Handstand Pushup as well, almost as vivid, but nothing felt better than the day I realized I could do things with my body that I never thought possible.
Some may read that and think it’s silly for such a juvenile thing to be so impactful. To the people who think that, you don’t know me at all, this is no fault of your own.
My entire life I’ve wanted to “do fitness” in many ways. I tried a myriad of sports and gyms throughout my journey and never fully excelled in any one thing. Each time I was on any organized team I would get the “most spirited” or “most improved” awards (this was before EVERYONE got a trophy, thank you very much!). Never was I “team captain” or “best player”, not once. I grew to accept the fact that the best thing about me is my ability to stay positive. I know what I bring to the table, and while I’m not afraid to eat alone, I prefer company.
At some point, my ability to retain information and be the world’s best cheerleader came to fruition and I was asked if I’d be interested in coaching. With all the pure enthusiasm a girl could have, I took it straight to heart and was up for the challenge. That first pull up feeling….I can help people feel that? Sign me up! I’m never expecting life changing moments, and I don’t imagine people to be NEARLY as enthusiastic or animated as I am when things like that happen, but now I get to be the drug dealer of fitness! The energy in the air and the adrenaline that runs through someone’s body is intense when they hit a personal record on a lift, or do their first of any movement. Every single day I get to show up and help people get better. And I get paid to do it, which is absolute insanity. Each athlete I’ve encountered holds a place in my heart, and their fitness is always more important than my own. I don’t know the most, and I am probably not always the most helpful, but I do sacrifice with a smile and try my best to do good for everyone in the room. I get up extra early (3:30am) on my coaching days just so I can look presentable, run/workout/etc, and effectively coach by the time the morning crew shows up just after 5am. People call me crazy and are blown away by my energy at that hour – what they don’t know is, without them, my energy wouldn’t be the same. I feed off their effort to JUST DO WORK. We are all here for the same purpose, and that in itself is enough to get me out of bed.
Five years into my CrossFit Journey (three years coaching) and nothing has really changed. I’m still as passionate as always and am constantly working on skills, but I’ve learned to focus on one struggle at a time. I have been upside down every single day for almost a year and still don’t have a perfect handstand or handstand walk, but I’m chipping away and getting better every single time. I still put all the effort I can in everything I do and I show up ready to fight through another beating by way of workout. I have laughed and cried and sweated more at my gym than anywhere else in my life. The people there, they are my other family, and they’ve done more for me than I think I can ever do for them, however, I’ll die trying.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “blah blah blah, another CrossFit blogger”….you’re missing the point. If you have nothing nice to say about CrossFit it’s because you have absolutely no idea what this is about. It’s community, it’s friendships, it’s not only functional, it’s LIFE CHANGING and LIFE IMPROVEMENT. It’s more than just some beefcakes lifting weights, getting big, and going home. There’s a reason I spend so much time thinking about and doing CrossFit, so make no mistake. I guarantee if you walk into the doors of CrossFit Ingenuity or nearly any CrossFit Gym anywhere in the world, you’d soon learn it’s not a “cult”, it’s a culture…it’s family…and I am thankful I gave it a shot when I did. You’re the one missing out, and I hope you find someplace in your life’s journey that gives you what I have found at CrossFit Ingenuity.