Job: Stained Glass Artist
I joined CrossFit Clitheroe in August 2010 before it had officially opened and we were working out without proper flooring, no loo and the roof leaked badly. I had no idea what it was about or what to expect. I had heard rumours that I would be lifting kettle bells and flipping tires and that it would be full of sweaty blokes with big muscles and even bigger ego’s…. some of this was true.. and I’m not necessarily talking about the ego’s, but the one thing that I wasn’t told to expect was how much I would come to love crossfitting!
I have known head coach and co-owner Chris Templeman for as long as I can remember and he has tried repeatedly over the years to get me into exercising and keeping fit. I once joked that I would give in and sign up when he opened his own gym… of course he did and so I couldn’t renege on my promise.
After the first session I could barely walk and made an audable groan everytime I stood up or sat down… the stairs were something to dread!! However after a couple of sessions not only did my legs become my own again but I found that 4 sessions in, we were doing the first sessions WOD as a warm up! which is massively motivating and thats how it is with CrossFit. The progression along the road to fitness is steep, difficult, challenging, tiring and feels never-ending. However it also gives you amazing results in a short space of time and they continue to improve session on session, WOD after WOD.
When I first joined CrossFit Clitheroe I had not done any real exercise for some time. Previously I had taken up swimming 3-5 times a week as part of a weight loss programme in the run up to our wedding when I lost 16kg. I continued to swim but became pregnant and so after the birth of our child I hadn’t exercised for over a year. I was also carying baby weight and was still over my goal weight and weighed 76kg (12 stone) when I started crossfitting.
By Christmas 2010 after 4 months of 3 WOD’s a week religiously (except for a week when I had a bout of flu) and a month of Eat Clean November when I followed the zone diet I was down to 66kg (10.5 stone), that’s 10kg’s lost in 4 months whilst obviously building muscle… I was very pleased to say the least!!
I have maintained that weight since but have seen a change to the shape of my body and people keep telling me I’ve lost weight even though I know it’s as a result of tons of hard work and body toning not actual weight loss.
The last 15 months has been a real journey. There are good weeks when you get a new 1 rep max or run a mile (!!) for the first time in around 20 years or get a better time on a previous score or finally do 1 strict pull up!… and there are bad weeks when you feel as though it’s only getting harder and you’re not getting any fitter. I started to keep a diary in August 2011 so that I could look back when I was having a bad week and motivate myself by realising that I am getting fitter! The reason it feels like it doesn’t get any easier is because you are always working harder with heavier weights or completing more reps than the previous week. You start to see that you are shaving a few seconds off here and there on previous times or beating old scores by miles if you’ve not done that particular WOD for a while.
We have met so many new people and many of them have become good friends, not only from CrossFit Clitheroe but from many other boxes across the country and many other countries in Europe. There have been visitors who have come to stay with us for the weekend from Sweden and Belgium who have not only been wonderful people in their own right, but also massively encouraging and their enthusiasm for the sport has been infectious and has motivated me to try harder and achieve more on my road to fitness. I started out just wanting to be fit, to be able to say there was a time in my life when I was truly fit.
I asked one of the guys from Sweden how many WOD’s he did a week and he said about 3 a DAY!! and he thought I was mad for working out at 6am!! (well it was quite crazy to be doing a WOD when it was -14C in winter… and I believe the 6am WOD on Christmas Eve was down to me last year too.. sorry coach!) But that is the main difference between CrossFit Clitheroe and any other type of gym, a sense of community. Camaraderie, encouragement and fun all play a major part in what happens here, and across the whole crossfitting world. It’s brilliant and the results make it infectious. Come and give it a go… the first session’s FREE!!