Athlete Of The Month: CHRISTINA PEREZ
My crossfit journey began 13 months ago. I was tipping the scale at 235 pounds and six weeks postpartum. The night before my initial visit to XLR8 I had my husband take before pictures of me. I can remember not wanting to look at the camera. I couldn’t wait for that photo session to be over with. I’m pretty sure I cried after I saw the pictures. Here I was 29 years old and the most unfit and unhealthy I had ever been…a real blow to my self-esteem. The morning I walked into XLR8 I was greeted by Molly, who I’m sure could feel the fear radiating throughout my body. I was literally starting from scratch. I could not do a sit-up or a squat to save my life. Needless to say, Molly and Zeph had their work cut out for them. I started slow….really slow. I used a pole to lower myself down to a squat and did a plank hold in place of sit-ups. Now, we jokingly say I was a “pole squatter”. There were days I wanted to give up. Days when I would cry in my car after a WOD because I didn’t think I could keep up, but quitting was never an option for me. My coaches never gave up on me, so how could I give up on myself? I used that fear and doubt to push myself through the WOD’s. It didn’t matter if I was last to finish or if I was the girl doing jump rope singles without a jump rope (yes, this actually happened..more than once!). I was stronger than the person I was the day before and that’s all that mattered. Shedding the pounds no longer became my priority…being a healthier version of myself was far more important. Once I changed my mentality everything else fell into place. I was lifting heavier, moving to smaller bands on push-ups and pull-ups, running a mile without feeling like a was going to pass out, squatting correctly and doing sit-ups with ease…I was getting stronger. Nothing in life ever comes easy. You have to work for it…you have to earn it because otherwise it just isn’t worth it. I’ve never been athletic. I was far from being considered an athlete. Growing up I was the slowest and weakest in my family. In high school I was the band geek, not the cheerleader or athlete. I had kids young so most of my time and energy was devoted to them. My weight constantly fluctuated. I was the fatty on the sofa full of self doubt and drowning in self pity. Be the change you want to see! Crossfit turned me into an athlete. This girl right here…an athlete! Never thought that I’d say that in this lifetime. I’m 75 pounds down and doing things in crossfit I could never have imagined I would do. I recently ran a 5k non-stop (a new personal record) with the support of my dear friends and fellow crossfitters, Letty and Paul (an awesome husband and wife duo). I also set a PR in my dead lifts at 180# and can run a mile in 8 minutes. I know it’s only up from here. The possibilities are endless. I am so grateful for EVERYONE who has supported me, coached me, motivated me when I was doubting myself, and pushed me to finish when I didn’t think I had anything left in me. Your words of wisdom and encouragement mean the world to me. A special thank you to Molly and Zeph for not giving up on me and having the patience to coach me when I was struggling to get even the most basic movements down. I’d also like to thank my fellow “Breakfast Club” crossfitters for being an awesome group of people and loyal friends. I’ve learned so much from each of you and can’t thank you enough for your endless support. Thank you to my husband and children for your support and motivation you give me on a daily basis. I’m living proof that being a mom and being overweight or not being athletic shouldn’t hold you back from getting out there and finding a fitness program that works for you. For me, it’s crossfit…for others, Zumba. Whatever your story is…whatever is stopping you from taking the plunge into getting healthy put the excuses aside and get out there! Try! You never know, a year from now you could be the person being named “athlete of the month”. Thirteen months after starting this journey there are so many things I’ve learned about myself. I am a strong woman and I can do all things….