Below is a post that I have been meaning to share for a while.
A few months ago Jess Bean shared a post on her 1 year CrossFit anniversary about what CrossFit had given to her over the course of that year.
I asked her if I could share it, but I never felt I had a justifiable opportunity to do so, and would have felt guilty to just copy and paste without any other context. While her words are strong enough to stand on their own, I wanted context other than just a 1 year anniversary post. 
After Jessica’s accomplishment this past weekend, I have the context.
For the past few months Jessica would still come to the gym for a workout here and there, but her main focus had shifted to running,

with the objective of running a half marathon. 
This past weekend she ran the Equinox Half, and she finished the race well under the goal time she had set for herself!
So while she made the incredible list below about what CrossFit has given her, I feel that she needs credit and recognition for what SHE has given HERSELF! She was motivated and dedicated enough to have goal, prepare for it accordingly, and then absolutely smash it!
Jessica took the last week off to let her body recover but she said she will be back in the gym today! Give her a shout out in this post, or some words of encouragement the next time you see her in person at the gym!
Jessica, I know completing that race was a great personal accomplishment of yours, but if you would be willing to share that symbol of hard work and accomplishment with others, I would absolutely consider it an honor to hang your medal on the accomplishment board (that you painted) at the gym! 

9 things one year of CrossFit has given me:

By Jessica Bean 

      I knew all the stereotypes of being injured and basically that CrossFit athletes want to be injured for a badge of honor or some shit. And the creeper clown mascot stories. So, yeah. That’s terrifying. Then after you get into the box (gym) you realize that’s all bull hockey. The real terror is the workout written on that whiteboard. HOLY NERVOUS SHITS! Don’t be embarrassed… everyone nervous shits. Or at least nervous pees. If you say you don’t, you’re lying. 

       There’s a second language that comes with CrossFit. I’m barely good at speaking English well… see what I did there? Loads of googling and asking questions that are obvious to others. I.E.: What’s a WOD? AMRAP? ROMWOD? KB? OHS? HSPU? EMOM? Box… do you mean gym?  

        You learn to trust your coach (would be called a trainer in a regular gym). You learn that those workouts that look absolutely impossible are always possible with a good coach helping you. For some reason they know what you’re capable of before you know. I NEVER trusted my body to execute even walking backwards, let alone jumping onto a wooden box! 

      CrossFit gave me a second family. You push yourself to the limit every WOD (workout of the day) with people living that same nightmare by your side. You root each other on, you all care that you all make it through, their success is your success. And BOOM! Did we just become best friends?! Yes. Yes, we did. 
       Now you’re going to BBQs together. You know each other’s extended family. You celebrate milestones together. You might as well just take a group photo for your Christmas cards! 

         Disclaimer: I started CrossFit with injuries. I ignored a dislocated disc in my neck for 8 years… yep eight. And I guess I didn’t REALLY ignore it. It hurt! I just chose not to treat it. Because I was in my 20’s and poor. And stupid. But mostly stupid. I also have some lame tendinitis in both arms from my day job as a dental hygienist. By being open with my coach my tendinitis rarely flares up, and my disc is improving. I also saw a orthopedic specialist and have been doing treatment with a chiropractor based on my coach’s advice. So, my real injuries are getting better. 
      But what about all the stereotype injuries?!?! Umm… my coach doesn’t allow us to be dumbasses. So the only injuries I’ve endured from CrossFit have been from me being a dumbass while he wasn’t watching. Little things like; ripping hands on the rig from not using chalk, smacking my shin on a box, because I wasn’t watching my feet like he’s told me to, or smacking a bar into my chin, because I didn’t tuck it in like he told me to. I’m a bad listener sometimes… 



          Whoa! Right? Seems aggressive. But I have developed a severe hatred for normal gyms. I’m so bored. The classes are too long with no variance or accountability for proper form. The patrons look each other up and down (if you’re not getting checked out, you’re getting sized up). No one talks to each other, except that one creepy guy that can’t take a hint. No loud noises allowed! Is this a library or a gym?!?! Why the hell can’t people drop weight or grunt? Why do you have SLAM balls if you don’t want to hear the sound they make when they are SLAMMED?! Machines… machines are especially boring. If you want to run, go outside. If you want to curl, go grab some free weights and curl. If you want a big butt, squat heavy (as heavy as you can, my “heavy” is not actually that heavy), don’t load up a machine or watch TV on a cardio machine. You can waste so much time wandering from set to set. Just do a 15 minute WOD. You’ll get the same results as doing 45 min of machines with 30 min on the elliptical. Rant over. 

        Not the kind of love you’re probably thinking. Not the love of something outside of you (the gym, a boy, a girl, the workout). Nope, the better and harder to find love. Self love. And the hardest self love, for me at least. Love for my body. 
        I love my body! It’s not what others may say is “perfect”. But I don’t care, I love it! And I could seriously throat punch people that make negative comments. My body is fam and I protect my fam. I no longer obsess over new cellulite (that’s gone btw, replaced by muscle), flabby arms, getting a flat stomach, or a hairy big toe knuckle. Don’t act like you don’t have a hairy big toe knuckle! Now I obsess over what my body is capable of achieving, which is way more fun! 

       That’s right, the dreaded weight gain instead of loss. Wha????? Why work so hard if you’re just getting fat? Well, you’re not getting fat. You’re getting muscle and a better metabolism. More metabolism = you can eat more!!! Me likey food!   
       Before CrossFit all I cared about was being thin and that damned number on the scale. And I got thin! And I hated my body just as much as before. Now I have control over my body. If I want to improve the appearance of an area, I do it. Mostly, though, I just want to improve strength. I hardly pay attention to the appearance these days. Because I know I got it locked in where I want it. So no more over the shoulder love handle checks in my jeans. If I’m looking over my shoulder I’m looking at progress. 

        Do you know what it feels like to accomplish a muscle up or the perfect snatch? Me neither. But one day I will. And that day I’ll run into the middle of the gym, slide on my knees, and rip off my shirt in a full out Brandi Chastain style celebration (that happened in 1999 after she scored the goal that won the Women’s World Cup for team U.S.A., incase you’re too young for that reference). But for now, everyday I’m doing something I saw as impossible before I started CrossFit. Some days just finishing the WOD is a feat. Other days it’s learning a new skill. Because I know my coach wouldn’t even let me try it if he didn’t think I was ready. So every time I’m allowed to try something new, I know it’s because I can do it! Yay! Improvements are fun! Seriously, they are. I’m 30 yrs old. I work in a profession that doesn’t have promotions. Improvements get fewer and farer as we get older. So why not do something where you have potential for at least one, maybe even a few, a day?! #thisiswhycrossfitisaddictive