Sheri Fudge: From Will to Skill

I first heard about Catalyst through my cousin Stephanie. I remember her telling me about Catalyst and I saw some pictures of her and Allison doing wall balls, I thought it would be a long time before I would be in good enough shape to do that! I sent Robin a few messages and asked a few questions but always managed to talk myself out of it. I had been struggling to get into or back into shape for several years. I started out really slow with shorts walks and over the years worked my way up to long walks and fitness classes at the Y. I started trying to run( which did not go well at all)and worked my way up to completing the 2012 Tough Mudder with my family. I still knew that I was only getting by with a lot of will not much skill. My asthma and arthritis had improved a lot but my strength and endurance still fell way short from where I wanted to be and I couldn’t see my current fitness plans getting me where I wanted to go. (In 2006 I had a severe allergic reaction that landed me in the ICU, it wasn’t the first time but it was definitely the worst. I had gone so long without oxygen and put so much pressure on my poor heart that I had to stay in the ICU for days to monitor my heart and see if there was any damage. I also had a hard time walking which I think contributes to my running progressing so turtle slow due to circulation damage(I get what I call dead leg), but I’m getting there! This is the big reason why I knew I needed more, I need to make my heart and the rest of me strong enough to survive another bad attack).
Finally in 2013 I asked for some Catalyst classes for Christmas. I had planned on going when Robin was there so I wouldn’t feel so alone but knew if I didn’t put on my big girl pants and do this by myself I might always need a crutch, so I showed up for a class by myself scared to death. Mel and everyone else were so great and encouraging it didn’t take long for me to relax and just go with it. I think the first workout was the one I could barely walk by the time I got home, after the second workout Faith had to help me take off my bra for a few days and I think the third was the one it took me the entire workout to finish 60 over the bar burpees. Boo and Dave made a huge impression on me. Boo was always good for a high five and a hug(and an amazing smile) I always look forward to seeing her. I remember trying to do my first wall walk and Dave simply saying “you’re doing good” and he often says “you’re here, that’s all that matters”. I remember after the first couple of months Carolle making a comment on how much my fitness level improved, that one comment left me grinning from ear to ear all day!  Soon after that I had the privledge of getting coached by Charity, Taryn and Chris and just like when I met Mel I knew I was in good hands. It seemed unreal to have so many positive, capable people in one place. It didn’t take long to realize that they were the key to me getting to that place I thought was so far away. I started noticing a huge improvement in my fitness level fast and started craving groups. I had a few times where I pushed my lungs a little too fast(I was a little excited about the fast improvement lol) and suffered some consequences that lasted days, after a while realized I have a line that I shouldn’t cross and don’t anymore but the amazing thing is that line keeps moving as I keep moving!
Trying to pin point my favorite memory so far is hard, there are so many! My first WOD with tire flips(I smiled the whole time), my first fight gone bad when I first met Jess and she basically held my hand(my inhaler, my water lol) the whole time, Charity taking me on as a partner on a bad lung day so that I could still participate which was also the first time I ran with a log(and loved it) or during the open when I was lucky enough to have Chris in front of me when I attempted to put 100lbs over my head for the first time and the only reason I made it was because he told me to split it. I think the best day though was my first games, with my daughter Jessica, I’m so grateful Andreane was there to capture our hug when we finished one of the events.
Since I started Catalyst going on 2 years now, my frequency has had its ups and downs for the usual life reasons, I live 45min away, my husbands between contracts, illness etc. etc. etc.(My 10 year old is in Junior Varsity and no life changes will change that, it is by far the best program I have ever had any of my kids in). One thing has stayed steady though, I’m always thinking about Catalyst! I have a book of workouts that I copy from the posted workouts, if I run I finish it up with deadlifts or T2B in the shed, if I do hills I drop and do pushups at the bottom, I have a huge tire in yard, even this week when some ladies and I were walking around the John Rhodes track while our kids were swimming and I said hey next week I can bring an 8lbs ball we can pass around while we walk. I think that is the biggest impact Catalyst has had on me, going to Catalyst didn’t just change my workouts while I’m there, it changed the way I do things outside of Catalyst. Its never the same when I’m on my own but I try my hardest to do things Catalyst style so that the dips in my attendance don’t set me back and when I go full force again I am always ready to move forward and not play catch up. Whether its during a workout, planning a meal or grocery shopping, something someone taught me at Catalyst crosses through my mind. I did the open this year which was a great learning experience and lots of fun. I just did my second Catalyst games and the improvement from my first games is mindblowing to me, I cant wait for number three!
The goals I have set now are to do some personal training and work on some specific skills like getting into a handstand(still too scared to flip up), my dreaded overhead squats or getting more than one pull-up lol. As longs as I’m moving forward I’m happy and so is my heart!