OK I have to come clean. Today is not exactly my 2 year CrossFitiversary. I had to go back and look. Technically, I’m a week late. I first stepped into Crossfit Durham for one of Coach Ashley Denton’s boot camps on May 8, but it’s close enough. If you haven’t read my earlier post, you can see exactly how we celebrated.

This was my CrossFitiversary gift from the box (photo).

blistered hands

Some day I’ll learn how to take care of these hands…probably.

Nice, huh? I’m pretty pleased with them. If you Crossfit, then you know.

It’s tough to be succinct about what the last 2 years at Crossfit Durham mean. There’s so much ground to cover. Cliche as it sounds it’s no understatement to say Crossfit and the community at Crossfit Durham have transformed my life inside and out.

The physical changes speak for themselves.

I went from this guy at 250# in the Summer of 2011

This guy was not unhappy. Summer of 2011, 250 lbs.

This guy was not unhappy. Summer of 2011, 250 lbs.

To this guy at 210# in May of 2013

This guy, though. He's over the moon

This guy, though. He’s over the moon

That guy in the Summer of 2011 was already feeling pretty good about himself. Hey, give him some credit. He dropped 30# on his own before joining Crossfit Durham. Yes, I was one of those people who had to get in shape before he was willing to join a gym! (That’s a whole other post!)

He walked into the gym wondering if maybe, with all of this CrossFit stuff, maybe one day he could get himself down to 225# or so. What the hell? A losing a total of 55# would be impressive, right? That would be something to be proud of, right?

That guy had no idea of his potential. Not a damn clue what could be accomplished. The idea of shedding 70# never entered that guy’s consciousness.

2 years later, I still have no clue what I can accomplish, but I can tell you the ceiling is so much higher than I dared to dream. I’ve got so many goals for the gym now that the biggest challenge is prioritizing them and staying focused on one or two!

For example,

Working towards 400lbs

Working towards 400lbs

This guy is closing in on a 400# deadlift. In fact, he’s a bit embarrassed he hasn’t gotten it already. But damn he’s fighting for it.

That’s what CrossFit and the community at CrossFit Durham has given (or given back to) me and I suspect many others. Crossfit has given me the confidence to look at any situation (in the box or out) and say, “I don’t know if I can do it, but let’s go to work and find out.”

Everything is different now. My mind is just wired differently now. Where so often things used to seem insurmountable, or just too hard, now there are challenges to be overcome.

There are no longer problems at work that are too hard. Sure, some are tougher than others. Some things just require more effort. Some times the end result doesn’t warrant that effort, so those things don’t get done. But there’s nothing we CAN’T do.

What else does CrossFit give someone? Variety! People ask you, “Well, what do you do at the gym? Do you lift weights? Do you run?”

The answer of course is, “Yes.”  TO BOTH. Plus gymnastics, bodyweight exercises, some yoga and a myriad of calisthenics that would stun a phys ed coach! Oh, and don’t forget the rowing.” Have a pool? Great! We’ll swim too…as long as we can bring our kettle bells. (BTW-Underwater Farmer Walks are STILL on my list of exercises to try! Any one have a pool membership I can leverage?)

What else? It gives you friendships like you’ve never had before. It has to. Look at what you go through together. Any lifting partner with any shred of self-respect and courtesy should help you put weights away when you’re done. That’s common courtesy and common sense. A Crossfitter and true friend will wipe YOUR blood from the pull up bar after you shred your hands, so you don’t have to handle the sting of the antiseptic wipes in your fresh wounds! They’ll do it without being asked. That’s a real friend! (Thanks for that this morning, Nat! I owe you.)

There’s so much more, but I think you get the drift. Thank you, Crossfit Durham, coaches, athletes, all of you. You have given me so much in two years. I hope I can only return a fraction of what’s been given to me and I look forward to the years to come.

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