What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
I was introduced to CrossFit through my son. He plays Lacrosse and started doing the workouts at CrossFit to prepare for the upcoming season. I was merely a spectator. In watching some of the workouts that were happening I began to wonder if I would be able to do any part of the workouts.
To back up a bit, I was in a car crash almost 6 years ago. I sustained a significant head injury (TBI) that has significantly altered my life in many ways. Prior to my accident I was an avid runner… that was my therapy. I still have symptoms that affect me everyday and unfortunately I still haven’t really been able to go back to running. The short list of my symptoms is that I have headaches, neck pain and have the feeling of being on a boat all the time, sometimes those waters are rougher than others (not dizzy or nauseated)… this is the most bothersome thing I deal with daily. Some days are worse than others.
With that brief history, I was very skeptical that I would be able to participate in any workouts at CrossFit. I had multiple conversations with Kenny who offered to work with me one on one to see if I could do any of the exercises. It was tough and not an instant love, but I chose to stick with it. I’m committed now… physically I feel better. It is every bit a physical workout as well as a neurological workout for me. Some days are harder than others for sure.
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
Honestly this all seemed very overwhelming to me initially. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and friendly. I felt completely out of place and very awkward. Each coach I worked with in the beginning was really great about listening to my challenges and helping me work through them. Each and every one continues to be so great at helping me alter some exercises to make it a successful experience for me… an awesome group of people! Now, I still feel a bit awkward but not so much out of place anymore. This is all part of my process of finding my new normal I suppose.
What was your first success?
There are many successes I’ve had from the very beginning. The most significant I remember was jumping up onto some weight plates… I think there was one or two. This was a very difficult task for me! I had to hang onto a PVC pipe and Kenny’s hand. My brain coordinating my body to do a movement that use to be fairly natural is now a real struggle. It is so simple for many of you… this still continues to be one of my biggest challenges. Thanks to Kenny for the help, support and encouragement.
What are you working on now?
I’m trying to increase my intensity during each workout. This is also a huge challenge as there are days that my brain injury just doesn’t allow me to move through anything every quickly. The simplest things like getting up from doing pushups or getting off the rower are a challenge for me and add time to workouts. It’s hard for me to move from one station to another and keep up the intensity at times as I have to let my brain find stability before starting the next station. Let’s just say my boat is on some pretty rough waters sometimes!
What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?
Gotta be the “big runs” (a bit of an inside joke…)
To me a 400m run is huge! I’ve been trying to do short or small runs. Today in class I referred to the 400m run as a big run… apparently more people were listening than I thought. It took on a life of it’s own…use your imagination.