During this extended COVID-19 lockdown, many of us are now experiencing the consequences of the past 100+ days. Results vary based on our activities, or lack of activities during the quarantine, but it's safe to say most everyone is feeling the effects mentally, emotionally, financially and physically.
And now as things begin to re-open, we can think about resuming some activities that have been restricted for three solid months. Things like socializing, eating out(side) working (outside our homes) and exercising.
As we get back to normal (not the new normal nonsense that we are being conditioned to believe), getting back into the gym is one of the things I'm most excited about. While I've done okay at maintaining some exercise at home, it doesn't compare with workouts with my friends at CrossFit.
I didn’t want to join CrossFit. I had to join CrossFit.
I was 44 years old, overweight, had high blood pressure, and was pre-diabetic. But that wasn’t enough to get me to take action with my fitness.
It wasn’t until I fell face first, into a fence while playing street hockey with my kids that I realized I was in trouble. I was embarrassed because I knew that it was my physical condition which led me to lose my balance as I was running. That shame, and a lot of encouragement from a friend and CrossFit coach is what led me to take action.
If you're anything like me, you're probably intimidated by some pre-conceived (and completely untrue) ideas you have about CrossFit. For example, you might think:
The people who join CrossFit are self-centered meatheads who eat, sleep and breathe building muscles.
I'm just getting started and could never keep up with the intensity of the CrossFit WOD (Workout Of the Day)
I wouldn't fit in. CrossFit is only for elite athletes; people who are already in great shape.
None of these statements are true!
In fact, the number one thing that got me hooked on CrossFit so quickly, was the diversity of fitness levels, and the incredible encouragement and support I received from fellow CrossFit members, starting on Day One! While we all do the same WOD, that workout is easily customized to everyone's individual ability. Some people were using 20 lbs weights; I started with 5 lbs. #dontjudgeme
I'm just gonna go ahead and put this out there:
Fitness needs to be a major priority for everyone. Especially now. We know that people with chronic disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.) are at a much higher risk for a fatal COVID outcome than those without those conditions. It’s a recipe for more chronic disease and we have to do something about that.
Health and Fitness is no longer a luxury; it's a must for survival. Not just your physical survival, but also your mental, emotional and business survival. One thing I didn’t anticipate when I started CrossFit was the growth my business would experience as a result. I became better at all areas of my life, and developed a mindset of success and accomplishment. Once I realized I could actually complete CrossFit workouts, I believed I could achieve anything.
Since then I have become a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and obtained my Private Pilot Certificate. I have new friends at the gym, whom I look forward to seeing every day. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I get to coach and mentor people, to make significant improvements in their lives.
In retrospect, I can see that through the years, the most successful people I know prioritize the need for exercise and attribute their success to living a healthy lifestyle.
In their book “Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, Sexy and Smart~Until You're 80 and Beyond,” Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge M.D. say that the MOST important thing we can do to promote a healthy second half of life is weight training and cardiovascular exercise, DAILY! I highly recommend you read that book.
I am not suggesting you run out and join your local CrossFit Box*** (although I do strongly encourage you to give CrossFit a try. Most gyms offer a free one-week trial, which is more than enough to get you hooked, lol), but I am going to suggest you find a fitness facility that combines weight training and cardio vascular fitness.
***In case you're still skeptical about considering CrossFit, take a look at my notes from when I first joined. I hope they will encourage you to take action TODAY and understand you can improve your health quickly.
September 8th 2018 - Weight 236, BP 144/95, waist 46.
Day 1: Holy crap, what did I do? I didn’t realize how out of shape I actually am.
Day 2: I am convinced they are trying to kill me LOL. They push me much harder then I would ever push myself. What are these weird exercises?
Day 5: These workouts are pretty brutal and intense, but the coaches are great and very motivating.
Week 2: Just as tough. I need to take breaks running, and my weights are very light.
Week 3: Starting to understand the system, acronyms, and movements. Only lost about 3 lbs which is discouraging, but the coaches assure me that the weight loss will not be as dramatic initially, as I am adding muscle.
Week 4- Definite improvement. Increasing weights, finishing workouts at a scaled-back level.
October 8th 2018 - Weight 229, BP 133/88, waist 44
Week 5- workouts are challenging and tiring, but I don’t feel like death anymore, slowly increasing weights.
November 8th 2018 - Weight 221, BP 124/88, Waist 42
January 7th 2019 - Weight 210, BP 115/79 (YES!!!), waist 41.
Lost 26 lbs and 5 inches off my waist! (Not bad for four months!) Off BP medications, feeling FANTASTIC!!!