It may not seem so at first, but even CrossFitters get stuck in ruts. As Dana shows us below, it’s not a CrossFit rut, it’s everything making CrossFit take a back seat when that’s the release we need most.
The following is authored by: Dana Embree
I was a fat kid – one of the biggest in my class.
I come from a culture (Eastern Europe) where you either are serious about school OR you do sports. Naturally, my parents chose the ‘right’ thing for me, school. The problem was, I had a ton of energy, and that’s not an exaggeration. I was not even allowed to do sports, and on top of that I was eating whatever we could get.
Luckily, we had a couple of things going for us: we didn’t have cars so we walked everywhere, we played outside a lot, we didn’t snack in between meals, and didn’t eat out. Still, not quite the picture of health. We ate a lot of bread, potatoes, corn and pasta, and had meat about once per week. Oh, and my sister and I were pretty much told that we must drink a huge mug of milk every morning and every evening (sometimes with sugar and cocoa in it to make it more bearable) – “because it’s good for you”.
It worked great for my sister, but I was sick pretty much all the time, with frequent cold sores and extreme queasiness. It wasn’t until I was old enough to rebel against my parents and grand-parents that I stopped drinking milk and felt much better…
Fast forward to adulthood.
The first sport I did was Tae-Kwon-Do, which I started at 31. Then relocated with my job and lost touch with TKD.
Next I tried “regular” working out and kickboxing classes, what a joke.
I started to ask around for something better and found out about “this place in Troy where people do crazy stuff” – I think I was hooked before I really knew what it really was, since it sounded like it was right up my alley. I found CrossFit and PCF 6 months before turning 40. And there was nothing but improvement from there.
It is hard to find the right words to describe how beneficial CrossFit and Paleo have been for me. Problems like battling extra pounds, an expanding waistline, nausea, cottage cheese legs and belly fat became non-issues in a few months.
Other things like hormone imbalance, female issues, insomnia and many others improved considerably. The physical results were also obvious (appearance as well as blood test results), but the way I felt was even more remarkable. Just think about it: Getting stronger, feeling better and looking better after 40? That’s almost too good to be true! But it’s very real.
I have people come up to me and ask me what I do to look the way I look. I tell them eat right and lift heavy. In that order! (Then invariably I have to define “eating right” as people don’t have a clue)
Late Summer / early Fall sucked for me.
I had a couple of little nagging injuries that got into my head badly, and my already-demanding work was ridiculous due to a customer issue and sucked up the vast majority of my time and energy. I became depressed.
With less time away from work and less enthusiasm came less CrossFit time – and when I did come in, I couldn’t even finish a stinking 9-minute workout (even modified as I was), which got me even more discouraged. On top of everything, not working out deprived me of the serotonin and whatever other feel-good stuff is released when you do physical activity, which of course didn’t help my positive outlook on anything.
But I think I missed the community even more! I felt disconnected, alone, and missed my friends. Thankfully, I’m back to life and loving every minute of it.
Guess what kept me going? Eating right was probably first on the list, and then of course the desire to get back to CrossFit and the community, as well as a couple of trainers and close friends who were instrumental in helping me snap out of the funk I was in.
So my message is this: No matter how early or how late in life you find CrossFit and Paleo, embrace them fully and do not underestimate the huge power they have to help you get in truly good health and good shape!
Put in the work, but also do not half-ass the food part!! I absolutely attribute my results to eating right and CrossFit intertwined together. And the community and positive attitude can literally work wonders – including pulling a person back from depression. I don’t know whether drugs and shrinks can do that, but it never crossed my mind to even try.
5-Push press 95/135
7-Bar over burpee
10-Banded swings AHAP EMOTM
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