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Coach Emily’s CrossFit Story

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My name is Emily and I am a nurse, CrossFit athlete and CrossFit coach.

I started my involvement in athletics as a child and young adult playing any sport my parents let me try. Swimming, volleyball, basketball, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, cheerleading…the list goes on.  That being said, I wanted to continue being involved in sports as long as possible, so I celebrated my acceptance to a University that had a strong nursing program but also a strong athletic department.   I spent my college years not only perfecting skills for my future career and knowledge of the nursing profession, but playing volleyball and running track for my university. I had spent my entire life up to this point being wrapped up with the idea of being fit and in shape that i wasn’t prepared for what came next.  And then it happened… I graduated from college, got a nursing job and started working full time. Workouts, practices, trips to the gym just for the heck of it slowly slipped away.  Sure, I swore I would run and I did! But I wasn’t consistent.  And the pickup games of volleyball were fun, but not exactly challenging. I found fitness taking a back seat to work, hanging out with friends, going out for drinks and having a social life. I slowly felt my athletic capabilities falling away and noticed that I didn’t have the drive I once had. I was in a downward spiral at this point…just completely oblivious to it.

Cue the gym membership that I promised myself I would use, trips to the grocery store for fresh fruits and veggies that would make the most delicious meals, and texts to friends turning down social nights because I needed sleep for the gym in the morning.  Well…after the initial glow and promises fell away, I was left with a monthly membership payment, rotten vegetables in my produce drawer, and friends that I began to miss so I caved and went out anyway. I was in the vicious cycle of current fitness methods. Stick with it for a bit, start to feel the change or improvement…then, slowly start to cut corners, make excuses and eventually…push it to the side completely and have to start all over.

Fast forward 5 years. Throw a couple vacations in there with the occasional workout spurts, 2 moves, and plenty of career changes. Let’s just say, I was at my wits end. I could run a couple of  miles without any trouble. My diet was never really “awful” but it could always be better, and the idea of lifting weights was just that…an idea that sounded fun. But I knew my weaknesses. I couldn’t do a pull up, I could handle a few (realistically 1-2) push-ups, and hadn’t touched a weight since my college days.

This is the time that CrossFit came into my life. The time when I was sick of spiraling and wanted something to stick.

I stumbled across a Groupon for that “intimidating sport” CrossFit. I had friends who did the sport, but they were incredibleystrong people in and out of the gym! All I kept thinking was, is this for me? Is this what I am meant to do? Why not? As I punched in my payment information and finished my snack of Oreo cookies and milk (not my proudest moment), I sat and stared at the enter key for a good minute before taking a breath and hitting enter.  The first step! Commitment. “I did it. I did it. I pressed enter…no going back now!!”

I met with Coach Sam later that same week in a warehouse gym on a hot, North Carolina summer evening.  I finished my first workout…it was not pretty. To this day, I still can recall the audible “oomph” sound that exploded from my chest as I fell to the floor during the 1st burpee of the workout.  But yes, I finished. Day by day, I noticed the soreness easing up, the workouts taking on a whole new meaning. This wasn’t just about getting in shape. This wasn’t just about lifting weights. This was about a lifestyle. About committing to strength, growth, personal accomplishment, and a community of people all working hard together. This was a whole new world that I just happened upon and found myself craving every day. CrossFit is what you make of it, the good and the bad…and I can honestly say that I’m changing and improving every day i get up and walk through the doors of the gym. Its been quite a rocky road, but I can’t wait to share this journey with anyone who wants to listen and maybe, just maybe come along with me.

Until Next Time,

CrossFit nurse