It will be a year next week from the day I decided to start becoming the person I used to be, and the person I wanted to be again. Although many people mark that change in the weight I lost, I see the change as being more substantial, slowly over the last year I have returned to the confident, driven individual I once was.
Dealing with children in and out of hospital for two years drained me, I sought solace in food and wine, and lost all sight of myself. I think I am strong enough now to never let anything impact me in that way again, no matter how testing.
I have written a lot about how eating well has transformed my energy, increased my drive, and given me a glow I had forgotton I owned. But I don’t think I have ever stopped to describe how it feels when I lift weights….
January 15th 2014 was the day I decided to become me again, lose the weight, challenge myself and re-find my zeal for life.
It was May 1st when I first walked into a CrossFit box and started to learn how to lift weights.
It has changed me inside and out.
When I face the bar, loaded with weights, a ripple of excitement loaded with nerves races through me. As I attempt to lift a weight not yet achieved, the sound of the surrounds falls away and it becomes me and a bar. As my hands wrap around the cold metal, I can feel the blood pumping in my veins. I still taste astonishment every time, as I remember that I am a 37 year old mum to three who is just about to power clean weights heavier than my children above my head.
I never dreamt I could be someone who would lift weights for pure enjoyment.
I never realised the impact it could have on my life.
When the bar leaves the ground, time stands still, as it hits my hips the air start to escape from my lungs, it reaches my shoulders and I sigh with relief, happiness and trepidation.
Then comes the thrust, the final push, as the bar flies above my head and I am strong personified, and the sensation of achievement flows into me and a smile breaks out on my face.
It is an amazing feeling. I felt it when I first lifted just the bar above my skull and I have felt it every time since as that bar gets progressively heavier.
Even on the days when I can’t squat as heavy as I have before, or when I fail a lift, it doesn’t matter. Because each day is improving my technique, building my strength, it is another step closer to achieving a new personal best.
If I don’t manage a lift, squat, or deadlift, it simply becomes a future goal. There is no failing in CrossFit, it is all about trying to succeed.
When I lift, I feel empowered, if I can complete a challenging WOD, squat my own body weight, then what else can’t I do?
Weight lifting, for me, has let me push my own boundaries, smash my perceptions of what I can achieve in life and allow me to dream again.
If I can learn to weight lift at 37, then I am brimming with excitement to see what I can achieve when I am 38, and god knows what I will achieve at 40.
I have learnt that being strong in my mind makes me strong in my body, but being strong in my body can also directly impact how strong I feel in my mind.
And that is why I lift.
If you want to know more about CrossFit and you are based Oxford/Berkshire way then feel free to come for a free scaled session at CrossFit Didcot where you will meet some exceptional trainers and quite possibly the nicest bunch of people to workout with.
If you are more northern based then I would recommend you go and see the guys at the newly affliated CrossFit Rotherham, a great place to find empowerment and challenge your own perception of what your body can achieve.