Alecia Jones

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Photographer: Sweat RX
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I considered myself an overweight athlete. I played team sports my whole life, especially in high school, so how was I not in shape? When I was injured in rugby, the weight really started to pack on. I stopped being active completely, until I signed up for hockey again. The damage had really set in.

I always dreamt of being in shape and excelling at what I was good at, so I signed up for recreation boxing. I had missed the camaraderie and support you get from a team sport. My mom started talking about this thing called “CrossFit” that her friend did. Soon after my sister joined a box and in turn told me to join. I wasn’t sure. I was scared, knew I wouldn’t fit in, and the thought of doing more than one burpee was enough to turn down the offer.

By December 2011 I was down 20 pounds but needed a bigger push. So Christmas came and I opened a card—in it was a three-month membership to the box in our area. I caved. I joined in January 2012, weighing 215 pounds. The first day in the box was an intro class with me, my sister, and the coach; the coach saw my potential. I went twice a week for those three months and couldn’t wait for them to be over so I could sign up for unlimited classes. Immediately I was surrounded by support, motivation, and the daily challenge, which is what I had been missing.

My first WOD had burpees in it, of course. But what I remember from that day was not only that I finished last but that a lady at my box came got down to finish the last set of burpees with me. I was hooked. We underestimate the affect that supporting each other has. It’s huge; it changed my life. When you think something is impossible and you conquer it, it’s the best feeling imaginable.

The next year I had ups and downs. I was hard on myself and had lost sight of where I came from, my successes and triumphs. I reevaluated and reminded myself what a huge impact my eating habits have on how I feel during a workout and how it leads to setting higher goals and achieving many of them. I’ve since dropped 70 pounds and can clean more than my bodyweight, with room to CrossFit has given me the chance to be the athlete I dreamt of being. It has been my life saver and has given me the best friends a gal could ask for. No excuses, no regrets.

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