I walked into CrossFit Hamilton when I was 39 years old. I was at the point where my youngest was starting preschool in the mornings and I was telling myself, “Go lose weight. Go get healthy. Go be fit. No more excuses.” I had to decide between going back to the large chain gym down the street or finding another alternative. I had run with my girlfriends over the years, taken classes here and there, sweated it out on my elliptical in my basement, and even completed 90 days of a certain exercise program. But there were no significant changes to my body. No love of exercise formed. In fact, I kind of hated every minute. But I knew it was important. I knew that it was something that I had to do because I had to stay healthy for me and my kids and I didn’t want to slip into the “wait until you see how downhill your body will go after you turn 40” saying that all of my friends were telling me. I was already unhappy with how I looked and how I felt.
I knew about CrossFit only because of a close friend that was doing it. After I passed the CrossFit Hamilton sign on Route 130 one day, I decided to make an appointment and go for the first time. Was I blown away by the awesomeness of the first workout? No. Was I hooked and couldn’t wait to do it again? No. Did I puke? No. It was hard but not terrible. It seemed like something I could do. But as I began going three days a week, I started to notice a big difference from the large gym down the street: people knew my name. They asked me how I was doing. They stood next to me and taught me and cheered me on. It was like having my own personal trainer but better, because not only did I have my coach’s knowledge and encouragement, I also had other people around me that were constantly learning and working hard too. I was accountable for the intensity of my workouts and the limits in which I wanted to push myself. There was no one saying, “Let’s do 10 more!” while bouncing around in front of the class in the mirror looking perfect. In fact, there are no mirrors. No reminder of my lack of coordination or an ugly face that I make when I lift the barbell. No TV’s to lull me into a useless cardio session just so I can check the “went to gym” box for the day.
So here I am, 3 years later, working out as consistently as I did in the beginning. In fact, I hate to miss my class. I am so much more confident than I ever was because I am strong and physical strength is empowering. It makes me sleep better at night, makes me choose to eat quality food, and makes me be a more positive role model for my children. My body has changed completely and I am no longer afraid to look at myself in the mirror. I will no longer accept that I have to look a certain way because I have given birth to three children and I am over 40. I am able to do things that I never was able to, like handstands, climb a rope, and pull-ups. For a person who lived their entire life avoiding all sports because of my complete lack of ability, to be called an “athlete” by Coach Dave caused me to laugh out loud. But because of their support and encouragement, I have learned to look at myself in a completely different and positive way. And that is a truly amazing gift. I look forward to the next 3 years! Thank you to all of CFH!!!
-Alison Miller, CFH “Athlete”