Testimonial- Pam

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.

Pam’s story

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.

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