By Dori Hackleman

The alarm goes off at 5 a.m., I crawl out of bed with my husband and today is the day.

I have committed to going to my first CrossFit class at Honey Badger Gym in Joplin.

And I am a ball of nerves.

I was used to working out by myself and always just doing my own thing and being in my space. My idea of CrossFit was a group setting where people cheered you on and everyone would be watching and judging — and I wasn’t about that. I loved putting my headphones in and just losing myself to the music and lifting heavy things.

But I’d made up my mind that I was going got to CrossFit with my husband, Scottie, (he’s been doing it for about a year) so I get my gym clothes, take a deep breath, and he says, “Alright, let’s go!”

We load up in the car, the sun is barely peaking out in the sky, and I am still so very anxious. We get to the gym, and I meet everyone in Scottie’s 5:30 a.m. class. Everyone gets on assault bikes (these extra super hard exercises bikes) to get their warm-up and I decide to stretch as I have never been on an assault bike and I don’t want to look like an idiot in front of these new people. The coach walks in and announces that we are going to start warming up. I looked at the WOD (workout of the day) beforehand, but I didn’t know what all the lingo meant. We start warm-ups and a friend was kind enough to explain to me what was going on, and the coach also took the time to explain as well, and I immediately felt more comfortable in this environment. I let loose a little bit and now that I was actually doing the motions, it felt ok.

So we warm up for the workout, and I am already out of breath and feel self-conscience again because I’m thinking, “These people do CrossFit and that automatically means that they are way more fit than I am.” But the thing is that they never put out that vibe. It was all in my own mind.

Once we get past the warm-ups, the coach starts explaining movements and the actual workout. My palms start to sweat, because again, what if I look like an idiot in front of these people? I get handed a PVC tube and asked to demonstrate the lifts we will be doing, and I actually half way know what I am doing, so coach felt comfortable putting me on the training bar (15 pound bar) to practice again. In fact, the whole class practices these movements because everyone needs to get comfortable with the lifts. Once everyone is comfortable and established with the workout, then coach explains exactly what we are doing. He sets the clock for the timer to go off and we have 10 seconds until this workout kicks in. Those 10 seconds were the longest and my heart was beating so hard. I have sealed my fate and I am actually going to do this!!

5, 4, 3, 2……1 GO! The workout kicks in and music is blaring and it is just you and that bar. People are around you working out to the same thing, but they are only paying attention to what they are doing and their time and their weights. We get halfway through the workout, and I am breathing so heavy and my muscles ache. I look around me and every single person is in the same boat as I am, and I immediately know that I am in love with this. CrossFit has been what I have been looking for this whole time in my fitness journey and the one thing that I had been trying to avoid for the last year that my husband has been going. This is exactly what I needed in my life, and I knew that I was sold.

For years I have been doing diets. I went vegan for a year-and-a-half, I did paleo, and I did 4-Hour Body, and even though all these diets worked in their own respect, none of them were a lifestyle change I was willing to make for myself. So I have been struggling with my weight, with dieting, with depression and never feeling like I was getting anywhere.

I became frustrated with the workouts I was doing on my own but was too afraid to do anything else — especially CrossFit.

So what changed my mind? Watching my husband in his first CrossFit competition changed everything for me. I saw the women there and they inspired me so much! These workouts were not easy by any means, but here they were, killing it and kicking ass! There was one woman that had all of her makeup done up, with bright red lipstick on, and it just made me feel so good to see someone be that extra at a competition.

There were also a couple other women there who attend Honey Badger Gym that I had been looking up to for a long time. I just finally decided that instead of wishing I could be like them, that I was going to try and do it.

After my first week, I was officially sold on CrossFit. Now it’s been a whole month and everything else, as far as diet and depression, kind of fell into place. I don’t skip out on the days I have committed myself to going because I genuinely look forward to going to class. It is the hardest workouts I have ever had to do, but it is so worth it at the end to say that I did a tough workout and actually finished it!

I love the community that I have and the people at Honey Badger Gym are amazing!

If you want to try out CrossFit, you can do a trial week for free at Honey Badger!

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