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Testimonial by Sarah Spilman:

A little over a year ago I thought about trying CrossFit. I knew it would be good for me in so many ways, but I was afraid. Of the work. Of the people. I had flashbacks to high school. I’ve never been one of the beautiful people. Their confidence was intimidating. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing. I’d look at the board and it might as well have been written in a different language. The abbreviations were meaningless. And that giant weight bar? Wasn’t that for those enormous Olympic weightlifters? I had no business with something like that. I didn’t even like carrying my groceries.

Somehow, I tried it anyway.  I wanted to quit. The people were encouraging, but my doubts were greater. They were overwhelming. I tried to quit.  But then I got an email from Joey asking me to stay.

Why? I’ll never know.

I have never felt wanted, so to be asked to stay – ?

I would have to give it another chance.

Joey was the model of patience and encouragement. He worked with me until I felt confident enough to return to class. I’d never had someone believe in me like that.

All my life, I’d been taught never to do something unless you can be perfect at it. You’d be an embarrassment, a failure. But here, there was a different message. I stayed. I was terrible and … so what? Nobody minded. Only good things happened. No one laughed. They cheered. They were encouraging. People would help me without asking. At CrossFit Hamilton, people go out of their way to say hi, and to say good job. I don’t always respond like I would imagine an outgoing human being would, but I have noticed and I truly appreciate it. Nowhere have I encountered more supportive and accepting people.

I think that the people who are drawn to CrossFit are not the “beautiful people” – do those people even exist? But rather the people who are looking to overcome something.  Something about getting stronger physically has enabled me to get stronger mentally. Failure is not something devastating to be avoided at all costs. Failure is amazing. It builds character. It makes you better.

I want to thank CrossFit Hamilton, the coaches and the community for creating an environment for learning and improvement. I used to think beauty was being skinny. There are no mirrors in a Crossfit gym. The beauty is in what your body is able to do. Because of CrossFit, I have been able to dispel so many of my fears. I ended a relationship I was only in because I was afraid of being alone.

I learned I am enough.

Next month I am moving to Colorado.  I don’t know what awaits me out there but I am so happy to have the courage to find out rather than leaving it as an unfulfilled dream.

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