"...I struggle to put into words what CrossFit New Hampshire means to me. How can I possibly convey what it means to have been pulled from the brink and saved from myself? I can barely articulate what it is that has saved me, let alone tell you about the journey.
It's this community.
It's people who taught me to believe in myself and realize who I could become. It's being coached in the box in a way that translates to the rest of life.
How is it that one extra burpee, or one last rep of a lift makes me a better person every day? How does the short, skinny guy suddenly realize that he is fast, and agile, and isn't just getting stronger, but has become someone that IS strong? Certainly I'm fitter. But it's not just that...
It's Me 2.0. It's purpose. And determination. And perseverance.
Sure my body is more durable and capable, I can see and feel muscle tone where I once clearly could not. But how do I tell you what has happened with my mind? It's the knowledge that now is the time to get busy living.
My life has changed because these people have helped me realize I had the potential to become something better than I was; and that potential had been there the entire time. How could I have no idea of the something, someone I could become should the desire be there. It is. And for me, the change has been profound, and [even though I am trying here] indescribable.
Yet, everyday there is a warrior next to me on the pull-up bar, or on a run, or putting up weights, who is going through the same profound changes. I know it. They know it. We celebrate it. Every day this community grows within itself. We're all on this journey together and it's impossible to imagine not being a part of something this amazing, to do it alone would pale as an experience by comparison. In some ways it might seem easier to keep for ourselves, to hide our daily strife and triumphs so that only we can see our success or failures. But we don't. We invite others into the fold with us, because the more of us that sweat, and toil, exhaust ourselves, and slug forward through whatever WOD awaits...
... We know it will all amount to an ever greater victory. Sharing this with this community of people who have unconditionally shown me their strengths and weaknesses is what keeps my focus on that which truly matters; not pride, or shame, or any kind of image to uphold among peers. Just pure, real, unyielding effort to better oneself.
Now the focus I had placed on my life, my improvement, my fitness gains, isn't actually about me anymore.
It's about us, this family we train among, all of our lives, and fighting to better every aspect of them side by side.
That's the power I see in CrossFit; it defines our community at CFNH.''
"... Aug 30th, and to me Joining CrossFit was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am a 50 year old working mother of 2 boys 10 and 12. I always have considered my self in shape, having successfully run 12 marathons over the last 10 years. But the reality of my fitness level came crashing down on fathers day 2011.
My husband, myself and our boys accompanied our good friends Laura and Jeff, both cross fitters, and their children on a hike up Mount Washington to one of the huts to stay overnight. I had noticed how in shape Jeff and Laura were, and particularly noticed the gradual change in Jeff a colleague of mine who I see at work almost everyday. Well, I was an ANCHOR on that hike, Laura basically ran up the mountain! I thought, I need to figure out what they have been doing and get in on that action. When we got to the top and settled in at the hut they told me about Cross Fit NH. I had never heard of it. They described what the work outs were, tough but efficient, as they had demonstrated as they smoked me up the mountain. I joined the following week.
I met Samy and the crew who instantly made me feel welcome and at home. Entering in the morning to Samy yelling MARILYN! YESSSS! is the motivation anyone would need to show up day after day. Samy's knowledge of the nutrition and its impact on your fitness level is exceptional, he can stand there and review the Kreb cycle to discuss how energy is made off the top of his head (weird yes, but impressive).
Cross Fit pushes you beyond your physical and mental comfort zones and shows you what you are truly capable of.
It not only makes you a better athlete but puts you into a different mental category of what you believe your limits can be. There is a tremendous amount of confidence that is built through achieving a tough workout. The workouts are meant to be achievable at many different fitness levels and scaled to help to build upon your base then to exceed to the next level. I do things today that I never would have imagined a year ago.
The entire community at CFNH has also contributed hugely to my development as CrossFitters as well. I have continually been amazed at the level of commitment and dedication CFNH members have displayed in their own personal endeavors but most importantly their support of the community both inside and outside the gym.
One morning I had to sneak a peek at the work out ... and my rant began,
'S*$%!, I hate kettleball swings, and %!#% oh %! I hate wall balls... WHAT THE $%%! Why Pull-ups?!'
Someone overheard me and asked point blank, 'Well, what exactly do you like?'
"...I had my first exposure to CrossFit in 2007. I had been doing the typical bodybuilding style programming, which I took mostly out of the pages of different fitness magazines. I had always taken my fitness seriously, however I knew that there was something lacking. A shoulder injury that lingered for most of 2006 made me start thinking that I needed to change something. It was at that time that a co-worker told me to check out CrossFit. I would love to say that from that moment on I was hooked but it took me a while to fully understand what I was missing.
I began by perusing the CrossFit website where I was introduced to foreign terms such as WOD, AMRAP, Tabata, thrusters, and the list goes on. And what the hell were the “girls” that everyone on the website spoke about? I began by trying a few of the workouts but without a true understanding of the intensity that was truly required to get the most out of the programming. I spent about a year picking and choosing workouts that were suited for me. I did a lot of power cleans and pull-ups during that year but continued to neglect those movements that I struggled with. One thing was consistent during this time however, no matter what I did I was drawn back to what is now referred to as the “mainpage” but at the time was really the only page. I read article after article and began to get an understanding of what CrossFit was all about. I was also noticing at this time that workouts were fun again. Each day I was left lying in a puddle of sweat wondering what the hell had just happened to me and I loved every minute of it.
