I always thought it was sort of cliché when someone says, “Crossfit changed my life”. I thought, how can a simple workout routine change your whole entire life. Is that possible? Can Crossfit really do that? I was sort of a skeptic. Then I started Crossfit, and not only did it change my life but it gave my my life back. It gave me control over the downward spiral that my health and fitness was taking. So, in a way, Crossfit OIB and Coach Karen saved my life, so to speak.
I was a very athletic growing up. I played all kinds of sports as a kid. Football, Baseball, Soccer, and Basketball. As I got into high school I focused most of my attention on the latter three. I was good enough to get some college offers for both Soccer and Baseball but, I really loved baseball more than anything. I played a little college ball then injured my arm and that was the end of sports for me. Shortly after, I joined the Marines. The Marine Corps was an eye opener, to say the least. All those years of playing sports and being active helped but I realized that I was not in good shape. The Marine Corps took my fitness to a whole another level. After a short while I was in the best shape of my life. I could tackle any obstacle. My new found physical prowess and mental toughness gave me the tools I needed to have a very successful career in the Marines. After some time, I decided to get out of the military and try to have go at “civilian life”.
After separating from the military I noticed that I was starting to look a little soft in the middle. My clothes started to fit tight and before I knew I was in size 42 jeans. How could this happen? I was in such great shape just a couple of years before. I never had to worry about what I ate. I never gained this much weight before. I was down on myself and sort of depressed about my appearance. In my situation, I went from one extreme to the other, extremely fit to extremely out of shape. I used to joke with people who commented on my weight gain and tell them that I was “fat and happy”. On the inside I was not happy, but I kept telling everyone that I was.
I tried to get onto the NC Highway Patrol. I made it to the physical fitness test and was basically told I was too fat, and I didn’t make the cut. This was probably one of the lowest points in my life so far. Never, ever, had I been told that I was physically incapable of doing something. This hurt. Words cannot describe how bad I felt after that day. Thus, I started to get even more down and depressed. But I just continued on that downward spiral of doing the same thing I had always done, still not doing anything about it.
Shortly after, I got hired at Sunset Beach Police Department. My second month on the job I found myself in a scuffle with an individual on a traffic stop. It was a minor incident but it was enough for me to say “enough is enough”. I realized that if things were just a little bit different that night, I would not have come home. My family would have been standing over my grave. That is a sobering realization. It took my life being threatened to snap me back to reality. I realized then that I was badly out of shape and fat. Let’s not sugar coat it anymore. I said to myself, “Allie you are fat and out of shape, you should be ashamed of what you have become. You better do something about it now”. So I did. I got on the Crossfit mainsite and started to do the WODs that were posted daily. I used to do Crossfit in the military a little and I was tired of going into your typical globo gym and never getting any results. I figured if I was in great shape in the Military and did Crossfit there, why not stick with what works.
The first month of trying CrossFit on my own I lost 20 pounds. I could not believe it. I didn’t have all the equipment I needed to do all the WODs correctly. I was butchering all the Olympic lifts and just kind of sliming my way through the WODs and I still lost 20 pounds! I was hooked! I marched right down to Crossfit OIB and talked to Karen about joining her box. I had already made my mind up before I even talked to her though. Crossfit had me addicted. I joined her group of nutty, cult like people. Everyone kept telling me, “don’t join that Crossfit gym, they are a crazy cult!”
After a while I realized that they are crazy at CrossFit OIB, good crazy though. Crazy about health, crazy about fitness, crazy about friendship, family, community, and each other. It reminded me so much of what I was missing when I left the military. The brotherhood that I lost when I left the Marine Corps was found again. I found it at Crossfit OIB. Once again, like the Marines, I was surrounded by a nutty little group of people who loved pain and sweat, who were comfortable with being in the uncomfortable. These people made the uncommon, common. It was amazing! I loved it! If you’re like me you’re greatly aware of the fact that you will never be satisfied with living a life other than that which meets and exceeds your aspirations. I was surrounded by like-minded people who had the audacity to be such trues friend to me that they’ll never let me settle for anything but my best. You can’t ask for a better atmosphere than that.
I started to notice that the weight was starting to fall off. I felt better. I had more energy. Before I knew it was time for new clothes. My clothes were falling off of me. Soon I started to notice new muscles. People would ask if I was working out or dieting. People were starting to notice. This gave me even more confidence. Then I started playing with my diet, trying to eat better and cleaner, (still a work in progress). After about a year I started to see my old self, that old Allie that I thought was gone, was starting to come back. This made me very excited. It made me want to keep coming back for more.
It’s not just the weight loss or the competitive atmosphere that makes me like Crossfit OIB so much, it’s the knowledge I’ve attained over the past year. I never knew how to eat right. All the globo gyms I have been to over the years never took the time to sit down and explain proper nutrition to me. Karen Candia did. That is the biggest difference that I see. She gave me the knowledge to not only lose weight but keep it off, and live a healthier lifestyle. Now, I can honestly say, my quality of life is and will be, much better than it was before Crossfit. I am sure in years to come, my wife and son will thank Crossfit and Karen Candia for saving my life. It may sound cliché, but it’s the truth. GO BACK TO BEFORE & AFTER