I Am The Very First Member of CrossFit I35
EDITOR’S NOTE: ASHLEY PRETTY MUCH WROTE A BOOK, BUT WHEN YOUR STORY IS SO AMAZING THE EDITORS FELT WE NEEDED TO LEAVE EVERY WORD AS WRITTEN TO GET THE POINT ACROSS.
What brought you to I35?
I had been trying to find ways to get myself back into shape after quitting soccer back in high school. I started with getting into running and completing 2 half marathons. But I still didn’t think the running alone was enough. I started reading different articles on how to build strength, and kettlebells peaked my interest. I started working with 5- and 12-lb kettlebells, but lacked motivation working out at home. One day, on my way to work, I noticed a sign on the street for Xtreme Strength & Kettlebell. I looked it up online and sent an email to get more info. Scott wrote me back and I was sold! I thought I was in decent shape, but was woken up by my first CrossFit I-35 bell workout. I couldn’t move for days after…I knew I was hooked. And I became the official first member of I-35.
What can you do now that you couldn’t when you started?
What can’t I do now! From strict pull-ups to kipping and butterfly pullups…I never thought I’d be able to do those, let alone string them together! I can do handstand push-ups and toes to bars/knees to elbow, too. All of my weightlifting is a million times better. I remember the first time I did a snatch with the bar, I couldn’t figure out how to do it correctly so it was a lot of muscling the bar overhead. And, of course, the one I am most proud of…muscle-ups! I always feel proud when I can Rx a muscle-up workout, even if that means I take forever to do it.
What goals have you achieved and what new goals have you set?
Most recently, I achieved Rx-ing muscle-ups. I also finally broke my long time standing PR of back squat. I was stuck at 190 lbs. forever and finally squeaked out 195! My next goal is to squat in the 200’s. I would also like to get a 150 lb. clean and jerk and a 110 lb. snatch.
How have your views about fitness changed?
I don’t look at fitness as a chore anymore. It is something I look forward to and strive to do better in each time I step into the box.
What were your hesitations when you began?
I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to commit. I had started many fitness journeys, but had given up. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be good enough. Luckily, I had a slight advantage when I started, as there was a total of 4 or 5 people in a class. I had never heard the word “CrossFit” when I began, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into!
What was the biggest obstacle you faced in your journey to become healthy?
Laziness. It is so easy to just go sit on the couch. Also, I needed to get the “I worked out so I can eat whatever I want,” idea out of my head. I know my diet isn’t perfect, but I try to be prepared every week. A slightly more comical obstacle was clothing. I wore a lot of baggy shirts and soccer shorts. I still remember Cynthia telling me to show more skin, as I was losing fat quickly. So the first pair of workout stretchy pants came, but they went down to my knees.
Who or what helped you overcome that obstacle?
I just started making changes, and the more I stuck with it, the easier the new changes (mainly to diet) were. Not to mention, having an amazing husband, who is willing to eat lots of chicken and veggies with me. I give credit to all of the amazing I-35 members who I see pushing hard, so it makes me push harder through each and every workout. I love seeing their smiling faces every day. And the shorts got shorter even though it took me a very long time to get comfortable in them. Now it is all I like to wear to the gym! They are comfy and I finally feel like my legs don’t look fat in them.
What else would you like to share about your fitness journey at CrossFit I-35?
The whole journey has been amazing. I can’t believe it has been 3 years! I have learned so much from all of the coaches. It always makes me feel good when someone outside of I-35 asks me for advice or tips in living a healthy lifestyle.
What is most different about your life now?
My confidence is like nothing it has ever been before. I’m not only physically confident, but emotionally. The better I felt about myself, the better person I became. I remember thinking in 2007, when I weighed almost 150 lbs. that wasn’t that bad. I had the mindset that I could never be that 120 lb. girl again. At only 5 feet tall that shouldn’t be something I should have ever been thinking. Now, after all of those years and all the working out attempts and ridiculous diets I tried, I have never had success like I have at CrossFit I-35. Not only am I back to weighing 121 lbs., I am a 121 lb. strong, lean muscular chick! Also, feeling good in a 2-piece swimsuit is a big bonus.