This story really begins years ago, during my youth living in Chicago. It seems that early on, from a young age, I became extremely attached to sports and exercise. Teamwork, commitment, and perseverance all became things I latched a great sense of importance to as soon as I realized what they did for my performance as a growing athlete. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll most likely tell you that, “Rosy was probably the one that strived the furthest when it came to athletics.” I was never a star nor was I gifted by any means, but it was never enough if I was just “okay”. There was always room to get better, to be better, and I took it quite seriously if I needed to improve on a skill, stroke, or technique. So while most kids my age were finding their way into gangs and drugs, learning about their teen pregnancy, or other similar things common in my neighborhood, I was making my way back home from tae kwon do practices, swimming lessons, summer sports camps, and soccer matches.
Fast forward through a rather surprisingly sedentary four years of high school and beginning of college, the freshman 15 had taken its toll on me and I decided I had to find a way back to the active lifestyle I had once enjoyed. So I tried everything I could: soccer, yoga, boxing, running, cycling, group fitness classes. Nothing seemed to stick for very long, I eventually became bored with it all. It was right around the summer of 2013 that a friend of mine said I should come try Crossfit out. I had mentioned to her that I had tried a class at the CoRec called PurdueFit that was pretty intense, and she kind of smirked, assuring me that this would be the real deal. First day in, I understood why. And I signed up that very day.
I can’t remember what my first workout was like (although the skill was handstands!), but I can tell you that the first three or so months were nothing short of agonizing and awesome, all at the same time. Every WOD was grueling and there were many a times I questioned my choice of partaking in these crazy workouts, but nothing compared to that feeling of accomplishment after it was over, the motivating camaraderie everyone had with each other, and the rewarding improvements that came week after week. I knew walking in every day that I would be crawling on out to a sore body the very next day, but that “get better, be better” attitude was kicking in hard and that Crossfit Kool-Aid was tasting so good. I knew I couldn’t walk away until I reached a level of fulfillment. And that’s why, like so many others at the box, I’m still here, grinding away. Almost two years later, I have yet to reach my own personal goals, but the small triumphs I’ve made have been worth my while.
I’d be lying to you if I didn’t willingly admit that Crossfit has completely changed many aspects about my life. It has almost entirely revamped the way I think about everything from a fitness perspective: my well-being and nutrition, the human body and its capabilities, what strength looks like, physically and mentally, what fit looks like, on each and every individual, females and males together. It’s pretty incredible how much of it I’ve been able to soak up that it’s practically become second nature to me. I live for the growing numbers on my one-rep max squat snatch, consecutive pull-ups, and C&J, not for the numbers on a scale nor the amount of calories in that energy bar. I dream about building strength, creating efficiency with each movement, and moving gracefully under a bar, not how big lifting is going to make my shoulders or thighs look. I allow myself to replenish and recover with quality foods carrying the fats, carbs and protein that my body asks for, rather than denying myself foods the way I’ve seen so many others do because they want to keep their figure or look a certain way (to the dieters rolling their eyes while you read this, put some bacon fat on that chicken!). I admire my strong legs, strong arms, quick feet, rough hands, tight form, firm core, and only hope that they get stronger, quicker, tighter, firmer.
And lastly, I have to express my admiration for the community of wonderful people I’ve gotten to know here at CFWL. I am and always will be a sucker for great sportsmanship and Crossfit has given me some of the greatest trainers, friends, supporters, and cheerleaders I could ever ask for. I can’t emphasize enough how much inspiration, mental strength, and inner confidence I’ve gained from listening to the sharp, cutting words of everyone who has ever believed in me, saying (or just flat out yelling) that I could do one more rep, that I was going to do more rep. I will be forever grateful for that and for the close friendships I’ve made here. This will forever be my first Crossfit family, no matter how many more boxes I end up in after Purdue.
I’ve truly embraced everything Crossfit has placed before me and all that I ask is to keep growing with it as much as I can. Good days, bad days, hard days, PR days, I’ll take them all. There are several running jokes we tell each other at CFWL about “making it to the Games this year” and “becoming the next Rich Froning or Camille Lablanc-Bazinet”, but honestly speaking, I just hope I never get tired of hearing that “3, 2, 1, go!”. In the end, that’s all I ever really look forward to.