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Eric V-Paleo Winner

 

Eric V.Honeymoon November 2012 Before starting Crossfit, I was stuck in the rat race most get into… get sick of the way you look and feel… get a gym membership… hit it hard for a month or two… and then back to square one (it’s a vicious cycle).

During my honeymoon I weighed around 205 pounds. Years before that I remained pretty steady at that weight. Moving into 2013, I was traveling a lot for work and needless to say, when my travels were done, I weighed in at 220 pounds (my breaking point). It was here that I knew that I needed to change something since the rat race wasn’t working for me. That’s when I chose Crossfit.

It freaked the hell out of me since the only Crossfit I was used to was the stuff I saw on ESPN… you know… where the people are really amazing at everything and have the bodies of greek gods and goddesses. Even so, I gave it a shot anyways and the only regret I have was not starting sooner. The people here are amazing, very friendly, and the coaching staff is extremely knowledgeable. Towards the tail end of summer, after doing Crossfit for a few months, I was able to get back down around 205 pounds and got stuck at that weight…. again.

This is when I decided to do the paleo challenge. I knew my eating habits were next to horrible and that this challenge would help steer it in the right direction. I didn’t know a whole lot about paleo (still learning), but I knew I was going to be eating a lot of meat and veggies along with some fruit, which sounded pretty good to me. I hit it hard and stayed strict with it. I also kept it very simple; I didn’t get into calorie counts or anything like that, I just simply ate whenever I got hungry. I wanted to get used to this new, and much better, way of eating without over complicating it.

(Day 30)Eric V,Day 30 - 2

I started the challenge weighing 206.136 pounds with 20.7% body fat (I thought I was sitting a little better than that, so this was a painful shot to the gut). Around day 30 is when I was really starting to feel better and notice physical differences. I was starting to see the beginnings of six pack which I haven’t had in years. At the end of the 60 day challenge I weighed 185.865 pounds with 12.9% body fat. On top of the weight loss, my strength and endurance was increasing a lot. I’m lifting more and am able to make it through the workouts without completing gassing out (bonus). The paleo challenge
is definitely a life changer and I’m totally looking forward to sticking with it and seeing what awesome results will come in the future. Thanks Templar!

(Eric V.Day 60Day 60)

Paleo Challenge Winner – Micky Ruiz

My first day of CrossFit, September 26, 2012
My first day of CrossFit, September 26, 2012

I was 64 years old, overweight, and seriously out of shape. My husband and I had lost three parents in a short period of time and so I was too familiar with nursing homes, end of life decisions, and quality of life issues.

Since turning 60, I had become more aware of my own decline in abilities. I had more aches and pains, and getting up and going in the morning took longer. I watched my friends getting older and dealing with serious health issues like diabetes and heart disease.

I was ready to make a commitment to my health, but I wasn’t sure that Crossfit was the right choice for me. My kids had experienced success with Crossfit, but they were 20 years younger and more typical of the 20 to 40-something “fire-breathers” that seemed to dominate the Crossfit gyms. How would I fit in? What if I hurt myself? Or worse, what if I made a complete fool of myself? It wasn’t an easy decision, but my kids gave me a lot of encouragement and I decided to “just do it”.

There were many things I couldn’t do in the beginning. Due to shoulder issues, I couldn’t do weight bearing exercises above my head. I couldn’t do a push-up, couldn’t jump, and didn’t have much cardiac capacity. But the coaches never focused on what I couldn’t do. Instead, they focused on what I could do. I could squat, I could do step-ups, I could run/walk and I practiced with a PVC pipe to improve mobility and form. I was amazed at how fast my progress was.

Getting encouragement from my son during my first WOD, Fight Gone Bad
Getting encouragement from my son during my first WOD, Fight Gone Bad

At the end of my first month, I deadlifted 100 lbs., a feat which a few weeks before I would never have believed I could accomplish. I was doing ½ pood kettle bell swings, about 18 lbs. I managed a 45 lb. shoulder press, and a 45 lb. back squat. And although at times I felt clumsy and unskilled, I never felt like I didn’t fit in. Crossfit, it turns out, is made up of people of all ages, sizes, and abilities.

Fast forward to the present:

My body is in better condition now than it has been for 20 years. For starters, I have more flexibility and range of motion. Getting in and out of the car, reaching the top shelf of the cupboard, and even getting out of bed are all things that we take for granted when young, but become more difficult as we age.

Until I started Crossfit I didn’t fully understand the value of core muscles. Working on those muscles has improved my posture and my balance. I feel like I have a foundation again to support my bones, my organs, and whatever else that needs support. My midsection has shrunk 4” and I can see muscle definition.

When I started Crossfit I could barely hang on the bar, and now I’m doing pull-ups with a band. I’ve progressed from doing weight lifts with a PVC pipe to doing a 70 lb. bench press and 155 lb. deadlift. Having more muscle puts less strain on my joints, decreasing joint pain. I have less stiffness in the morning because my muscles are used to being put to work at a moment’s notice. I learned more about nutrition and giving my body what it needs to build muscle. Giving up processed foods and sugary sweets has increased my energy level, and eliminated the bloated, drugged feeling and cravings I used to experience at the end of the day. A decrease in body fat along with muscle gain has made my skin smoother and tighter.

Life is full of surprises and for me Crossfit is one of them. I’m an introvert and was worried that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in its type of environment. But everyone has been so supportive and outright encouraging, that I thrive there.

At the beginning, I remember thinking there are a lot of workouts I might never be able to do, but not any more. At Crossfit there’s always a way, and if I don’t have the muscle to do it today, I will next month or maybe the following month. I am really looking forward to what I’m going to accomplish during the next year. If one of my concerns about aging was maintaining independence (and it was), I’m moving in the right direction.

A few days ago, I read a quote on my Caribou coffee cup that totally sums it up for me: Life is where “What if?” runs away with “Why not?”

 

“Murph” 27MAY2013
40lbs Ground to Overhead