Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
5 Handstand Push-Ups
15 Kettlebell Swings (70/53#)
Michelle joined the Paleo Challenge to give Joy some accountability and encouragement in the challenge. She has two young kids, a busy schedule, and was out of shape. Michelle had known about Cactus CrossFit for over a year, but Joy’s invitation to join her in the challenge was just what the Dr. ordered. I asked Michelle to write about her experience because there are so many young mothers out there who are intimidated by CrossFit or just think that it is for dudes only. The following is her story:
I was recently huddled in the corner, my eyes held open with toothpicks in an utterly unsatisfying Mom-funk. My friend understood this because she too has an infant and invited me to join her in the Paleo Challenge at Cactus CrossFit. I had vaguely heard of this recent CrossFit phenomenon and thought nothing of it since I am familiar with (and actually LOVE) working out. And the Paleo diet seemed within reach since my family aims to eat all unprocessed foods anyways.
I showed up to the “gym” the first day and was immediately outside of my comfort zone. “Where is the equipment? What is a WOD? You want me to do 50 reps of that? How long is a meter? Touch my toes to the bar?” And I still after 8 weeks don’t know what AMRAP means (ok, I am kidding). It was weird. I am no stranger to working out, either. I dabbled in athletics in middle and high school, worked at a gym for 4 years, and even have my certification as an aerobics instructor.
CrossFit rocked my world. In a good way. I soon became addicted. I felt welcomed, accepted, and encouraged at every workout regardless of who I knew in the room. The community, friendly-competition, and accountability in the group classes remain unmatched to any other exercise experiences I have had. I found all the coaches at Cactus Crossfit to be well educated and great teachers when it comes to explaining the movements alongside of what NOT to do. Regardless of said explanations, I still need a lot of correction and help (which I usually and pridefully receive pretty poorly but somehow not here). The workouts stretch me mentally and physically. Although CrossFit was much different than my initial expectations it far exceeded them and has literally set the bar for future workout programs (I am moving out of the country otherwise I would be a Cacti forever!).
Onto the Paleo diet. Not gonna lie, I wanted to hurt someone the first three days. Unconsciously knowing this, my husband and three year old left every room I entered for the first week of the challenge. I had unwittingly become addicted to carbs and sugar during and after my second pregnancy (or maybe always). As time marched on, I fell in love with Paleo. It gave me new lease of life. Corny but I am serious. My husband and I love to cook and finding new recipes and trying new flavors was really fun. I also was unaware of how lousy food was making me feel until Paleo made me feel sooo much better. I was convinced, in the beginning, I would be unable to give up my tall glass of milk at every meal but I don’t even miss it (my Minnesotan parents just died). Eating clean is something my family will continue. Another challenger said it best when he said, “You feel 100% better eating this way and it’s very hard to deny yourself once you get a taste of feeling great.”
As we wrapped up the challenge, I made a list of about 50 ways I benefited from changing my diet and trying CrossFit. I’ll leave you with a handful:
I am pounds lighter, inches skinnier, and immeasurably stronger. I have more energy and am far more productive during the day. I made new friends. I learned something new. Less surface area means I am using less soap thus saving money. It is easier to make better food choices. I can keep up with my children. The way my husband looks at me! I get dressed in my pre-pregnancy clothes every morning instead of sitting around in frumpy maternity clothes. I’m out of my Mom-funk and I feel awesome!!!