A Beginners 6 Month Journey

Apr 9, 2019 | Uncategorized

ONSIDE ACADEMY / Sharon Colp

CrossFit – Oh Yes You Can!

So, I was on the back end of 50 years old.  It was October and I had yet another birthday coming my way at an alarmingly high speed.  My weight had only been this high one other time…and I swore I would not reach that number again.  But I did. I am somewhat vertically challenged so I really don’t carry extra weight well. Not only was I bigger than I wanted to be, but I didn’t feel healthy.  I would play soccer, but no longer felt productive on the field. I didn’t have the breath I used to. I just felt crappy all-around. It was the cherry on top of my awesome pile of anxiety, depression, and ADHD.    The pile was becoming way too heavy.
I started to realize that I needed to do something to fix this as soon as possible, because with each birthday it was going to be harder and harder to get control of.  My whole life I had been active, and for the most part, pretty healthy. At one time or another, I had done the regular gym scene, aerobic classes, step classes, Zumba, various types of yoga, and so on.  But at the stage I was at, I felt I needed something different. Something that would rock my world and keep me coming back. But what……….??
I am a believer in energies, karma, and the like.  So in seeking an answer to my woes I believe it was more than coincidence when the solution just happened to fall into my lap.  It was a group message to my book club girls from my crazy, fun, hilarious, kind, adventurous bestie, Angela. It was simply “Hey, anyone interested in trying CrossFit with me?” The others declined.  I saw it as my “sign”. “Yes!” I answered back. “I don’t really know what CrossFit is, but sign me up!” And so began my CrossFit journey.

Intimidated…

I’ll never forget the first time we walked into the Onside Performance Centre Gym.  Holy. Shit. What. Did. I. Get. Myself. Into?! There they were. The CrossFitters. Lifting weights, throwing heavy balls at the wall.  Swinging like professional gymnasts from bars. And they were all covered in sweat, and breathing heavy. All I could think was, “Look at them, they are all covered in sweat and breathing heavy! They look exhausted…and they are wearing some pretty healthy-looking bodies over there!  I am going to fucking die!” I looked at sweet little Jenny sitting behind the desk and all that I could say in a croaky little voice was, “Intimidated”. Her answer may be what made me stick to giving it a try. She said simply, “Don’t be intimidated. Everyone here started new at some point.  We were all in your shoes once.” She assured me that she too was scared when she started.
Jenny and her husband Nathan are the owners of Onside Performance Centre.  And they rock at their jobs. They planted that tiny little grain of positivity and belief in us that gave two scared, goofy, not always coordinated moms the mental fortitude to take on this challenge.  Angela had been working out at home, having actually checked out what was involved in CrossFit, and so she was more (I’m going to make up a word here) exerciserly-adept at CrossFit right from the get-go.  Meaning I struggled. Wow, did I struggle.

day one.

Our first two classes were Foundations Classes.  This means we had a trainer to ourselves for these classes to show us what we were in for.  Our trainer was Nathan, or Nate as most people call him. Nate looks like he lifts weights. Nate looks strong.  Nate has a beard that could have rivalled my dad’s. And Nate is, well, handsome (don’t let it go to your head Nate).  All in all, Nate should have been scary and intimidating.
Nate was anything but scary and intimidating.  So, he taught us about the big heavy ball that people were throwing.  Turns out those are wall-balls. He showed us what you can do with a kettlebell (before that I didn’t even know what a kettlebell was).  He taught us how to do pull-ups using a band (and would later rescue me when I was stuck in said band). He made us do burpees. More burpees than I’ve done at once ever in my life.  And he coached me through every burpee and kept me positive right from the start, ensuring I knew that I could finish those burpees.

