1 year CrossFit or “How to become Member of the Year?”

Wow! It’s been a year?

I have to say that there are only few things I kept at with such dedication and passion over a long period like that. Poker might be the only other thing…

CrossFit has captured me, changed me…in a very very good way!

Here is a review of my first year at CrossFit Isle of Man which can basically be split into 3 stages: The Beginning, The Struggle, The Flow.

The Beginning

The reason I joined CrossFit on 1st November 2012 was to lose weight and to see what all the fuzz was about. I had heard poker players around the world talking about CrossFit, tweeting about it etc, and I was thrilled to see that just 3 weeks earlier a “box” had opened in the Isle of Man… we don’t have much here, so a CrossFit gym was a big highlight for me that needed some serious checking out.

The option I chose for the first month was the “Twice a Week” Membership but very soon I figured out that I am missing out a lot and in December I went for the “Unlimited” Membership. I started going 3-4 times a week , lost weight quickly, fit into my Christmas party dress and met a lot of awesome people I had fun being around.

The official opening day of CrossFit IOM with UK CrossFitter Steven Fawcett cutting the ribbon (I am on the very right)

I was still the last in almost every day’s workout… I had a simple goal not to be last anymore… at the same time though I formed my goals for 2013: lose more weight and manage to climb the rope! As a kid I climbed trees and up ropes almost on a daily basis…today I couldn’t do pull-ups or even simply hold on to a rope. I knew I wanted to work on this and bring it all back.

My whole life I had been physically very active or at least tried. But things weren’t easy. I was born with allergies and asthma and was usually stopped or slowed in my tracks by asthma attacks. I started giving up at some point when I was always told to simply do as much as I could and then sit on the bench in school. Teachers started grading me “as if” I hadn’t had asthma… I was always strong and threw balls almost as far as the boys did, could score well in Basketball, be ace as a handball goal keeper…basically anything that didn’t include running.

Kids then started bullying me in school as suddenly I got A and B grades although I spent a lot of time sitting on the bench.

Then the teens came, I dated a stoner and things went downhill…no more sports, I put on weight, started casual smoking (which I more or less kept up for the next 15 years).

Later in 2004 I got diagnosed with arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis… even more reasons to give in and say “I can’t”…

CrossFit quickly taught me that there is no “I can’t” and I loved it.

Right in the first session – the taster session – I had to do 10 minutes AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats and basically after 7 minutes I did what I was used to do: I said “I am done!” and sat down on the bench.

After I joined then I understood that this is not what you do here. Despite me huffing and puffing and even getting MS problems (so far I only ever had issues when having mental stress …I didn’t know I could have issues caused my physical stress) I had to keep on pushing… if it says 10 minutes on the board you do 10 minutes…doesn’t matter if it’s slow, but you gotta keep on moving.

I kept moving.

From January 2013 I even took up the highest level of membership – “Advanced”. This meant I had some more personal attention, physio session and nutrition consultation. I was taking it seriously.

The Struggle

…or at least I thought I was taking it seriously.

At this point I was going 5-6 times a week. I could see progress but no big milestones. Weight loss almost stopped as I built muscle, I didn’t get anywhere near proper pull-ups (I was still using rings) or push-ups (still from my knees)…running was still more of a power walk with occasional jogs.

The nutritional aspect completely irritated me. How can I be allowed to eat eggs, bacon and sausage in the morning but not cereals? My whole life I was told cereals are good! I can’t eat bread anymore? I come from a bread nation! In Germany bread is all you get in the evenings. No more diet fizzy drinks? But there’s no sugar! Oh, it’s about healthy? Protein shakes? That’s just weird….

It took me several months of coach Dan going through my food diaries, marking everything in orange and telling me over and over that I am not listening to him. I just didn’t get it. What was bad, what was good? I had lost track…

Then came the biggest party season of all in the Isle of Man – the TT (Tourist Trophy). I knew I wanted to go out, party, drink, maybe go out with some hot bikers… I told coach Dan that for the next 3 weeks I will be out of control but that I will promise to get back 100% afterwards. Dan’s answer was “Do what you have to do, but then please give it all and listen to us!”.

I did what I had to do: I went out every single day and night, drinking, smoking, little sleep, junk food.

The Flow

From 1st of August 2013 CrossFit IOM offered the new “Competition Programming” Membership. Basically you will be trained as if you will go to international events competing for the Isle of Man.

I didn’t think of going to competitions – after all I still couldn’t even do a damn pull-up – but I had promised 100% and this was it!

The partying was out of my system. I stopped smoking and boozing. I complied with Dan’s nutrition plan, following maybe 75% paleo diet, I came to the box 6 times a week, pushing myself further and further.

And then the results started coming. Weight loss was still not really happening but you could see me toning up, slimming down, defining muscles all over the place. I got my first proper push-ups done (I can do 6 in a row now), I managed several 1-mile runs without breaking into a walk or jog (and even now in November got it done just under 10 minutes), I started nailing rows, I moved away from rings and got pull-ups done with the help of rubber bands, I managed an impressive 122.5kg deadlift, I was even the best at something for the first time (I managed to pull a 100kg tire for 50m as the only woman in the gym) and finally I got up that rope in October and hit the milestone of losing 10kg meeting my goals for 2013 with 2 months left in the year.

1395130_10151971026998659_1609069987_nGetting up that rope. The exact moment was captured on camera by coach Erin. Coach Dan is observing at the bottom.

The great thing all in all is that it stopped being a struggle. I look forward to every session. The mentality is “Bring it on!”.

It feels good getting back into shape and being able to do stuff that my body had forgotten years ago.

And because we all love statistics, here are some numbers:

  • Weight: -8.4kg (during CrossFit times… -10.2kg since the peak)
  • Body Fat: -4.4%
  • Waist:  -5cm
  • Hips: -9cm
  • Arms:  -0.5cm
  • Thighs:  -3cm
  • Bust:  -4.5cm

I have to write a separate post about work done as I have issues exporting the data from Fitocracy at the moment.

But yeah, so there we go.

I put in a hell lot of effort and I am very proud that this was recognized by my coaches and that I go awarded “Member of the Year” at CrossFit IOM.

1001226_10151977576693659_103074131_nNot an award for “big achievements” but more for “good effort”! 😉

I am far from done with this and I am hoping that you will be awaiting my “2 years CrossFit” blog.

Follow me on my Facebook page for updates about my progress. 🙂


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