My Journey to CrossFit by Lucia Shaw

(Another guest post this week. Today's post is from Lucia Shaw, a strong, motivating, lifting-heavy-things woman I connected with through the Zenbarbell Facebook page. She offered to share her story with here about her reluctant move into CrossFit and how she is feeling about that now. I am thankful for her generosity in sharing her story. )

I started CrossFit in April of 2014. I had just “recovered” from a serious injury to my right hand and nerve repair surgery. I had my last appointment with the surgeon and my hand therapist and they said simply “ok throw away all the splints and go back to normal activities”. I’d been in either a cast or splints for 11 months. I had major proprioception issues with my right hand, limited mobility, still had some nerve pain, oh and my hand was still huge and swollen.

My husband had started CrossFit a few months prior and he’d come home and tell me about these “workouts”.  I’d always say the same thing ” that sounds awful, why do you go?” I thought about going back to kettlebell training but convinced myself I’d be a hazard to others since I couldn’t hold onto the handle of the bell. So I tried aqua bike (it’s ok), pure barre (hated it), I went back to hot yoga (I really like hot yoga). But I missed the intensity of a gritty, weight workout just a little…

Finally, one day he said, just try CrossFit….it’d be good for you. I was getting depressed about my lack of ability to do “normal activities” so I figured ok, I need to try something radical, and well CrossFit sounded radical, and it turns out it is –  in the very best way.

So I went to a first class. They were doing wall balls. I had never seen anything like this before and I was fascinated, freaked out and of course couldn’t really hold onto the ball with my right hand. But I signed up for the onramp. Then I started going to Endurance class….I was out of shape, slower than everyone else. In regular WOD’s I dreaded hearing, ok partner up, share a bar at the rack….who wanted to share a bar with me…we spent most of the transition time taking all the other person’s plates off since I could lift/press/clean so little. I often felt so much anxiety before class I almost didn’t go almost every single time for probably 3 or 4 months. I stopped checking the WOD’s online since I’d rarely go if I read it beforehand….I either didn’t know how to do it or felt I couldn’t do it.

I asked the head coach and owner one day if they even wanted people “like me” at their box. I looked around and saw collegiate athletes, folks training for GORUCK, marathons and more…I wasn’t like any of them. I was looking for permission to quit that day really and I didn’t get it.

Around that same time, I got a message on FB from a coach who told me she saw how hard I worked at the gym, that I was doing GREAT and to hang in there? Ok, so I cried when I got that…it was so nice of her to take the time to message me and I thought wow I am working hard – and I was proud of myself.

I absolutely fell in love with cross fit..not sure when – maybe 6 months in. I love how I feel when I am there, afterwards and always look forward to going again soon. I work out 5-6 times a week now –  I admire so many of the athletes I work out with and really learn a lot from watching them.

So April of 2015 I registered for the Festivus games. I had a great time! I did the Open (scaled) and loved it! I did my first team competition in November of 2015 – a little scary…I was the scaled member on our team but I worked hard and nailed the KB snatches!

I just ran my first Tar Heel 10 Miler (yes 10 miles at one time, in the same day!). So proud of myself and my fellow training partner Laura!

I still struggle, I still have self-doubt. When I hear ‘ok partner up” I try to do so immediately and not worry that the partner is stronger and/or faster than me and figure they won’t want to work out with me. I thought CrossFit would help me overcome my injury but I have gotten so much more than I ever imagined.

I am stronger physically sure but also mentally and emotionally, and I am grateful.

Lucia Competing.
Lucia Competing.