My Crossfit Story

Thursday, July 24, 2014
In honor of the Crossfit Games (it's the most wonderful time of the year!) I thought it would be fun to share how I got into CF, what my journey has been like, and why I love it!

So flash back to 2009- I was but an 18 year old high school graduate working at a gym on an Army base. When one day a handsome soldier and I were set up by some friends and I was all giddy and shy, so out of character for me! Obviously this handsome man was Kevin and before we were married and had our sweet little baby we had gym dates with our friends. Kevin and his friend were all about this Crossfit stuff, my friend knew what it was but I had never even heard of it!

Growing up the only sport I ever did was Taekwon do. While I was very competitive with it and ended up getting my 3rd degree black belt, I put it on the back burner to finish high school and be a teenager. So up until that point with Kevin and our friends I had only been running and doing whatever I saw everyone else doing in the gym. 

The first time the guys showed us a clean I picked up the bar and… did a clean! Haha, then after the fact I vaguely remembered having a few "olympic lifting" sessions with some other TKD kids and their dad. So while it had been about 5/6 years, I still knew what a clean should feel like. 

So fast forward about two years of me doing my own (half ass) CF workouts that Kevin would give me in the gym that now managed.. I stepped into my first Crossfit Box. Kevin was deployed to Afghanistan and I maybe got to talk to him once every two weeks so having him program my work outs got a little hard! So I swallowed my pride and embarrassment and signed up at a real gym. 

I think that made the biggest impact in my Crossfit journey. I was going on my lunch break at the gym and whenever I had the day off. It was hard to make the jump to a real gym with so many good athletes and coaches, but it really boosted my confidence. It pushed me and I loved the sense of community. 
Then when the fall rolled around I stopped my membership because I wouldn't have time between school and working full time. So back to my solo workouts- but this time I had more of a knowledge base to go off of. 

When Kevin came back from deployment he signed up at the local box and it wasn't long before I followed! Next big step for me was competing in a local competition (unknowingly 5/6 weeks pregnant haha). I went back and forth so many times about whether or not I was going to do it because I didn't feel confident and honestly didn't want to embarrass myself. I ended up doing it at the insistence of a few awesome coworkers and I was so glad I did. I did better than I thought and felt so good pushing myself and doing something I had been scared to do in the first place

That last part? That is Crossfit to me. 

My journey in Crossfit has been a pattern of one obstacle conquered and on to the next. My biggest struggle is (and always will be) fighting negative self talk. There are still plenty of times before a workout when I look at the white board at our gym with the earlier classes times or weights and I'll think that if I don't get that time or even beat it, I'm not good enough. After awhile you learn that an attitude like that doesn't get you stronger or faster. You start to be kind to yourself and focus on only being better than you were yesterday. 

In todays society women are taught that you are your appearance. That you should look good so you can feel good. Since starting Crossfit the way I think about my body has changed. My whole life I had always thought that my legs were too big because they didn't look like the airbrushed ones in the magazines or because my stomach didn't concave I must be fat. I was surrounded by girls who only ate once a day so they could be skinny! Now I just want to be stronger, all around. I've stopped caring about how I look, because it has no correlation to how I feel. You know what makes me feel good? Adding 20 pounds to my squat. 

In the few years that it's been mainstreaming Crossfit has already started to change the way we view women. We see strong women of all shapes and sizes lifting twice their body weight, just crushing stereotypes. I love raising Vivian around all of the bad ass women in this sport! She'll see that how you look doesn't even come close to defining who you are and that strength isn't just an ability to pick up heavy things. Real strength comes from within, from putting away your fears and doing that thing you never thought you could. 

I did my first Open this year and will for sure be signing up every year and I have two competitions coming up this summer. I still get nervous when I think about it but the nerves no longer deter me, they feed me! It's excitement now, not fear. 

So here I am one marriage and baby later… and I've never felt more confident and sure of myself. I will always have that voice inside my head that will tell me that I can't or that I'm not good enough but I will always beat it. Because you know what? When I'm in the middle of a WOD I'm not just Vivian's mom, I'm not just Kevin's wife, and I'm not just how I look or what I lift.. I'm Bria and that'll always be good enough.

Thanks to Katie for doing this healthy habits link up! I like seeing what other bloggers are out there doing to stay healthy. It's the first one that I've thrown my hat into ;) and probably not the last!

5 comments:

  1. Awesome Bria - you are a true inspiration for Vivian and all of us that workout with you!!!!

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  2. You are totally my fitness inspiration mama!!! You are awesome!
    xo
    Natalie

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  3. go girly!! so amazing! i looove the pics of you babywearing AND workin out!! my husband loves crossfit, so i have heard a lot about it!! :)

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  4. I have had the privilege of knowing Bria since her father brought her and her sister to the taekwondo studio where I used to work, she was 7 or 8 I believe.... What she shy fully neglected to tell you is that she poured her blood, sweat and tears into her training and became one of the most driven fearless fighters and competitors (and woman) I've ever known. And the has the world champion title to prove it. So proud to know this amazing lady!!! Ms Stewart

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    1. Thank you Alicia! Your comment nearly made me tear up. Thank you for it, and for being such a strong female role model to me. I hope to come see you :)

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