Just like Nate, Jenny, Tristan, Jason and all the other awesome trainers have kept me positive that I can do a box jump, that I can get the technique of throwing wall balls, or row that 250, then 500, then 800 metres on the rower.  That I can finish that last set of push-ups. They taught us that CrossFit is not about jumping in and doing what the others do. It is about working in stages to the best of your ability. That there is a doable version of every exercise.  Less weight, push-ups using your knees, regular skipping until you get the dreaded double-under (still not convinced I’m ever mastering that one). That everyone is equally exhausted at the end of the workout of the day (or WOD in CrossFit lingo) because everyone has worked to the best of their abilities.  They taught us not to get caught up in the CrossFit terminologies or how to figure out the weightlifting percentages, because that will all come in time. Turns out they knew what they were talking about.

 

It’s been about six months since joining Onside.  Without a doubt it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Since then, my husband, Jeff and two of our 20-something boys have joined.  Our nine-year-old just did his first “teen” class the other day to test it out.  He loved it. Some of our friends joined and have become pretty passionate about it.  It is super-fun for Jeff and I to take this journey together.

 

The CrossFit community is amazing.  There are not a lot of places you can go these days without encountering negativity in some form.  Our gym is the escape from that. I can honestly say I have felt nothing but encouraged to do well.  Not just the amazing trainers, but our fellow CrossFitters are always there to cheer you on, helping you get through that last repetition.  And once we catch our breath, there are always the high-fives at the end of the workout. There is always someone to celebrate your firsts with you and they are genuinely happy to see you attaining your goals.  I love my CrossFit peeps! You are all the most determined, strong, positive people I have ever had the pleasure of hanging with. And you are my mentors. You helped me to believe in myself and to achieve things that I truly thought were beyond my capabilities.

 

Since joining CrossFit, I have learned to crawl my feet up the wall and stay in a handstand for 60 seconds.  I have learned how to flip up to the wall (still fine tuning that one). I have accomplished two consecutive toes-to-bar, where at the beginning I couldn’t even jump and hang on to the bar.  I have back-squatted 125lbs. I have box-jumped my way through workouts. I have rowed 1500+ metres in one class. My husband and I have talked each other through one in-house and one worldwide competition, doing so partly because we wanted to challenge ourselves and partly because Nate has the innate ability to talk you into, and get you through things your brain may not agree with.   Outside of the gym I am eating better and sleeping more. It has done wonders for my mood. I’m pretty sure my hubby would shed actual tears if I were to quit. I started CrossFit with arthritis in most of my joints, my wrists being the worst. I am now hanging from bars pain free with the same wrists that used to hurt just to pick up my coffee cup on most days. And I am strong! Probably the strongest and healthiest I have been in my 51 years.  Jeff would say the same about himself.

 

Since joining CrossFit, I have learned to crawl my feet up the wall and stay in a handstand for 60 seconds.  I have learned how to flip up to the wall (still fine tuning that one). I have accomplished two consecutive toes-to-bar, where at the beginning I couldn’t even jump and hang on to the bar.  I have back-squatted 125lbs. I have box-jumped my way through workouts. I have rowed 1500+ metres in one class. My husband and I have talked each other through one in-house and one worldwide competition, doing so partly because we wanted to challenge ourselves and partly because Nate has the innate ability to talk you into, and get you through things your brain may not agree with.   Outside of the gym I am eating better and sleeping more. It has done wonders for my mood. I’m pretty sure my hubby would shed actual tears if I were to quit. I started CrossFit with arthritis in most of my joints, my wrists being the worst. I am now hanging from bars pain free with the same wrists that used to hurt just to pick up my coffee cup on most days. And I am strong! Probably the strongest and healthiest I have been in my 51 years.  Jeff would say the same about himself.

 

Get started with Crossfit at OnSide performance Centre today!

SHARON colp

This was a guest post by Sharon Colp a new member to the OnSide community and ring leader of the Prospect Crew. Sharon has been an inspiration to the coaches and members at OnSide by always trying new things, stepping out of her comfort zone and working hard. Thank you, Sharon!
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Office: (902) 404 – 5647 Email: info@onsideperformance.ca 110 Chain Lake Dr. #3D, Halifax, NS B3S 1A9

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OnSide Performance Centre Office: (902) 404 – 5647 Email: info@onsideperformance.ca 110 Chain Lake Dr., Unit 3D Halifax, NS B3S 1A9

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