My husband and I own CrossFit North Alpharetta in Alpharetta, GA. www.CrossFitNorthAlpharetta.com
After years of friends and family begging me to share my "not on paper" recipes and cooking techniques, I decided to take the time to document what I do.
I am sometimes referred to as extreme with my decisions but I believe in throwing all "norms" of our American culture out the window and making my own unique story. I'm sure you'll see this reflected in my posts.
My story: Its long but pretty cool!
I played fast pitch softball growing up and loved all sports. However, when it was time to attend college I decided to pursue my education and that meant I neglected physical activity. Thus a good 20 pounds of fat I accumulated. Then, I get married and yet again another 20 pounds...sheesh! I knew I felt crappy and really didn't like what I saw in the mirror, but I didn't know what to do about it. Eventually the day came where my "fatness" began effecting my life decisions.
I committed to go on a missions trip to Nepal with 5 others. The initial plan was that we were going to stay in the city and help the leaders at a local church in Kathmandu. However, the planned changed about 3 months before leaving. The new plan included a week of hiking into the Himalayans to visit some of the village house churches and go into areas where no missionaries had been. Everyone else on the mission team was in shape and could certainly handle the travels by foot. I knew I couldn't, was concerned, nervous and really embarrassed. I knew I had to do something about it (mainly out of fear)!
Let the journey begin! I started by joining a small gym right behind where I worked. I drove there every morning before work, spent 30 minutes on the eliptical or treadmill, took a shower and went to work. A few weeks later I started to try weight training with not a clue of what to do. I just knew I needed to build some muscle. My employer agreed to pay for three 30 minute personal training sessions per week for anyone interested...I jumped on that! So, with my physical activity well under way I knew it was time to take a look at my diet.
When I started this journey I was so embarrassed I wouldn't even weigh myself. I was 22 years old, a size 14 and I think I weighed about 185-190 pounds...NOT GOOD!
Again, with not a clue what to do (other than eat less), I searched the Internet. I was reading and soaking up all the knowledge I could get my hands on. The most convincing "diet", or way to eat, I discovered was this 40/30/30 diet. Meaning you eat 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. I cleaned up my diet, starting journaling my food and GAVE UP SUGAR FOR 3 MONTHS! When I left for that mission trip a few months later I had already lost almost 20 pounds. Not only was I smaller, I felt stronger and confident! YES, I did make it through all the hiking in the Himalayan mountains, and YES I kept up with everyone else. VICTORY!
In this story that's not the end, only the beginning! I had found a new hobby and was addicted (in a good way). I continued to work out every morning at 6am. I increased my intensity over time, continued playing with diet and over the next year to year and a half I lost almost 50 pounds. I was in a size 6, strong (so I thought) AND I was smokin' hot in a bathing suit!
Then, after about 3 years of this "routine" I started to get a little bored, thinking "this can't be it". I was going to the gym 5 days a week, doing pretty much the same "body builder" routine(chest, back, legs, biceps, triceps, cardio etc.). I felt great and looked great, but I needed a change; a new challenge. Coincidently my husband felt the same thing. So, on our search for "what else?" he came across an article in a body-builder magazine about CrossFit. We were interested and wanted to give it a try. We thought we were fit and it would be fun. So off we went to our 24/7 gym and starting CrossFitting there. You can only imagine the looks we got...pullups, dumbell swings, thrusters, etc...we were a sight to see apparently. Wasn't long before we started getting in trouble for making too much noise and dropping weights at the 24/7 place. After our first week we were hooked and decided to visit the nearest CrossFit gym at the time, "CrossFit Addiction" in Kennesaw, GA. Our first visit only solidified our new love for functional movements, constantly varied at high intensity. It also quickly revealed how weak I was in moving my own body! Oh, I could move some weight on a static machine BUT I couldn't move my own body (pushups, pullups, etc) nor I could stabilize to move any free weights (a barbell). Turns out my husband and I were only fit in a controlled bubble. I had found a challenge!
And here we go again; let the NEW journey begin! We were sucked in, and like with most things in our lives, when we find something we like, we are ALL IN! Several months after we started CrossFitting at "CrossFit Addiction" Jonathan, my husband, became a certified Level 1 CrossFit coach. In relative short order we left "CrossFit Addiction" and we purchased about $3,000 in CrossFit equipment for our garage and began working out at home. Then, we started inviting others to workout with us, thus a garage gym was born!
On a personal note- During this new CrossFit journey Jonathan was a police officer in the roughest area of Cobb County and one of the roughest areas for Metro Atlanta all together. Fast forward 2 years to April 29, 2010. Our lives were changed forever. It was about 10:30 p.m. while nursing our 3 month old child (baby #2 for us) that the phone rang. The second I pushed "talk" I heard sirens on the other end of the call. Before I even touched the phone to my ear my heart immediately sank. It took every ounce of strength I had to say "hello". After about 5 seconds of silence I finally said it..."hello...". On the other end was a fellow Officer who immediately said, "Jonathan is going to live, but has been SHOT." The Officer explained that Jonathan had been hit in the leg and that they were on their way to the hospital in an ambulance. My heart raced and I couldn't think clearly. I needed to get to the hospital but had two babies at home. One child who only nursed...what do I do? I called my best friend, Danielle, and said, "help me think...what do I do?". She and I decided to call my parents for help, duh! Well, I made it to hospital just fine and we made it home the next day. But, now what do we do? After 2 months of chaos, meeting doctors, visits by nurses almost everyday, 2 surgeries, and tons of visitors, Jonathan was back at work. BUT, he was not the same Jonathan. You see, while spending almost 6 weeks on the sofa God was speaking loud and clear to Jonathan. Pretty much saying "let's re-evaluate your life decisions, who you are and what you do".
Over the next 10 months we wrestled through lots of "stuff"...not FUN stuff, but hard stuff, uncomfortable stuff. One thing we knew for sure: it was time to move on from police work and do that thing that we've wanted to do for two years now...start a CrossFit gym. after lots of planning, then waiting, planning, then waiting, planning, then waiting, and so forth, we felt like we had found the right location for our business and had saved just enough to buy some equipment and pay our mortgage for several months. Jonathan knew the only way to do it right would be to take the step of faith and retire from the police force. That brings us to today. We have a new CrossFit gym in Alpharetta, GA(CrossFit North Alpharetta) and we're working hard to make it to where we want to be, trying to earn a living helping others and doing what we love! So, let the journey continue...