A Dream turned to a Vision and that turned into a Plan-
Only a few days into my CrossFit journey I was having a discussion with Coach Matt or Greg and in that conversation I said that I wanted to lose 50 pounds. Losing 50 pounds was just a dream. But, early on, as I worked through the program, I started to think that it was actually possible. I even allowed myself to imagine what my life would be like if I were to be 50 pounds lighter and healthier. How would my knees feel? My back? my feet? Could I now tie my shoes? Tying your shoes seems like a small thing but that is the type of thought that was going through my mind.
For so many years I would do the exact same thing over and over again and expect a different result. I guess that is the definition of insanity. I had lost hope and doing what I knew was all I knew regardless if it worked or not. Trying CrossFit for the first time for most people that have limited mobility, old nagging injuries, weight issues, or whatever various limitations, seems like an impossibility. I have even heard people say “I am scared to try CrossFit.” The truth is I was more scared of what would happen if I DIDN’T try CrossFit. I knew if I didn’t try it I was on a
collision course with many impending health issues that had given me some nice little warnings signs like High Cholesterol and being a borderline diabetic. I have had to have injections in my knees several times because I would get to the point I couldn’t go a day painless. The worst that could happen if I tried CrossFit would be I that I might fail. That’s it. But, what I found at CrossFit Combustion is that failure never really entered into the equation. Wether it’s the coaching, programming, the supportive community or most likely a combination of all of the above, I’ve seen that if I just show up, do the work and eat how they have taught me to eat, I just could not do anything but succeed.
Now as I write these words I can say I have taken back control of my life and started a chapter that I never thought I would get to write. The dream of being fit and able to live a physically active life had become a vision. I haven’t reached all of my goals as I have set many, but the goal of losing 50 pounds has been checked off the list. Saturday morning September 21st 2013 I stepped onto the scale and it read 261. That made a total of 52 pounds gone since the day I walked into the doors of CrossFit Combustion weighing 313. Now on to the next goal on the list…….
September 21st, 2013
It Takes Two to Tango-
First things first, I have to thank Jeremy Gossett for driving me to do this competition. I appreciate it man, hurry up and get better, we got work to do!! I also want to thank our coaches Greg and Matt for pushing us all and believing in us all. When you finish a workout and you look over and see your coaches smiling knowing you made them proud always makes us feel good. Lastly I say thank you to Casey Carpenter, I only met the guy in person once before and he still agreed to partner up with me on just a couple of weeks notice.
As most of you know CrossFit Combustion had 7 two person teams at the “It Takes Two to Tango” event held at CrossFit Talon this past weekend (9/21/13). In addition there were 2 other members there to volunteer as judges, and countless others in attendance to snap pictures of the athletes in action and to cheer everyone on. I tried to remember everyone I saw that day, and doing the numbers of the spectators, judges, and participates I believe CrossFit combustion had roughly 51% of their total members there at some time that day in some sort of capacity. When I think about that, and what that says about the Box….. Well it’s just humbling to be a part of such an amazing group of folks.
I went into the competition with 2 clear cut goals.
1.) Don’t embarrass myself, my Box, or my coaches.
The last event was the most mentally challenging thing I think I have ever done in my life. The even looks something like this: First is a 5 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible) of 135 lb back squats (this is the scaled version). Now you could trade of with your partner, but it’s still brutal. After that 5 minutes was up, you immediately went into a 5 minute AMRAP of synchronized wall balls. Wall balls include a full front squat with a (in our case) 20 lb med ball. But, since there were two per team, you both had to squat each and every rep wether you were throwing the ball up or catching it. It was tough! After the event Snatch, Swing, Jump, I already felt spent. My legs and back were on fire, I felt like there was nothing left in the tank, and that little voice in my head said “You’re not going to win anyway, so what’s it matter.” It was like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Then I remembered what Matt had said once again “your brain is a liar!!!!”. So I went out there and did the best I could. I knew I had left it all out there when I had to slap my legs because I couldn’t feel them any longer. . Just 7 months earlier (almost to the day) I walked into CrossFit Combustion looking to find hope……….As the buzzer sounded I had completed the WOD, and the entire competition. The moments that followed were pretty emotionally gratifying for me. I remembered back to that guy I had looked at in the mirror 7 months earlier when I had made the decision to change my life once and for all. This was and is definitely a milestone in my journey. I have such a long ways to go, but I am headed in the right direction.
Roy Mangrum is a competitive powerlifter, strength and conditioning coach and member of CrossFit Combustion.