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In January 2013, I stumbled casually into CFWL just to see what all the CrossFit hype was about. In grad school at the time, I had recently accomplished my goal of running two full marathons and multiple half marathons, but running just didn’t seem to fulfill me anymore. Running the longer distances had been goal of mine for several reasons. One, I don’t strike most people as a runner and wanted to prove to myself that I could complete 26.2 more than once. So those were checked off the list, what was next? CrossFit it was!
A Texas girl at heart, CFWL has served many purposes during my stay in the Midwest. For starters, it filled the void of home through its members and community. Prior to this, I had not been involved in a sport where the group was as close knitted. These CROSSFIT people are there to encourage me to finish a WOD strong as well as text me to make sure my day is going well! CrossFit friends aren’t just gym acquaintances; these are people who share a common passion! There are no words to describe the lifelong friends I have gained through CrossFit. Specifically, my two best friends I gained at the 6am WODs: Bethany and Kayla. We were all “6amers” and became very close sending emails, texts, and calling multiple times a day to discuss CROSSFIT things. Now that Kayla has moved, the calls, texts, and emails still happen daily! Now, there’s just an additional WOD to discuss (Kayla’s box’s). CFWL will always be the glue that holds our friendship together because we all came from the same CrossFit roots!Emily and Bethany
During my time at CFWL, several personal struggles have come my way. When I began CrossFit, my parents were going through a tough divorce. Being 7 years older, I had started to take on a parental role to my 14-year-old sister from 1000 miles away. The gym became my outlet where I sat my worries aside and I could power through an intense WOD forgetting about the struggles of school and family that consumed so much of the other 23 hours of my day. Several months into my CFWL experience, my sister was told she had an enlarged heart and would need open-heart surgery in 8 weeks. The strength, both physically and mentally that CrossFit helped me find is incredible. July 2013 rolled around and it was surgery time. I had traveled back to Texas and Laney asked me to be the one to stay with her in the hospital. I spent a week at the Children’s Hospital in the Cardiac ICU next to her. During that week, I found an hour to slip out and escape to a nearby CrossFit gym. It was probably one of the worst CROSSFIT workouts of my life, but how great it felt to forget that week’s stress load and relieve the built up nerves and emotions. Since that time, she has fully recovered and is back to being a normal teenager. She now WODs at a local gym from time to time as she’s seen a positive change of CROSSFIT within me. I believe that CROSSFIT allows you to find your inner mental strength and has certainly benefited me during my tougher personal times!
CrossFit has also allowed me to appreciate my strengths and weaknesses that I hadn’t focused up until 2013. For years, I spent too much time struggling with my body image and CROSSFIT allows me to now view what I used to consider my flaws, as my strengths. I had no idea how strong I was until I found CrossFit and began lifting. While I still would rather skip EVERY body weight WOD that gets programmed, looking back on how far I’ve come on movements such as pull-ups is incredible! The constant variation in CrossFit WODs allows me to use my strengths in WODs such as the CrossFit Total and also face my weaknesses in WODs such as Mary. And that’s what I love about CrossFit.
I am so thankful to have found CFWL! I am happier and healthier than I was two years ago! CFWL has provided me with a solid CrossFit foundation that I will carry with me to whatever box I may end up at. I am grateful for the community and strength I have gained physically, mentally, and emotionally through my CrossFit journey at CFWL! While I may never make it to the games, I hope 20 years from now to still be pushing myself to be better than I was the day before!


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