Chris Anderson: More then just a pretty face.

There are so many things I enjoy about Albany Crossfit but what I enjoy the most is the variety. Every day is so different. Every day is its own test. Some days you perform well and some days you don't, but you always know that you will be tested. I also love that you go through that experience with others. The community support and interaction only enriches each experience I have at Albany CrossFit.

The desire to be better keeps me coming back. I came in believing I was fit but over time I've become stronger, more explosive, faster, more flexible, more coordinated, and so much more. The amazing thing is as far as I've come I know that I'm only at a fraction of my potential. That excites me and also serves as motivation to continue to put in the necessary work to continue to improve physically and mentally.

Physically, I've seen the biggest improvements in my strength. While it still is one of my biggest deficits, I'm squatting 50 pounds more than I ever did before I came here and deadlifting over one hundred pounds more. I'm performing Olympic lifts, something I'd never done before joining. Now that I take some time to reflect on it, it's amazing to see how far I've come.

Mentally, my confidence has improved. When I first began I really doubted my abilities. I scaled most workouts both for physical and mental reasons. While I continue to battle with negative thoughts about myself from time to time, they have diminished in frequency. Simply put, I'm more confident now than I've ever been.

CrossFit has reinforced a lesson my parents taught me and that is hard work pays off. Working out and doing CrossFit is not easy. The workouts are challenging, it fatigues you mentally and physically, but those lessons carry over outside the gym. I apply the same mindset, using positive self talk and reminding myself of my strength when I'm challenged in my life. I'm also smart enough to know that just as I have movements I struggle with there will be things in my life that are also challenging. I need to just do my best and allow myself some room to just be okay at it. Just like the gym, some things come naturally and others do not.

Prior to Memorial Day Murph, I was talking to another member about possibly hitting the workout with the weight vest this year.  I said, "I don't know though. Running with a weight vest sucks."  Overhearing this conversation another member, Will, said, "I'm sure Murph thought it sucked when he died in Afghanistan while serving his country."  Reality check.  Sometimes I lose sight that these are just workouts and I'm lucky to be able to do them every day. The things I learn in the gym are just a small piece, a piece I sometimes place too much emphasis on.
Albany CrossFit is about being happy, healthy, having fun, challenging yourself, enjoying the people around you, and sharing a love of fitness and a love of community. It's easy to lose site of that sometimes with AMRAPs, and strength cycles, white boards with scores and Facebook posts. Sometimes a good reality check helps to get things back in perspective.