Before joining CFRL what was your biggest struggle? What were your biggest frustrations?
When I turned 40, my cardiologist became concerned about my cholesterol levels from recent blood work. The results showed that I have an abnormal gene that does not differentiate between good and bad cholesterol. Add a family history of heart problems and a heart murmur on top of that and I was completely freaked out. Medicine was the automated response, but she also said eating a plant-based diet partnered with HIIT exercise would help avoid medication. I didn’t want to take any medications unless necessary, so I kicked up my exercise routine and changed my diet. The numbers didn’t change, my weight fluctuated, and I wasn’t seeing the expected results for the work I was putting in at the gym. I felt helpless and defeated.
How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life? What did you feel like before joining CFRL?
To say that I was frustrated was an understatement. I went to the gym daily, weekly spin classes, kick boxing and never saw any significant results on my body or with my blood work. Sure, I felt good, but I needed better results and fast.
What was it about CFRL that made you join?
I have to thank my husband for turning me onto CrossFit! He joined a CF gym in Central Valley, NY and after his 6-week onboarding program, he looked amazing! He would come home after class super excited about the workout, talk about today’s WOD and/or AMRAMP, one rep max’s, DU’s, snatch complexes etc. I had no idea what he was talking about and felt a little left out of this exciting part of his life. His enthusiasm for Cross Fit was contagious, so I figured I better check out this “CrossFit” and see if it would be something that I might also enjoy, help me with my cholesterol problem and have something else in common with my husband. That’s when I decided to pull into the parking lot of CFRL and I am so glad I did!
What made you stay with us? What do you enjoy the most about CFRL?
Honestly, this is the friendliest gym I have ever been to! EVERYONE IS SO NICE, which I initially found a little weird because I wasn’t used to working out in such a welcoming and encouraging environment. Big box gyms are just that- pay your monthly fee because that’s all that matters, we don’t care what you do or if you ever show up. At CFRL, the coaches and members want you to show up and reach your goals and are willing to help you any way they can.
The 6AM class is the best part of my day! I feel like our group is special because we get up extra early every day to focus on ourselves before the madness of the day starts. It isn’t always easy, trust me. I also think having Charly as our coach also helps because not only is he an amazing coach, but he is also a very authentic, sincere and caring person.
How did our program help you? How is Life different for you now?
I turned 50 last year and had a fitness midlife crisis. It might sound weird, but I needed to prove to myself that the number I dreaded wasn’t going to define me. I was approached by a great motivator of mine, Tina Roth, to run a 5K with her and a few other ladies from CFRL. I never had any interest in running, especially a 5K, but Tina convinced me that I could do it and it would be fun, so I figured why not. Soon a CFR Ladies team was formed, and we ran the Women’s 5K at Rockland Lake together and it was such an amazing experience for me! So, then I decided to do a Spartan Race, and with the encouragement of other CFRL team members, I successfully completed it and had a great time! Now I run 2-3 times a week, take the Tuesday night endurance class and make my fitness journey a priority in my life.
Were there any specific goals that you reached that you are particularly proud of? How did it make you feel?
Since I have been a member of CFRL, I see my cardiologist once a year now! She is thrilled that I can manage my health without having to go on medication, which was the main goal. I am also proud of my overall fitness progression since I started at CFRL. I used to be intimidated by the more experienced members and worry about not being able to do something correctly or having the slowest time or lightest weight etc. I am stronger and more confident to handle whatever WOD is programmed and not care if am the last one to finish. Me doing what’s best for me.
What would you tell someone interested in joining CFRL?
I would tell them not to be intimidated by the unknown. CFRL can help you achieve your goals, but the hardest part is starting. It doesn't matter what age, shape, or size you are, CFRL has a program for you.
Is there anything personal you would like to add?
I am so humbled by this great honor of AOTM; it is difficult to put into words. I never thought of myself as an athlete, but more of someone who exercised because I was supposed to. Low self-esteem from lack of results, anxiety about aging, intimidated at the gym and loosing motivation to continue was a daily struggle for me. Now, I feel guilty when I can’t make it to class; I read fitness books to learn new mobilization exercises; I follow CrossFit athletes on Instagram to learn techniques for better form; my husband and I work on difficult lifts together. Who am I???? I have no idea how this happened, but I want to thank every person at CFRL because you have helped and inspired me more than you know! A special shout out to the 6 AM class for letting me have my special spot by the door so I can keep cool all year long!