Before the X-Project I had never belonged to a gym. Ever. I didn’t understand why anyone would pay money to go to a gym, because I never had to. I have played sports my entire life, through college, and had access to basketball courts, lacrosse fields, and weight rooms…until I didn’t anymore. I am not a big runner, so doing races and getting on treadmills or the elliptical was out of the question. I also lack self-motivation. If I go for a run I’ll walk the minute I feel tired or go 1/2 the distance I planned, or not exercise at all. I knew I needed more instruction/motivation and that is when I sent Mike a message to figure out exactly what this gym was that he had opened.

*Warning, depressing: I had a friend who passed away and CrossFit was something that brought a lot of happiness into her life, and when I heard what Mike was doing was his version of CrossFit, I was all in. Firstly in support of her, secondly in support of Mike.*

My first memory is asking Mike if the gym had a shower, and he said no, and I thought, “what the hell, how could you not have a shower?” This was through text, I was trying to get a feel for what I was getting myself into, because even though I was in decent shape, played a collegiate sport, I was nervous to do something new, meet new people, be bad at something…but I went, at 9:30am, and we did battle ropes, burpees, box jumps etc… People twice my age kicked my ass and I thought it was awesome. To this day I am amazed at what people of all ages at the X-Project are achieving. Although Mike has yet to put a shower in, I have high hopes for the future.

In the beginning I did everything with an empty bar or with 10s, minimal weight, for good reason. I can remember when I was first “allowed” to use 25s, which took some time, but that was when I saw my form and strength were improving. That was very satisfying. I appreciate the insistence on going light in the beginning. These people know what they’re talking about, believe it or not! I have goals that I set for myself, some realistic, some ridiculous, but goals should be ridiculous. I have reached many of my goals. I wanted to be able to move my own body weight in every lift, which I can do in front and back squat, bench, clean& jerk, deadlift…kinda cool. Still striving for that in snatch, overhead press, overhead squat, kettle bell swing, atlas stone (haha). I may need to lose some LBS to achieve this, but I’m not sure if a 30lb body weight drop is do-able or healthy.

Crossfit to me is something I do strictly for fun and it is absolutely that. I attend the 6am class most days, and I have fun. Before Crossfit I didn’t know fun existed at that hour and it actually surprises me to say that it does. I also thought Crossfit was for the elite, the super human, psychopaths, and it’s not. It’s for EVERYONE.

If you feel nervous to attend a class, take comfort in knowing that every single person felt that way before their first class, and maybe before their first 10 classes. It goes away, the X-Project community is kind, welcoming, and free of judgment. That is not an easy set of qualities to find in a place where the objective is to obtain fitness. I highly recommend giving it a try. Maybe you’ll lose weight, maybe you’ll gain muscle mass, maybe you’ll make some friends, no matter what it is, it’ll be worth the short period of discomfort.

I joined the X-Project on October 1, 2014. The X-Project lets me throw, climb, carry, slam, and lift shit. The X-Project lets me eat Pizza (pizza is capitalized, because it’s so important to me that I think it should be a proper noun) on Friday and not care. The X-Project is exactly what I wanted and needed in my FIRST gym. I am grateful for all the encouragement and constructive criticism. I have 0 complaints about the coaching.