I am a 48 year old Fire Captain and Ocean Lifeguard and somewhat of a fitness enthusiast for most of my life, playing soccer for 42 years and holding 3 National Titles in Rowing the Open United States Lifesaving Championships. I was first exposed to CrossFit in November 2008 and like many of you, it was love at first try. I took my CrossFit Level 1 in September 2009 and passed the test for Level 1 in March 2011. I have always been a self taught and self trained CrossFitter from watching the Exercise Demos on the CrossFit site and of course the school of hard knocks. To say that CrossFit has changed my life for the better in absolutely every way up to this point would be an UNDER statement as most of you reading this can attest. I did however know there was something missing. I have always wanted to join a CrossFit affiliate but due to several factors it had not happened. My wife and I finally joined CrossFit Boynton Beach in February 2012. The coaching from Rob and Aline and ALL the coaches has been outstanding. With my ears and eyes open, I have been taking it all in like a sponge. I have learned so much from EVERY coach there whether they know it or not. Also, the members and the community there is bar none the best. Things that I was unwilling or intimidated to try are now being pursued with new vigor and motivation. I just wanted to throw out a sincere THANKS to CrossFit Boynton Beach. Commit, and give it a try no matter what your level of fitness is. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Mark D Henkle
My wake up thought…
When my daughter turned one I remember looking at her and thinking, “If there was an emergency could I really get you to safety?!?!? Seriously could I run 1 mile to get you to a hospital? 100 feet?” It was that passing thought that made me stop and realize that it was time to change and stop using every excuse in the book as to why I am not exercising and not eating healthy (high risk pregnancy, breast feeding, not enough time, too early, too far, blah blah blah).
The Sign… the big green glowing sign…
Driving home from my daughters’ 1st birthday party I happened to glance to my left and saw a big green glowing sign: “CROSSFIT.” I nearly drove off the road! Now this wasn’t just any randomly placed box – it was a CrossFit box 400 feet from my house… seriously 400 feet! I no longer had an excuse that I didn’t have time as I could WOD and be home before anyone was even awake…. I went home and goggled CrossFit Boynton Beach to find it was my old Coach… so I didn’t even bother with the one week trial and I signed up online that day!
The beginning, middle and today…
So I started the day CFBB opened its doors… yeah I remember those WODS… me and the red bench had a few heart to hearts as I fought off puking or passing out… but I finished each WOD… no matter how long of a break I had to take – my goal was and is to just finish (scaled or whatever JUST FINISH!). Yes there were plenty of times I wanted to quit and just go home and eat myself into a chocolate coma but I didn’t (well for the most part ).
Eventually I RXed a WOD… ran a full 400… lifted 100 lbs off the floor… ran a full 1 mile …got my name on the board for a PR lift (don’ worry MP I’m still gunning for ya)!… lifted 100 lbs above my head… finished the WOD first in my class … ran a full 5K (personal goal for 5 years!) … nailed an Olympic lift. All this time I was (and am) dropping LBS and getting stronger and stronger… I don’t obsess with the scale; I occasionally jump on just to see where I’m at – mostly it goes down. I really go by my need to purchase new clothes J … and well I do enjoy shopping a lot more now.
Eating is actually pretty damn simple – no complex diets and no counting almonds. Coach Rob told me to simply eat lean protein, fruits & vegetables, some nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. I later learned it’s called Paleo but in the beginning I didn’t need to know this… it was simple and that’s what I needed. The more I learned about eating properly the more I learned about medical conditions that have plagued me and my family our entire life!
Today I feel like a new person and basically in many ways I am… I have a different outlook on life – I can’t explain it but it’s just different. My weight no longer defines me – in fact I don’t even care about my weight anymore. I do however care about finishing with better times and learning how hard I can push myself. And yeah I can probably over head squat the skinny girl in the bar and that makes me laugh to myself … yes I still have a lot of fitness goals to achieve but it’s no longer a weight goal. The weight loss will follow as long as I focus on my FITNESS!
Oh and if you’re wondering if I could get my daughter to safety in an emergency now could I? HELL YEAH! I can even throw my hubby on my back and get him to safety too
So here is the before…. in progress J
And here is today’s work
I have always been an active person. Over the years I had put on a lot of weight and had been struggling to work it off. I would join different gyms, or buy a DVD from some infomercial and workout for 3 months before giving up, not seeing the results I was looking for.
I walked into Crossfit Boynton Beach in February 2011 and it has been the best thing for me. When I had started I was 35+ lbs overweight, could not run 400 m without gasping for breath, and I could not even jump onto a 12” box.
Today, I weigh 161lbs; I have learned how to eat properly. I was shown a healthier side to living and made a lifestyle change (Paleo diet). I almost won the Paleo challenge at the box. I recently completed a health assessment at work and my results were phenomenal. I have not have had results like this in over 20 years.
I am in the best shape of my life right now, faster and stronger than I have ever been. I have seen a huge improvement in my overall strength, muscle tone and cardio capacity. I am able to run without losing my breath, I can do pull-ups without the aid of a band, and I conquered the box jump.
I am a walking billboard proving that Crossfit does work. I want to thank all of the trainers and friends at Crossfit Boynton Beach who are helping me and encouraging me. I attend 5-6 days a week and I look forward to each WOD that is posted.
I’ve been working out consistently for 15 years doing the traditional gym exercises like everyone else. 45 minutes of weight lifting followed by 30 minutes of cardio the same song and dance 4-5 days per week. In fact I owned my own personal training company and ran multiple health clubs for 7 years.
A buddy of mine told me about CrossFit and said it was the best thing ever, as a gym person and a professional trainer I said no way to him. He told me to come give it a try so against my own beliefs I did. After the second class I asked, “where do I sign up”! This coming from a guy who has never paid for a gym membership in his life!
I’ve been doing CrossFit now for 2 years and will NEVER go back to any sort of traditional health club or workout again, unless it’s to use the steam room! In that 2 years time CrossFit has made me leaner, stronger, quicker and overall more athletic than I have been since my teen years playing sports! CrossFit never gets boring because it’s different every single time. It’s fun, competitive and overall different than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I wish I had this growing up, in fact I have introduced CrossFit to my 16 year-old nephew and all of his buddy’s and they love it. They refuse to do anything else!
One of the greatest things about CrossFit is that no matter how young, how old or what physical shape you’re in or not in, CrossFit is absolutely for you. I guarantee you’ll never get these sort of results doing any other workout known to man. Even 2 years later I’m not bored or sick of CrossFit at all, in fact I still get that excitement of going like I did in the beginning every single week. I’m so glad I gave CrossFit a shot, despite my stone- headed (I’ll never leave the gym) mindset. I absolutely love it!
My experience with Crossfit over the past 2 years has been unbelievable, consisting of heart thumping workouts and a whole life-style change. What I mean by that is from the way I look at my over all fitness now. I find myself pushing my mind and body to new limits I never thought I could achieve.
Starting with the little things from the way I now go grocery shopping every week, supplying myself with the right nutrition for the up coming WOD’s.. For the week ahead…
By waking up every morning, and instead of having my coffee but right over to my computer checking the website and looking at today’s WOD that’s posted on the Crossfit site for the day..
And, not to mention the unbelievable community that’s constantly evolving at the box… I’ve met some of the coolest friends that all have the same goals and achievements in mind as I do.
If you’re reading this testimony and you haven’t tried out Crossfit… Do yourself a favor and give it a shot. I hope Crossfit changes your life like it changed mine!