Military Family, Food, & Fitness Fenestrations

Raising the Bar on Personal Expectation

CrossFit-Inspired Evolution

CrossFit radically changed my perspective on fitness, nutrition, and my training approach for competitions. I wrestled with weight through high school but then discovered soccer and learned to love to run in college (initially just because I thought it was cool I could eat what I wanted). I competed in two Ironman-distance triathlons, won overall women and age group triathlon titles and mountainbike races, taught and competed in Soccer and later taught Snowboarding. I was a fitness junkie and invested TONS of hours in training. I was thin and relatively fast, but certainly not the picture of health: I missed my menstrual cycle quite often, got sick more often than my friends, got dizzy and cranky if I went more than 4 waking hours without food, and in 1998 tore my ACL playing soccer and never recovered the knee stability sufficiently to play again.

But you don’t need lateral knee stability to run or bikeride, so I did a lot of both with my husband – in fact, most of our free time was spent training or competing with friends often in marathon-or-greater distance races.

I got pregnant in 2006, ran every day of my pregnancy up until the day prior to giving birth, and started running again 13 days after giving birth. I drastically lowered exercise intensity, probably to around 40% of my usual speed, but I maintained both the distance and the hours on the road. I was completely determined and a little psycho about maintaining my fitness level during my pregnancy.

Three weeks after Ian’s birth I started CrossFitting at the suggestion and in concert with my husband who’d just deployed to Afghanistan. It took a lot of research initially and I invested a lot of time downloading videos provided on the CrossFit website to insure I thoroughly understood the lifts and exercises before attempting each workout. Still, it didn’t take nearly as much time as my usual fitness routine, plus it was fun to compare times and experiences with my husband after every day’s workout. I also started reading information CrossFit published concerning nutrition.

After two months I dropped my previous fitness routine, and started following CrossFit’s daily prescription. Now I exercise an average of 30 minutes about 3 days per week. My husband and I usually mountainbike one day over the weekend – but that’s it. I haven’t had the desire to make much time for competitions since Ian’s birth, but I won the 2008 USF-E Mountain Bike championship in Garmisch – civilian women overall. Over the past year, I’ve adopted a low-carb diet, and 90% of the time keep sugar, bread, pasta, and rice out of my diet. Writing this, it has been 11 months since the last time I was sick. I am only hungry just before meals, and usually go a total of 14 hours without eating before breakfast.

I believe in the CrossFit community’s ability to not only properly define physical fitness, but also to forge the most effective method of attaining it. CrossFit has built a massive community of knowledge which generates fitness prescriptions based on data that is proven to work by measurable, repeatable, observable data. Now that I drank the kool-aide, I can’t ever go back to “Globo” methodology.

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