A huge thank you to Nancy for taking some time to answer these questions for us. Nancy’s transformation and progress over the last 18 months has been nothing short of outstanding. She has completely bought in to what we do here at CrossFit Outlaw North- and she deserves to reap every single benefit of her hard work.
We think you’ll really enjoy her insights.
Coach: Nancy, talk to me a bit about your mindset before starting crossfit with us and what initially brought you in.
Nancy: When I first came to CrossFit Outlaw North I was the unhealthiest I had ever been in my life, or at least close to it. There were lots of factors at work here, but the bottom line was that my self-confidence was at a low. I wanted to be healthier, but I wasn’t really sure I could get to where I wanted to be. More than anything I was also looking for a fresh start – mentally and physically. I NEVER appreciated how much CrossFit was going to do all of that for me.
I came into the gym after relentless “encouragement” from one of my colleagues – who also happens to be one of the most important mentors I’ve had in my career (I’ll never tell him that though lol). He had been telling me for a year that I should be doing CrossFit and I repeatedly told him that I’d never be able to do it, there was no way. Finally I decided to go into Outlaw North and just ask a few questions. My sister and I actually went together and when we walked in there was a class going on. I couldn’t figure out how they all knew what was going on, it looked really confusing, not to mention, impossible to do. I’d almost decided at that point to walk out, but Lacey happened to be right there at the desk so there was no turning back. Jay and Lacey are just both so great, that after one conversation with them I felt that at minimum I could give it shot. I still wasn’t optimistic that it was going to go well though.
It probably took 3 months before I wasn’t totally nauseous before a class started. I was so nervous every time! I had a nagging feeling that I didn’t really belong, but I was having so much fun in every class that I didn’t really care. Everyone at Outlaw is so great, really friendly and welcoming, and that’s what really brought me back every day.
Coach: How has crossfit changed your life since then? Is there anything specific you can look back on that stands out in terms of personal growth or when you really knew you were in the right place?
Nancy: This is a tough question. It really has changed my life in every way imaginable and lots of ways I would never have expected. I’m much more confident now and not just in the obvious ways. CrossFit teaches me every day about how I mentally tackle challenges. There’s a massive sense of accomplishment every time I lift a weight that I didn’t think I could, or complete a workout under the timecap that I didn’t think I’d finish. I’m learning to master the mental game and I’m definitely more focused. I’ve learned so much about myself by tackling tough workouts – I would never have expected that! And this has all translated to life outside of the gym as well. I’m more patient, more relaxed, better rested and happier.
I’ve had some big moments over the last year, but two that stand out to me were doing Murph and getting my first rope climb. I just wanted to climb a rope and the first time I did was so cool! That one is just plain fun. But running, running is my worst. The day Murph was scheduled I was working a long day and wasn’t going to make it to the gym (Note: Murph is a CrossFit benchmark workout performed on Memorial Day that consists of 1 Mile Run, 100 Pull-ups, 200 Pushups, 300 Squats, 1 Mile Run). I was seeing all the posts and comments from the morning groups on what a great experience it was and I really wanted to do it too…while also completely dreading the two 1 mile runs. At the last minute I used some vacation hours so I could get to an evening class and do it. I expected I wouldn’t make the runs unbroken, but I did! First time ever for me! It was an incredible atmosphere in the gym that day and it was pretty great to be there.
Coach: Talk a little bit about what you’re capable of now versus 18 months ago both for a physical and psychological perspective (it’s okay to brag here!)
This list is huge for me. I have lots of new skills that I certainly didn’t have before – double unders, rope climbs, toes to bar – and I can lift lots more weight. I’m much better conditioned, no question. Probably the best example of this dramatic change is the retest of “Nancy” last week. I first did it in August 2016 when I was just 2 months into Crossfit. I just used a 15 lb training bar and of course, my runs were super slow. My final time was 24:53 that day. Last week I used a 35 lb bar and completed it in 15:41! Almost 10 mins off my time! That was amazing. I’ll admit that I was worried I wouldn’t finish under the timecap this time, just remembering how it was the first time. But it was an incredible feeling to see how fast I was moving and even feeling pretty good during the runs. I definitely feel like I’ve come a long way and this just confirmed that for me.
Physically I’m able to move easier both in the gym and in day-to-day life and I have so much more energy. Mentally I’m stronger than I can ever remember. I thank all of this for making my dream trip to Iceland everything that I wanted. I had been planning this trip for 12 years. If I had done it before joining Crossfit it would never have been the same experience. There was lots of challenging hiking and physical activity, but I was able to visit areas that weren’t easily accessible because I knew I was up for the challenge. I thought many times as I was climbing an almost vertical hiking trail that I owed those experiences to Crossfit.
Coach: How much of a role has nutrition coaching played in all of this?
Nancy: No question, nutrition has played a massive role for me. Without it, I would not be in the place I am today. It’s been eye-opening to work with Lacey and she’s taught me lots about both big and small choices. She was able to work with me and my difficult schedule to make it work. There’s no magic solution here – there’s work involved and you have to be willing to do the work to get the change. Once the nutrition clicked for me I saw big changes in the gym too. It makes sense that they go together. I was able to work harder, move better and see huge improvements. With Lacey’s help the nutrition aspect has become second nature to me now and it’s a fraction of the work that it was in the beginning.
Coach: Whether you realize it or not, I guarantee there are tons of people in your life that are inspired by the work you’ve put in. Of those people about a large percentage think “I could never do that”.
Can they? Are you different than them? What would you say to those people to help them take the first step toward a healthier and happier life?
Nancy: I think anyone can do this. I know it sounds cliché but seriously, if I could do it, in the place I was then, anyone can do it. I truly believed I would not be able to do the long list of things that I can now do. It’s one step at a time and you have to appreciate the small steps in order to get to the big ones. It takes consistency. Just show up and put in the work and it will come. There’s such a feeling of accomplishment when you hit the goals that you are striving for. And you have to remember that other people’s goals are not your goals, so don’t compare yourselves to them. Keep in mind what you’re reaching for and use that as motivation every time you think you can’t do it or want to skip the workout. Doing nothing gets you nowhere. Imagine where you’d be today if you had started a year ago and imagine where you’ll be in a year if you start today.