CrossFit Reaction is making me snatched again

by Angela on July 5, 2012 · 12 comments

I’ve become one of those 30-something women who looks back at old photos longingly, and ponders whether or not she can ever look that good, or feel that confident, again.

For instance, here’s a photo of me at age 20, as a cheerleader for Duke University. My body was lean and defined. I was what the kids these days call “snatched.”

My biggest concerns the moment the above photo was taken:
1) The football team sucks but maybe they’ll actually pull one out (not likely)
2) I won’t have enough time to finish my English paper in case there are celebratory parties tonight (not likely)
3) I hope my bloomers don’t ride up (not likely)

Life seemed pretty simple back then. We trained hard, as collegiate athletes. Some practices would consist of a three mile run, then strength training, and then the actual dance and cheer routines. Back then, I felt strong, productive and confident. I loved working out in a group and feeling both camaraderie and competitive drive. I was happy.

And then a funny thing happened. I got older. My metabolism diminished. I met my husband, fell in love, and started eating tacos at 11pm with him in front of the TV, after he’d get home from work. I grew chunky. That image of the cheerleader prancing on the sidelines grew fainter. My health and my body weren’t a priority.

When I got pregnant two years ago, I put on over 50 pounds. And that was just what I weighed in at 7 months, since Max decided to evacuate the womb early. Imagine if I carried him full term? I was eating tacos now round the clock. Here I am at my heaviest, literally right before I gave birth. I’m likely in the middle of a contraction. Gawd.

My biggest concerns the moment the above photo was taken:
– I won’t be able to leave the house for years after this baby is born (most likely)
– I won’t find enough time to pursue my career further (most likely)
My husband is upstaging me on this momentous occasion (most likely)

Since the birth of my son, I’ve contended with my weight, amongst the multitude of other issues that spring up as a new parent. Like all moms, I don’t have as much literal time anymore to focus on me. But this body?Ā  I’ve tried to go back to the gym, but it’s been a constant struggle. I find it repetitive and dull, and without someone monitoring me, I will leave the premises to get some fro-yo, simply out of boredom. The gym’s classes seem unchallenging and impersonal. Personal training worked for a little while, but when it got too expensive, I quit the trainer AND didn’t continue the workouts.

But here in Greenville, it’s different. I caught wind of some Lion King folks working out at a CrossFit facility literally across the street from our apartment, rallied by Tonoccus McClain, a singer in the ensemble. In a nutshell, CrossFit consists of group strength and conditioning training. And this one is SO close, and my friends are doing it. I have no excuse, right?

I decided to give CrossFit Reaction a try, and after one class, I was hooked. The trainers are excellent and they’re some of the nicest guys around. They push you, correct you, but aren’t drill sergeants. And because we’re working out outdoors in the summer in South Carolina, I’m dripping with sweat from the heat and humidity. It feels gross yet amazing. I’m sore day to day. The best thing? Every day is a different workout.

I’m not expecting a full-blown 20-year-old Ang to emerge from the ashes. But here, I’m experiencing that community and friendly competition. I’m pushing myself, I’m seeing results, and I’m feeling courageous; I attended one noon class this past week where I was the lone female in a group of 16 men. On another day, I finished the workout with the best time of all the classes. These four weeks in Greenville have flown by and I’m bummed to have to leave. I’m feeling a bit like my brave 20-year-old self. And guess what? I can see abs again!

Brandon, the head trainer, took some of these photos below. Here, The Lion King women are coming in from a mile run. Don’t mind Theresa ā€” it was her first CrossFit class and she was excited for the run to end. She sure can get some air!

Noku (Nala in the show) is a natural runner, and keeps up with the men in the pack.

Jelani (Simba) works on burpees.

Trainers Jonathan and Brandon explain safety and proper form.

Buyi (Rafiki) and Noku practice a dead lift with the bar in order to perfect the technique before adding weights.

Buyi tells me, “I’m putting on heavier weights so you don’t think I’m a punk.”

Dionne (the cast’s physical therapist) gets her cardio in on a rowing machine.

Jonathan demos a movement before the group starts the Workout Of The Day (WOD).

Here’s a fun shot of all the Lion King ladies on the bars outside. We’re usually not this smiley during the workouts, however!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Hollick July 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Great job, Honey! Max and I are so proud of you!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:39 am

Thanks dude! Come work out with me anytime šŸ˜‰


Brandon Chapin July 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

We will be so sad to see all of you go ! Its been so great to have all of you as part of our gym.


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:40 am

Brandon, thank you for making me feel so welcome! I have a feeling coaches like you, Jonathan and Taylor are somewhat rare. Let’s stay in touch for sure!


AGS July 6, 2012 at 12:00 am

I have heard so many good things about CrossFit in DC. I may have to try it out if it’s been working so well for you! Congrats on feeling good!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:40 am

AGS – it’s amazing what happens to your confidence once you start getting “in shape” — whatever that means to you. Good luck with getting started!


Lauren July 6, 2012 at 12:18 am

Yay for CrossFit! I should work out there too!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:41 am

Do it, Lauren, do it!!!


JS July 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hi Angela, so many people I know have loved Crossfit too! I hope you get to keep it up since I think it’s all around the country! Stay “snatched”, LOL!!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:41 am

I hope to stay “snatched” or at least “semi-snatched”… we will see how my motivation keeps up on the road!


steve mccarthy July 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

this blog just keeps getting better and better angela! thanks for providing such an entertaining read for us fans of the lion king! best of luck to you in your workouts, you all look great!


Angela July 16, 2012 at 5:42 am

Thank you so much Steve. You are always so kind to us. Iā€™m hoping to keep committed to taking care of my health and my body!


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