I love the competitiveness that Crossfit entails. Whether it is competing against the guy next to you, a score on the whiteboard or the voice inside your own head, there is constantly a challenge to push yourself. For folks who competed in athletics in their youth, a common complaint is you never find an outlet for that once you've become an adult and are stuck behind a desk. Not only has Albany Crossfit become an outlet for that energy for me, but I almost feel I'm more competitive at Albany CrossFit than I ever was in high school sports.
There are a couple factors that keep me interested in coming back to Crossfit. For starters, as mentioned above, is the competitive aspect and the desire to keep up with the improvements others have made. Second would be the community that exists at Albany Crossfit. I am as interested in my friends' performance and I am and lending them support as they struggle is something that is very important to me personally. Third, there is a generally supportive environment that extends beyond fitness and has become an important part of my life–to know you have the encouragement and support of others is something you don't find at a traditional fitness facility. Finally, I would have to say my results keep me coming back. Honestly while all the above is important if I didn't feel like I was in better condition, stronger, happier and lighter, I would probably not be as committed to Crossfit and would find it easier to walk away. Results are critical.
There have been a number of areas of improvement from general strength and physical appearance to increased energy levels and better moods. I started at Albany Crossfit in December 2012 — i weighed around 230lbs and was a type 2 diabetic. I drank 6-12 diet pepsis a day cause they were delicious and because i constantly felt like I needed a pick me up. My only physical activity consisted of pick up basketball once a week on Wednesday nights. Thursdays became nearly impossible as walking up and down stairs was difficult and my body was overcome with soreness.
My performance in any physical activity has increased dramatically whether it's pick up hoops or chores around the house. I've dropped 30lbs and my body shape has transformed dramatically. I've broken any dependency on diet pepsi and for the most part have focused on eating clean for 90-95% of my meals. This has directly led to a major improvement in my health prognosis as my physician puts me in the category of "99.9% of all type 2 diabetics" who took their diagnosis and made necessary personal improvements to essentially rid themselves of diabetes. I no longer take daily injections and except for a few preventive oral meds, i no longer take any prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes.
I came to crossfit after dealing with a serious personal issue and full of self-doubt. Through the community and my accomplishments in the gym I feel like i have regained a confidence that I lost. In addition, I find myself gravitating toward the more positive people in the gym and emulating that positivity in my personal and professional life outside of crossfit. So yea, that–plus all the diabetes stuff is really good too.
My favorite story is of Jason Murphy, so inspiring — this is a guy who found Albany CrossFit when he was morbidly obese and he took steps to reverse that course in his life. It's, to me, the clearest demonstration in our box of the positive change that is possible from participating. The other half of this is that Murph is now one of the best motivators and coaches on the staff. So the fact that he has the presence of mind to know this was valuable for him and that when he gives back its a powerful testament is pretty cool. Albany CrossFit is all about giving back.