Richard Self

unnamedIn March of 2013, I saw on Facebook that a CrossFit affiliate was coming to Chelsea and I was very intrigued, so I asked around and met with one of the owners to get some details. My first thoughts were that I needed to get into better shape before walking through the door, but he talked me into giving it a shot. I remember asking my wife if she would mind if I tried CrossFit for one month. She said it was no problem, and that was a good thing since I had already signed up. I came for the very first introductory class and to get a baseline workout. We stretched, did pushups, air squats, sit ups and some running; I had a nice sweat going and thought to myself “this wasn’t a bad workout”, then the coach told us it was time for the baseline workout (we had been doing the warmup). The baseline workout consisted of rowing, pushups, pull ups, squats and sit ups. It took me a little over seven minutes to complete and when it was done, I remember talking with one of the coaches but having an internal monologue of “don’t pass out until you get to the car”. That was almost two years ago and I can’t express how happy I am that I was willing to walk in the door for the first time. Over the past two years, I’ve had a lot of great experiences at CrossFit Chelsea; there have been many workouts where I’m the last guy to finish and there are people around me cheering me to the end. I’ve also had the opportunity to return the favor by encouraging others to keep going. There is something very internally encouraging about pushing yourself farther than you thought you could go and then having a desire to do it again. Is CrossFit the only type of exercise that works? Absolutely not. I have friends are runners, triathletes, body builders, etc. and I encourage them in those things. This is one of the more difficult aspects to explain, but CrossFit is very good for my mind. There’s the mental toughness aspect where you have to push through exhaustion and wanting to quit, then there’s the other side where you get to lay down the work day or whatever else is happening and just fight through the workout. The only other sport/workout where I’ve experienced that is boxing, and who wants to get punched in the face?

Moving on…rich1

One of the unexpected things that’s happened is that my whole family works out at CFC now, so it’s a family activity for us. In one of my proudest parent moments ever, Samantha (14 year old daughter) competed in a large CrosFit event in Pensacola last year in the women’s division and more than held her own. As a husband and father, it’s really nice to have something that we can all do together that creates a bond, since all parents know that it’s tough to find things in common as kids transition to teens. We’ve also created a lot of great friendships at CFC, I just scrolled through my recent texts while writing this and it’s scattered with folks we met at CFC.

So, what’s the bottom line? What has doing CrossFit changed for me over the last 2 years? I’ve lost weight, and yes I need to lose a lot more. If you see me with pizza or ice cream, please swat it away. I’m stronger, physically and mentally. Getting stronger was not the goal, losing weight and being healthier was the goal. Getting stronger just happened and then it became a lot of fun! I know I can live through any workout. Seriously, that’s a real thing; I told Jennifer to stick close to the phone when I first started because I’d rather get carried away in an ambulance than quit. Thankfully, no ambulance was ever needed. I’ve made great friends that we’ve spent time with at the beach for Pensacola Beach Brawl, dinners, birthdays, bible study, etc. Even if I couldn’t list all of these positive things, at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. Thanks to everyone who has coached me, encouraged me and invested time in my family; I’m truly thankful for each of you.

Richard/Rich/Big Rich

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