This took me up to the fall of 2008. I continued to read articles but still had trouble following every mainpage WOD either due to lack of equipment or inability to do the rx’ed exercises. I was now torn between laying down money for equipment and a level one certification or finding a gym. Naturally I looked on the CrossFit message boards for a gym in New Hampshire. It was at this point I stumbled across this guy named Samy. He had a skull and crossbones profile picture and was part of a small group attempting to assemble for some workouts in New Hampshire. I still remember Samy referring to himself as “a shy little bastard” who liked creeping around where no one noticed him. I have to say this described me perfectly. (Editor's Note: Soulmates)
That is when my “blogstalking” began. I read almost everything that Samy posted, along with several others to include Melissa Urban/Byers at the short lived 603 CrossFit. I began to get stronger and eventually started doing my best to follow the programming on the “Savage Society’s” webpage. At this point I still had never stepped foot in a CrossFit box or had coaching on anything. I would workout alone either at home or in my police department’s gym. Occasionally I would convince a co-worker to try a workout with me, no one ever stuck around though. Most said I was crazy or that it ruined their back and bi split that they had been doing for years.
So with no coaching or exposure to a true CrossFit gym I made the decision to lay down some money and create my own “basement gym.” I had read every article associated with creating a garage gym, as well as Samy’s trials and tribulations with stocking his own gym. I figured that if I couldn’t buy it I could probably make it. I made my order with Rogue Fitness and less than a week after that my equipment arrived. I now had a fully stocked gym that included rubber flooring, bumper plates, a pull-up rig, kettlebells, and rings. I have added several other pieces of equipment since then but it was that original shipment of equipment that became my gym. Equipment was no longer a limiting factor for me. I had no excuses now when it came to workouts and it was paying great dividends. My fitness was improving in leaps and bounds. The old injuries that had limited me in the past were non-factors. I was getting stronger in all areas, even those that I had neglected at one time.
I obtained my Level One Certification in 2010. It was a great weekend that I still am in awe of. When I walked through the doors of the Maine State Police Academy in Vassalboro, Maine I had butterflies for the first time in a long time. I had studied and researched CrossFit for years at this point but still had never experienced the community that is CrossFit. Of course I had read Samy’s blog and liked to think of myself as a member of the Savage Society but they didn’t know that. I still had not visited the gym or even posted on their site. There were several big names in CrossFit at the time and as I walked into the cert I realized that many of them would be instructing me that weekend. I hoped that all the time I spent alone in my basement attempting to perfect moves such as the air squat would pay off.
The certification went very well. I was extremely happy to learn that the work I put in had paid off when I was complimented on my squat form on the first day but I still had butterflies, we would be doing a group workout in the afternoon. This would be my first taste of what it was like to workout in the atmosphere of a CrossFit gym. The workout was a variation of Fran. We were divided into teams and had to complete a 400m run, a combined 250 thrusters, another 400m run and a combined 250 pull-ups. Only one team member was allowed to workout at a time. Once I got into the workout I realized that I had been missing out on a huge part of what CrossFit truly is.
There is nothing like the feeling of being cheered on by others who are experiencing the same pain that you are. To be around people that share the same outlook as you is an amazing motivator. I left my certification with a new respect for CrossFit and all those that take part in it.
The CrossFit community still continues to amaze me and yes I have finally stepped foot in the Savage Society. Samy has even given me the honor of helping to coach some of the On-Ramp Programs. I would like to think that I add a unique perspective to coaching due to the path that I took to get here. While I do not get to CrossFit New Hampshire as much as I would like I consider many members as part of my family. I learn something new every time I step foot in the gym whether from one of the trainers or from one of the athletes working out alongside me. I am truly amazed at the accomplishments I see on a daily basis, whether that is the person putting up a PR or just completing that extra rep before putting a bar down.
I encourage all new CrossFitters to take the time to explore the message boards and the CrossFit Journal. These were invaluable tools to me during my CrossFit journey. At the same time I hope that all CrossFitters embrace the community and remember how it was when they first started. Challenge yourself and those around you every time you step foot in the gym."
"...My journey started about two years ago when my husband introduced me to the basic fundamentals of Crossfit. We have a gym of our own, however as stubborn as I am, I wouldn’t listen to a damn thing he said. I was embarrassed that I couldn't lift any weight, I hated “the Snatch” and I just wasn’t getting any of the fundamentals down. At least that is the way it was in my brain. He got fed up with me and introduced me to CrossFit New Hampshire, where he said that I would like it. He was following this “Samy” person for years and thought that I would be a good fit there. I signed up for the On Ramp class, where I thought I would be making a fool out of myself. I was hoping to show Derek that I am not incapable of learning, and I wanted him to know that this is something that we could do together. CrossFit IS fun he kept telling me, but I was lost of self confidence. I didn’t want to be a failure in my husband’s eyes.
So On Ramp I went - and got my butt kicked, yet I returned day after day after day. I met some really great people there, and they quickly became friends. In August, of last year, I found this program that is specific to “Females on the front lines”. In this program, we live with the Special Forces. It’s a groundbreaking program, and I was going to attend an Assessment and Selection. I went to Samy with the idea, knowing he was part of my new found family, and that he is full of experience in his past career. To help me prepare for selection, Samy hosted a 24 hour open gym session where we did a WOD every hour on the hour. This helped me find my inner drive and realize that my body may be tired, yet my mind is stronger and I need to press on. I drove on through CrossFit New Hampshire’s training, rarely missing a day. Selection occurred in September, and during this hell, all I could think about was “Don’t quit” this is easy for you. I went on numerous unknown distance rucks, runs and all sorts of things. Believe it or not, it was a vast array of fundamental movements, from squatting this log, and carrying this awkward piece of equipment so on and so on. All I can say is that here I am, today in the lovely mountains of AFG. I made it, and to know that with CrossFit New Hampshire, and my husband Derek’s drive, I can keep up with some of the most elite forces in the Army."