Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tough as Hell

Phone: Ring Ring
Me: Hello?
Jess: Michael, it's Jess...I can't come to class for a while!
Me: What happened?
Jess: I was doing back flips on a trampoline and the seams busted...I fell through the trampoline onto a bed of rocks. Next thing I knew I was looking at the bottom of my foot. I am going into surgery to get screws put in it to put it back together!
Me: Oh Shit... (I'm thinking she is never coming back)

About 4 weeks later, Jess called me talking about being ready to come back. I couldn't believe it. She didn't know what she could do and was thinking about taking it slow. As soon we started doing PT I realized that Jess was tough as hell! I was blown away by how quickly she was able to get back into training.

It didn't take long for Jess to get back into classes and up her workouts from 3 a week to 5. Now she is doing 6 workouts a week and I am trying to test her limits every time. I catch myself in disbelief at times because I literally set an expectation for her, then she matches and exceeds it.

The things Jess has overcome and the drive that makes her do what she does will inspire the lives of so many people. She truly is a fighter in her own right! I cannot wait for this woman to share her story with the world!

Jess' Story

Big Mike was my introduction to CrossFit. I’ve stuck with him ever since, for the past 2 and a half years. That first day, I had no idea how great it was that I got into his class. I just assumed it was where everyone started. His class fit my schedule at first, and I’ve stayed with him because I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else now. Mike is lighthearted, always smiling, never dramatic, encouraging and he clearly knows what he’s doing. I also never question whether he’s there to spot me or make me stronger and faster. He’s always there.

Since training with Mike, my strength has gone through the roof. I am so much stronger than when I started, which is saying a lot. Most importantly, I’ve had lots of surgeries and set-backs since I’ve started and, through training with Mike, I’m still fit and doing everything I want to do as hard as I can. While I was very determined to recover from surgeries and broken bones, I wouldn’t be where I am now if Mike hadn’t worked just as hard at me bringing me back and sticking with me!

Mike also inspires me. I work on my inner self as much as I work on my outer self. I like that Mike does the same kind of work to push himself and grow inside as much as out and encourages others to do the same.

CrossFit has given me the tools to travel the world and stay fit doing so. It has given me the tools to workout effectively and not for hours upon hours to stay fit. It has also given me a community of like-minded people who are passionate about their lifestyle, health, and nutrition.

I had completely changed my life just prior to finding CrossFit. So CrossFit was the exact match I needed in order to continue my life change. Had I not found it, I don’t know how hard it would have been to keep my passion about health and fitness in the front of my mind.

Watching people who are passionate about CrossFit has made me accept what I was feeling inside regarding my career. I knew after changing my life, going back to my career would be tough. Now, when I see Mike and people at CrossFit who are simply passionate about health and fitness, I feel confident about spending my future in the industry.

I stay motivated by the unspoken accountability with Mike, as well as with the group of people from his class. If I start letting myself, my goals and my commitment to myself down, others are going to see it and step in. It’s an incredible support system. Not to mention it is by far the most fun hour of my day!

When I found CrossFit, I was actually 12.5% body fat, 150 lbs, 33 yrs old and in the best shape of my life. I’m now averaging 17% body fat and 160-165 lbs; however, I’ve had 3 surgeries since I started, all due to incidents outside of CrossFit, and was bed-ridden for over 6 months of that year. I had made a commitment to myself that I would not lose my fitness, health or my focus while recovering, and CrossFit is what held me in there. Mike checking on me even when I couldn’t walk and letting me know he was ready when I would be ready really helped. If I had to do it all on my own, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ve recommitted to my goals for the year and will be below 15% body fat and 155 lbs by the end of this year, no problem. Unfortunately, however, I can’t do anything about the fact that I’m now 36 yrs old.

Getting faster is always top of my list of goals. Body weight movements are always second and I’ve seen great improvement in those this year. I can’t wait to see what next year brings. I really want that muscle up! I started talking to Mike about my goals outside of the gym a year and a half ago and I’m proud to say that those are all in full swing. I’m shifting careers, which is never easy, and excited about my future in my area of expertise on health, fitness and weight loss.

I have done several CrossFit challenges. I did the Trojan Kettlebell Challenge but didn’t fully commit and didn’t really enjoy it. I did the Spartan Challenge and Fight Gone Bad and loved them. I can’t wait to see my numbers next year compared to this year. I was too injured with my broken foot/ankle last year to do I Am CrossFit, but this year I plan to sign for the Fittest Games competition. The challenges are just fun. It’s a moment for those of us who are not professionals to compete. We just love CrossFit and can compete and see progress in small amounts. Again, the group energy is addicting and you get to meet great like-minded people.