I can clearly remember the first time I walked into Catalyst. I had just started University at Lake State working towards a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. At the time I thought I was pretty fit. I ran cross-country through high school and was hoping to continue running in University. A friend of my mom’s convinced us to come try out this new gym she was going to. She picked us up at 5:45 am and off we went. The WOD was “Cindy”. I did prone pull-ups on the rings, pushups to my knees and regular squats. I knew I was hooked the moment I walked out of there; I was already thinking about the next WOD.
Looking back, I realize not only was I not fit, I was not well. I was a lot sicker than any 18 year old should be. A year earlier I had been diagnosed with Celiac disease. The year prior to that I had suffered from all sorts of symptoms of celiac disease but had no diagnosis to go on. From the beginning I knew Catalyst could be another step in my journey from sickness to wellness and eventually fitness.
Shortly after starting to attend Catalyst I realized I really wanted to learn how to weight-lift and I signed up for Barbell Bettys. I learned how to squat, press and deadlift. When I realized I had found something other than running that I was good at I became very motivated to become a better lifter and I knew that meant I had to get healthier. I changed my diet to follow more of a paleo plan, I sucked at sticking to it but it was better than what I had been doing before
My greatest improvements were the gains in my health. When I started I could barely make it through a two-hour class at school without feeling completely exhausted. I am 5’8″; the first time I walked into the gym I weighed 110lbs. My stomach was always in turmoil, which caused me to not want to eat , when I did eat everything went right through me. I was skin and bones. Slowly over the next 4 years I got stronger, as I got stronger I got healthier. I now weigh 160lbs and feel healthier than I have ever felt. Just recently I made some more changes to my nutrition and have already noticed a big difference. I also need to give a ton of credit to the coaches, from day one I knew that the coaches at Catalyst were educated and would take care of me. Joining Tyler’s Barbell Betty class was life changing for me because I found something I was passionate about. I love weightlifting. My passion for weightlifting has now developed into a passion for coaching it.
Right now I am working on my conditioning. I was in a minor car accident a year ago and have had to limit certain upper body exercises, but it won’t stop me. That is one of the great things about CrossFit: it’s very scalable. When my injury has healed I plan on focusing on gymnastics, as it is definitely my weakest link. For now I will squat, squat and squat!
Picking a favorite Catalyst memory is almost impossible. I wrote and re-wrote this section three times trying to pick one. I think the Christmas potluck holds a lot of my favorite memories because we all gather for dinner, but more importantly we all bring gifts for kids in our city that may not receive a present for Christmas. During that potluck I realize I am a part of something much bigger than just a gym, I am part of a community. Before I end this write up I want to say Thank-you to all the coaches who not only made me a better athlete but a better coach. I have learned many things from each of you and look forward to many years of learning. If you are reading this and haven’t been to Catalyst I hope you will consider stopping by. Catalyst was a life changing decision for me; it can be for you too.
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