Today I want to introduce you to my friend Christine. She shared her own success story with me this week and I ask her if I could post it here. She is truly an inspiration and encouragement. I am so motivated when I get the opportunity to work out with her. She always presents the challenge to “keep up” with her. That is one of my favorite things about CrossFit group workouts, keeping one another in the game to push through and finish strong. Christine is another example that your goals are attainable!
January 7, 2013
On January 6, 2012 I began my CrossFit journey. In order to really bring home what CrossFit has done for me, I will need to give a little background.
I am a 46 year old female and was skinny fat when I met Nick for my intro session. I was 129 lbs and as weak as they come. My sister talked me into trying CrossFit because it seemed less boring than going to the gym. When she explained the concept to me, I was sure I would make a fool of myself and fail miserably. But I was willing to try. During my intro, I rowed for the allotted time and stepped up on to the box for a pull-up or two. When stepping down my legs gave out and I fell off the box. That is how weak I was. Luckily, Nick took it in stride and we moved on. I could not picture myself climbing that very high rope, busting out pull-ups at warp speed or any of the other things a lot of the people in my class were doing. However, I was challenged. This is only part of the story.
I have terrible genetics. This is a hard fact that my sister and I have both had to come to terms with. My father died at 66 after multiple health problems stemming from his genetics and lifestyle. My father had two heart valves replaced when he was 46 due to genetic defects. From that moment on, he was taking blood thinners among a myriad of other drugs to help keep him stable. Having said that, my father did very little to help his genetic shortfall. He smoked most of his adult life, drank more than he should and was from the south so he ate everything deep fried with gravy on it. Not only that, he worked too much, slept too little and never exercised.
Bottom line? I have the same heart valve defects he had. At the age of 30 I started getting a very racy heart rate and went to see a Cardiologist. My ultrasound showed 3 plus (moderate insufficiency) on both valves (mitral and aortic). I was put on a beta blocker to control the heart rate and so it began. I guess it really hit me when I turned 46. My dad had passed away a few years prior and I just kept thinking, “He was my age when it all started.” I made a decision to see how much I could improve my genetic lot in life. I knew I could not control everything, but I could control some things.
I had consistently gone to CrossFit twice a week (barring vacations and colds) for the first 6 months or so. I ran 5K twice a week and started yoga around April of 2012. I added CrossFit on Saturdays and wondered why I had not been going on Saturday all along.
I could run down the list of my PR’s and all of my firsts (like the rope climb I can now do), but the real story lies in my repeat ultrasound. After 7 months of consistent CrossFit, I had another ultrasound of my heart. There was no insufficiency detected in my aortic valve and 1 plus (mild) in my mitral valve!!! How could this be?! I immediately called my good friend who is a heart nurse and told her what happened. My first thought was that they just didn’t get a good view. “No,” she said, “your heart is stronger that’s why it has gotten better.” I was blown away. I also battle essential hypertension (another genetic gift). And although my consistently high bottom number (85) has dropped, it’s still not impressive (75-80). But I have recently given up salting my food in hopes this will also improve.
I now weigh 111 lbs and can see my oblique’s (first time ever). My muffin top is gone and I am STRONG!!! My skinny little arms are defined and have gotten some good size for my frame. I’m not the strongest girl in the box, by far, but I have come so far and feel amazing.
I am determined to continue my good fight against my genetics and become stronger as I start my second year. I have many skills to master, but I have time. I am confident that I will never get bored and always be challenged. My coaches are all amazing and push me to be better and fitter. For this I am most grateful. I appreciate their direction and interest in my progress. I cannot emphasize the impact CrossFit has had on my life. I want to live a healthy long life in spite of my genetics. In combination with clean eating and the CrossFit lifestyle, I expect to do just that.
Love reading this! Keep climbing up Christine, you look awesome! Ladies, keep charging and finish strong!!
Do you have a success you would like to share? Please Contact Me. It is so encouraging to read challenges fought and won. Share yours.
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