Confessions of a 47 year old female “CrossFitter”!

I am not a writer, I mean I am this minute but not generally.  I struggle with a food log, because that includes writing. So you know I have no idea what  70% or 80 % of my 1 rep max of a power clean is, that takes keeping a journal of some sort!  What I am is a 47 year woman who loves CrossFit!  I was never an athlete when I was in high school or college.  I tried track in HS but quickly developed shin splints and decided I liked sitting in the announcers booth talking in the microphone!  Those who know me are rolling their eyes saying to themselves, oh big surprise!  But CrossFit has changed me physically, mentally and emotionally. I am an athlete for the first time in my life!

My husband started doing CrossFit about 3 years ago.  I thought he was nuts.  He wanted to open a CrossFit gym 2 years ago, I thought he was nuts then too!  However, I love him and wanted to support him in this venture.  I felt weird that I was not a “CrossFitter” and I would be working in a CrossFit gym?  So before we opened the doors I decided I had better start working out with him.  He had asked me several times before and every time I felt like screaming!  What are you saying, I’m fat, I’m out of shape…what?  Ladies, you know that feeling as if you got new pots and pans for Christmas or your birthday.  Or worse, a gym membership!  I was determined to give this stuff a try, so we got a barbell, some bumper plates, jump ropes and a medicine ball.  Lin (my husband) wrote workouts for me.  I hated him.  I thought he hated me.  ” You want me to jump on the 45 lb plate how many times after I run 200 meters?”  Yep, that’s where I started.  I was dying after 2 minutes of jump ropes and wall balls.  I got this weird cough, as I found later is called a “CrossFit cough”.  Basically I was breathing harder than I had ever done before and my lungs didn’t know what was going on!  He had me do a baseline workout, a 500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups and 10 pull ups.  We went to a gym near home that had a rower.  I got 250 meters in and thought, “I got this”, but that last 250m was insane!  He actually had to remind me to breathe!  My air squats were decent in form but I was no where near parallel or below but at least I has leading with my butt!  Then came the sit-ups.  Oh boy, after two kids and really rolling out of bed instead of sitting up to get out of bed, this one was really hard.  He was patient and very encouraging and I got it done.  My push-ups were girl push-ups as we called them in school.  They are considered ” modified” in CrossFit.  I like that term better!  Like many women, my upper body strength was poor so it was more like, shaky shaky push up, fall down and repeat.  The gym we were at had a pull up machine that has weights that you step on that compensate for the body weight  you can’t pull up.  I have never done a pull up before assisted or unassisted.  They looked horrible, I am sure, but again my husband kept telling me that I was doing really good, keep it up, only a few more.  My time was just over 10 minutes.  My recovery was about a week!  Did I not have any muscles at all before I did this!  I was so sore, childbirth was more palpable at that moment!

I have learned a lot about myself, my body, my husband and my ability to do tough shit!  So where am I now?  We opened CrossFit Carmel in April of 2010 in Carmel Indiana.  I redid the baseline about 3 months after that first one.  I still did my push-ups modified and I used the green band for my pull-ups but my time was 6:32.  I am on a journey I never thought I would be on and having the time of my life.  I have the privilege of being witness to amazing people, doing amazing things every day!  Elite fitness takes a lifetime to achieve and I have the rest of my life to get there.  We are starting a Paleo challenge this week and I am nervous.  Food for me is the tough part of all of this.  I am not a tiny woman, never have been, but I have beat high blood pressure and am strong enough to deadlift 225 lbs.  I have lost over 30 lbs since that first CrossFit workout with my husband and I completed the Tough Mudder this past November.  I look back, as I write this, and see where I was and how far I have come.  I am an athlete for the first time in my life.  I am a CrossFit athlete!

13 comments to Confessions of a 47 year old female “CrossFitter”!

  • Avril

    Woman I’m crying as I finish reading this! You are incredible and have always been an inspiration to me. I feel so encouraged and proud of you!! I love you.

  • Steph B

    Way to go on your progress, and well written post!! I haven’t seen you in so long. And I have to vouch for you that I thought Lin hated us too at times! Miss you guys!

  • Stefanie Neubauer

    You rock!

  • Lin (hubby)

    Good post…:-) What she forgot to put in was we had been married over 20yrs and before our CrossFit adventure began. In those 20yrs Brenda had never dropped the “F” bomb on me…

    Less that 2 months of doing CrossFit it had helped her find that word and how to vocalize it to me…:-)

  • Stephanie

    Love this story:) Can wait to be back in the swing of things! GLOC and Paleo Challenge! Let’s do this:)

  • Alex

    What a great story, and one that I can relate to. My baseline was 12 min something, and I think last time we did it I was around 7 min. I really want to thank the people of CFC for changing my life. I remember the first real WOD I did. 150 KB swings, and I was using a 35 lb kettlebell. I remember bryan knocking out 50 reps at a time. Finishing sub 8 or 9 minutes. Meanwhile I was doing 5 at a time. After 35 or so, I thought to myself, “are you kidding me? I have 115 more to go? This can’t be real” Emily comes up to me and starts to help me count. (although I think she was making sure I didn’t cheat!) Before long, I was the last one left. I felt a little embarrassed. At around 75, Kevin comes up to me and tells me not to think. Pick it up, and do 5. 5 more. 5 more. 5 more. Soon I hear everyone in the gym encouraging me. I finish at a whopping 22 minutes, and everyone applauds. I didn’t feel embarrassed, I felt proud that I accomplished something that I never thought was possible. Kevin turns to me and says, “You’ve got grit.” At that moment, I knew this wasn’t just any ordinary gym. This was something special.

  • Alex

    Ah crap, I didn’t know this was only for women. Gorgeous ladies of crossfit + Alex?

  • Sarah

    So proud of you Brenda!! A GLOC for sure!

  • Kelly

    I am proud to know you and proud to be a part of CrossFit Carmel. Great job Brenda!!

  • Thanks for the amazing info. I find these posts have a lot of material. I can’t wait to get a chance to impliment all these great posts. Thank you very much.

  • Jennifer

    What an amazing accomplishment!! You have definitely given me the motivation to get back to the gym right away! I completely understand the “Crossfit Cough”! There are days I cough all the way home and for the rest of the night! LOL

    Good luck to you and your hubby on the new gym!

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