Thursday, March 06, 2008

Samantha Keough, Of Crossfit Boston and Again Faster is my next guest. If you stop by CF Boston or the Again faster blogs you'll she her there. This chick can really put forth some amazing efforts. Sometimes with all these blogs you see people pushing limits and you wonder what their story is. I'm glad Sam said yes to being a guest, her store is one I think a lot of women can relate to.
Thanks for doing this Sam! Thanks for being a women who's not scared to be strong!

Playing three sports per year through out high school and continuing field hockey into college, I’ve always considered myself in decent shape. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that something happened to challenge this notion. My Mom convinced me to try out a class she took at her gym. It was called Crossfit. “You’ll love it,” she said. “I’m still sore from a work out we did four days ago!”

I have to admit I was intimidated. After weeks of her prodding, I finally got up the courage to try it out. I forget what my first workout was. All I remember was that it involved lots of sweating, panting, and pain. I finished a good fifteen minutes behind the room full of men and women ranging from 35-55 years old. I couldn’t walk for the next week. Slightly embarrassed, but not yet discouraged, I made myself go again. The next workout was Tabatas. During the eighth set of the final exercise the rest of the room faded as I felt the burning feeling of competition rising in my chest. This competition had nothing to do with anyone else in the room; it was an internal battle that drove me through fatigue to beat my last number. When the twenty seconds were over I was left with a lasting feeling of accomplishment.

I quickly became addicted to the sensation of forcing my body beyond what my mind thought it was capable of. With each athletic achievement: kipping pull-ups, dips, muscle-ups, and bodyweight-plus overhead squats, my confidence grew and spilled over into all aspects of my life. I started truly believing that through hard work and dedication, nearly anything was possible. I realized that because of a fear of failure, I had been living most of my life within my comfort zone, and that without taking chances I could never reach my true potential. With that newfound confidence and enthusiasm, I was able to tackle not only physically demanding tasks such as rock climbing and whitewater kayaking, but also the emotional challenges of a new job and life after college.

For the better part of my life, I’ve struggled with poor body image and constantly fought to lose weight--often to the detriment of my health. In high school I would work out up to seven hours a day while eating a very minimal caloric load. I tried diet pills and crash diets, but even when I lost weight I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked and always wanted to lose more. A funny thing happened when I started Crossfitting: for the first time in my life I stopped caring about my weight. I started valuing what my body was capable of doing rather than numbers on the scale. I became more concerned with getting a 4-minute Fran than with having a size-4 waist. And two and a half years later, that hasn’t changed.

I’m looking forward to 2008 bringing more challenges and a new set of PRs: a 3-minute Fran, Linda completed Rx’d, Grace in under 3 minutes. I’ve resolved never to settle for less simply because it seems easy, but to continue evolving and pushing the envelope in fitness and in life.

1 comment:

Robin said...

That's inspiring - thanks for sharing your story!

From another female CrossFitter.