At CrossFit Cambridgeshire we are proud to witness the progressions made by our athletes. Take a look at the latest testimonial blog post by Pam , a CFC member, and gain an insight into her fitness journey.
I plan my week around Crossfit classes and get twitchy if I miss three consecutive days. I (just about) know my jerk from my snatch and I spend time online watching women in small shorts performing squats. Does this make me a Crossfit junkie? It wasn’t always like this
In my 20s I didn’t do a great deal of sport although I spent a lot of time outdoors hiking and camping. Once I started having children I went to the gym three times a week to try and get back in shape. In my early 30s I started running and managed a few 5km fun runs and even one at 10km. Sadly, my congenital hip dislocation caught up with me (I was born with a shallow right hip joint). This meant that by the time I was 35 I was in constant joint pain, and even walking was problematic. I was on a heady cocktail of prescription pain relief, then another load of stuff to cope with the side effects of the first batch. Aged 38, I had my hip replaced and got a really cool scar. I was on crutches for a few months and it was about a year before I could walk five miles at a normal pace. I didn’t get back into exercise – I was grateful just to get through daily life without any joint pain.
In my mid-40s I had a delayed midlife crisis and decided it was time to get off my arse. I signed up to walk 100km in 30 hours along the South Downs Way. To get in shape, I joined Cambridge Boot Camps. I was shocked at just how unfit I was. I had to step a burpee, I couldn’t air squat, and it was about eight weeks before I agreed to run (I don’t think I was an easy customer…). During that first winter we had some training sessions at a Crossfit box. I was told that Crossfit could be scaled to any level of fitness so I signed up to Crossfit Cambridgeshire for two sessions a week. That was nearly two years ago.
At first, I never completed a WOD within the time cap. I used a single 15kg plate for my box jumps. I had an empty barbell for my squats and a high stool to catch me. I could only deadlift if the barbell was raised on plates. I couldn’t hang from the bar, and asked for an alternative to headstands. However, that summer I completed the 100km walk in under 30 hours (which not many female vet teams achieved) and started going to Crossfit 4-5 times a week. The improvements began. I got my first RX (my family still don’t get the enormity of that one). I learned to squat without a stool, and with weight. I did a negative pull up. I did a headstand. I discovered I can deadlift quite well. People commented on my increasing strength. I started following Annie Thorisdottir on Facebook. I started wearing lycra (but not small shorts). I did my second ever 10km race and took less than an hour.
I have turned into one of those middle-aged women who bangs on about how amazing Crossfit is and how it has changed her life. And it’s true. I am really lucky to be part of a friendly, supportive box where the coaches place huge emphasis on technique and refuse to believe that you can’t do something because of surgery or age – they just say it might take a little longer. I’m now stronger and fitter than I have ever been in my life, and that feels really good to write.