There’s Only One Way to Find Out.    February 10 2013

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Three rounds for time of:
30 Pull-ups
155 pound Deadlift, 30 reps
30 Box jump, 24 inch box

Mom and I used to do The Firm’s Standing Legs video a few times a week.  After the first two weeks I remember feeling my leg and thinking, “I’ve developed a quad!”

There’s Only One Way to Find Out.

My Mom has always been my fitness role model.

When I was very young she taught step aerobics at a studio called Images in Old Town, Alexandria.  One of my earliest memories is standing on the studio floor with her after class.  When I was in middle school we moved to Saudi Arabia and she taught aerobics to a group of Saudi women – not exactly acceptable within the country but the Saudi women loved it!

In high school, I wanted to swim faster and hit the ball further.  While other kids were going to personal training sessions three times a week, Mom said that wasn’t an option.  A few days later she came home with a bunch of video tapes, two step boxes, and some dumbbells (one of those sets of dumbbells, believe it or not, lives on the Roots dumbbell rack to this day).  The tapes were The Firm brand and they were the hardest thing I’d ever done.  As I would lie on the ground resting my Mom would be next to me working hard, pushing through, smiling, and telling me to try again.

In college, I came home from my freshmen year 10 pounds heavier than I’d ever been, and it wasn’t muscle weight from college swimming.  I was embarrassed and frustrated so I asked Mom for help.  I’ll never forget her words, “it’s an equation.”  She sat me down and showed me that what I had been eating was largely different than the way I had grown up eating.  She helped me stay focused and two weeks later I was back to my high school weight.

Fast forward to the past ten years and it’s been a whirlwind of stress, emotion, time, and fatigue for my Mom as she cared for her ailing parents through countless hospital and home visits in Florida, traveling from Virginia each time.  To say it took a toll on her health in fitness would be an understatement.

About two years ago she had had enough.  She decided she was going to do something for herself, and that something was CrossFit.  I’m not sure why Mom chose CrossFit (ok, maybe it was the countless nagging from her children, sorry Mom, we could have tried a softer approach) but she did.  So, at 57 years young, she signed up for an intro session at Trident CrossFit in Alexandria, Virginia almost two years ago.

Her journey through CrossFit has been nothing short of what we have all grown to love and expect from our beloved CrossFit – health, fitness, weight loss, accomplishment, friends, support, and coaching – a fitness and health family.  And she found her way in CrossFit just like all of us do, not always knowing what to expect but having the guts to show up for another day.

A few weeks ago my Mom sent me an email.  It opened with details on her and my Dad’s anniversary, questions about when I was coming home, when my brother was coming home, that a high school classmate had had a baby, and then a one liner in the email read…

“I signed up for the open!!!!! Scary huh!”

Wait just a minute!  I had to reread the sentence.  She did it.  She really did it.  And I didn’t even nag her about doing it!  To be honest, I didn’t think she’d even consider it.  She did it all on her own.  How freakin’ cool is that and how freakin’ proud of her am I?  What a difference two years can make.

It’s been a long journey for my Mom but she earned and fought for every step of her progress.  She doesn’t yet have a pull-up and she still hates to run and do sit-ups but she can back squat a ton, she’s able to climb a rope, and she’s going four days a week.  While the exact journey might have been different, every CrossFit athlete has their own story of their journey.

We all choose to do The Open for different reasons but we all do it to share in the magic that is CrossFit, to prove to ourselves that we’ve earned it and made progress, that we can, and to remember that we are all a part of something special.

The 2013 CrossFit Open starts in four weeks.  I have no doubt that my Mom will finish The Open with a newfound sense of accomplishment, optimism, and excitement for what she can accomplish in the coming year.

What will you get out of the 2013 CrossFit Open?  There’s only one way to find out.

Sign-up for The Open here.

  • Molly

    Love the standing legs! I have all the FIRM videos! I used to do the 5 minute abs every day.

  • http://twitter.com/lmarie lisa p

    I can’t decide what I love more: an inspirational Crossfit story or 90s exercise video clips.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825214917 Emily Moore

    I did FIRM videos with my mom, too. I had a cute purple leotard and legwarmers. I thought those instructors were super sexy, and I wanted to teach aerobics when I grew up. :)

  • TridentChad

    AND your ma is cranking reverse hypers like it’s going out of style EVERYDAY since she came back from L1!!!

  • Heather Pine

    Very cool Nicole, and what an amazing momma you’ve got!!

  • Mango

    My first experience with “working out” (other than gymnastics) was with my mom as well. I went with her to “Dance Aerobics” at Riverbend Athletic Club in Wakefield, RI. All of the routines were choreographed to songs like 8 Days a Week and Jeremiah was a Bullfrog. The “cool down” was always Sailing by Michael McDonald, I think. I was definitely the youngest there by about 30-35 years. I loved that class!

  • Katie

    The firm! I had totaly forgotten about those tapes. Hats off to your Mom! Sending her best wishes in her first open!

  • http://www.facebook.com/C.A.Lowitzer Cheryl A Lowitzer

    Nicole, your Mom ROCKS. My Mom & I used to walk together….I know she’s looking down, perhaps shaking her head, not quite getting the CF thing, yet proudly telling ALL her angel peeps “that’s my girl”! And, I just signed up for The Open too. The PR last year was signing up…this year, it’ll be remembering to actually post my scores. After a year on SFH Fish Oil, no more “mental pause” excuses!!

  • Alison Minton

    Aw I love this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/C.A.Lowitzer Cheryl A Lowitzer

    Lisa – soooo, have YOU signed up for the Open???? :-)

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