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“I Could Never Do That” – A CrossFit Success Story

Any of our coaches or long term members can attest to the fact that when CrossFit comes up in casual conversation with friends, family, peers or acquaintances, a general response is “Oh wow, I could never do that.” 

Online platforms, misconceptions, and a general lack of experience can make functional fitness and group classes seem intense and intimidating: and this view was one even Michelle felt before trying it. 

“  I had always been interested in CrossFit but I thought to myself – that’s for really athletic people, not for me.”

Michelle was no stranger to athletics of course, with a lifelong love of sports and movement from ball to dance. It was when a little extra freedom around her schedule appeared that she turned her attention to group classes, and the prospect of adding a new regime into her life. We are so happy she chose to give Fitness Lair a try!

“Last fall I decided that walking wasn’t enough and I needed something more.  My friend Shauna has done CrossFit for years so I asked her if I could be her ‘friend’ for the next time they had a Bring a Friend day at the Lair.  Not even a few weeks later she said – guess what, they’re having a Bring a Friend day and so I went with her.  I really enjoyed the class but I was still hesitant to commit to joining.  I feel like fate stepped in again when a few weeks later the Lair posted that they were running an 8 week beginner program and I thought to myself, ok I get it, I’ll give it a go!”

As fate would have it, Michelle quickly found a rhythm around classes, learning the movements and noticing positive change in her lifestyle. Forget needing a prerequisite of athleticism to join- this CrossFit thing is actually fun! 

Michelle continued passed the 8 Week Beginner challenge and hit a few big milestones in her first months- from setting personal records during the Christmas Lift Off Event to joining a team during the 2024 Fitness Lair Intramural Open. Through that journey, a few noticeable changes began to occur. 

“Since joining the program I’ve noticed that I have more energy, my anxiety is more manageable, I feel so much stronger and confident in myself – I can do hard things!  My sore hips from sitting all day aren’t sore anymore.  My body shape has changed, I’ve toned up, lost weight and I eat way more!

My original goals when I joined were pretty basic – be active, gain stamina & endurance, be healthier and have more energy.  I feel like I’ve definitely made huge gains on achieving my goals.”

From a coaches perspective: Michelle jumped in with both feet and all the enthusiasm you could want. She dedicated herself to hitting classes regularly- and even voicing disappointment when life got in the way of making a class work. She constantly works to progress in her movement, skill set, and learning her own capabilities. The journey has already provided a couple positive lessons:

“Oh man, so many I don’t even know where to start! 

 I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I don’t give myself enough credit for my abilities.  

I remember at the Christmas Lift Off – I was only a few weeks into the program and we were lifting heavy weights to find our 1 rep max and it was a movement that I just couldn’t get to make sense in my head and I said – ‘I can’t do that’ and there were a few coaches and members around me and they all said at the same time ‘I can’t do that YET!’ and it’s really stuck with me.”

Of course, it cannot be left unsaid what a valuable member of the Fitness Lair family Michelle has become in a short amount of time. It’s inevitable, you gain an entire unexpected group of support with your membership- like it or not!

The CrossFit community is a real thing!  I feel like everyone there just wants everyone to be able to do their best. I joined the CrossFit Open this year and we all were placed on teams – me being a newbie I was like ‘I’m going to let the team down, I can’t do these WODs’ but I never once felt like I was less than anyone else there.  Everyone cheered you on and just wanted you to do the best to your ability and it was a great feeling to try something so hard and not die!  I feel like I go into class every time competing with only myself, wanting to do better that I did the last time and at the end of class I always feel like I’ve accomplished something, even on the days I’m tired and don’t have as much to give – at least I came and moved my body!  If you’re lucky like me, you find a new friend and you push each other through when you think you can’t give anymore during the partner WOD’s, thanks Jen!”

Michelle’s experience from her uncertain start, to the confident way she approaches each workout these days is not uncommon for other members, but provides an amazing example of what is possible when you take an active roll in your own fitness.  She even recently surpassed an impressive 100 classes attended, joining ranks on the Wall of Fame in the Fitness Lair front entrance!

In closing, we’ll leave you with Michelle’s take- said better than we could put it ourselves:

“You do not need to be super athletic to go to CrossFit.  Everything can be modified to fit what level of fitness you are at and you will have an entire community cheering you on as you work towards your goals!  P.S. I never thought I would say this, but burpees aren’t so bad!”

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