In 2009, after balancing full-time employment with being a full-time student for close to 10 years, I found myself weighing around 270 lbs and obviously out of shape and unhealthy. While working on my PhD, a classmate and I decided to start going to the HPER to workout, and I began spending a few minutes every morning on an elliptical. Before too long, the elliptical wasn’t challenging enough, so we started running, very slowly and very short distances at first, but within a few months I had worked up to a long run of 12 miles (still at a very slow pace). I had grown to love endorphins, but it was taking me a really long time to run long runs, and I didn’t have a really long time to spend each day. I saw a local news story about CrossFit and decided to give it a try. Through CF, I found I could experience all those same endorphins in a fraction of the time. My first WOD almost killed me. It was a 5 RFTO burpees and thrusters. I’m extremely stubborn, so I was sure I didn’t need to scale that much. My quads had never experienced anything like it before (I couldn’t walk properly for almost a week after), but it was during that WOD that I fell in love with CF. About halfway through, I fell to the ground in the bottom of a burpee, and everything in me screamed “I’m done! I can’t do another rep!” With the music blaring and Hiedi yelling, I lay there for a few seconds, and despite what that voice in my head said, I got up, did another rep, and kept getting up until I was done. That was it for me: lifelong love! Finding the strength and will to do something I didn’t think I could do is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever felt. Since then I’ve learned so much about myself through CF, most importantly that I am a strong person. These days, I spend lots of time training for and competing in Strongman competitions. I love coaching and having the opportunity to help other people experience the feeling that originally made me fall in love with CF. Being a part of someone discovering what they are capable of is a beautiful thing!