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“I was never “athletic” as a kid…I grew up being involved in some dance, but other than that took no real interest in sports. I also didn’t grow up with the best knowledge of nutrition. A lot of what we ate as a family came out of a box or a drive through window. These habits carried on into my young adult life…lots of bad eating paired with a very sedentary lifestyle, which caused some weight gain shortly after graduating High School. I didn’t take any interest in working out until my mid-twenties, when my bad decisions met up with my ever slowing metabolism. I started working out 3x a week, learned that I enjoyed kickboxing, but it wasn’t anything I was passionate about. It kept my weight somewhat at bay but I never had any aspirations to go harder…hit any goals…be stronger, or reach any level of fitness. I was your average complacent young adult.

Fast forward to my early 30’s and here I was in the same place…not the healthiest but hey….I hit the gym a few days a week so that makes my lifestyle acceptable, right? Right?! Wrong. At the age of 32 I found myself pregnant, and for reasons we won’t get into, suddenly single. I was an emotional wreck, and I turned to food as my coping mechanism. I went from a semi-active lifestyle to no activity at all and proceeded to eat my way through the next 9 months. I gained somewhere around 85lbs. I was so ashamed, scared, and most of all disappointed in myself. HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN???….I remember being about 8 months pregnant and seeing the damage I had done to my body and saying ENOUGH. I cannot let this go any further. I made a promise to myself to turn things around. I had Mia shortly thereafter and as soon as I was cleared, I started getting active. I worked out at home at first, it was the only option I had with a newborn. I ate as clean as I could. Slowly it started to come off. I remember how frustrating it was to want to do certain things and my body failing me. But I didn’t let that stop me. I just kept pushing.

Once Mia was 6 months old I joined 24 hour fitness, and then about a year and a half ago I joined a kickboxing gym, which I’m still a member at today. At that point I had learned to love the way I felt after a good workout, loved how I felt eating better…but still didn’t really know what I was doing as far as nutrition, and had zero experience with any strength training. I had heard of Crossfit, and honestly I was so intimidated by the thought of going up against the type of athletes that are synonymous with the sport. I always had this little voice in my head saying “I could never….” almost like I didn’t have a right to try and work out at that level. Such silly negative self talk….

Well, one day I was on Facebook and somehow an advertisement about a 6 week introductory course popped up on my feed. It was Crossfit Tigard P.A.W.! After some thought I decided to give it a shot. The idea of learning alongside new people too, made it seem so much more comfortable. I started on a Tuesday and have never looked back. It’s been 8 months now and I am stronger than I have ever been in my life. I have done things I never thought I could do. And I learn something every time I go. This community has given me such support, knowledge and a fire for living a healthy lifestyle. I’d never experienced anything like this and I couldn’t imagine it not being a part of my world. I can now say that I am passionate about being strong, active, and having good nutrition habits. I love this journey that I’m on and I cannot wait to see where this road takes me. I love that my daughter can watch me work out on the floor, and see how awesome it is to be strong and active. I love that as I learn more about good nutrition, she gets to benefit from it too and learn what I didn’t know growing up. That means the world to me. Thank you to all of the coaches and teammates at Crossfit Tigard PAW for making such an enormous difference in my life!!”

-Rachael