Self-Discovery through CrossFit.

Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I hadn’t started CrossFit. Would I still be lying on the couch after work eating Doritos? Would I be 20lbs heavier? Would I still be single? What would I be doing on the weekends – just partying? Would I still have low self-esteem?

I can only imagine what my life would be like, but I know for a fact that I am 100% a happier person than I was a year and a half ago…

me

A brief background: In August 2011, I started working for Kyle Posey with Siteasrx. I needed more web experience being a graphic designer major at UTC  (big shout out to Stephanie Whiting for referring me!). I remember in the “interview” the guys telling me that I necessarily didn’t have to join CrossFit, just be able to resolve client issues. I was all for that because at the time I hadn’t worked out in 5 years and had no interest in starting then.

A couple months passed filled with constant nagging from Kyle and Steph to “Just give it a try. If you don’t love it, at least you gave it a shot.” I’m REALLY good at being lazy, so it was pretty easy to ignore them… until that one fateful day.

Long story short – I gave in on October 10th, 2011 and I have never looked back. My first WOD was Collin (out of them all, of course). I somehow survived. I remember parts of my body aching that I hadn’t used in years. The coaches and members were great. Everyone was so focused and motivated. They encouraged me throughout the WOD, which I found to be odd because I couldn’t breathe long enough to even mutter a sentence. But like all the rest, I was HOOKED. I was hurting something fierce, but I was hooked.

Within the first few months, I was lifting weight that I didn’t think was possible for me. I had never lifted a weight in my life. A deadlift? That’s for those massive guys. Nope. Turns out they are for me – just like cleans, thrusters, KB swings, back-squats, pull-ups – the list goes on.

A few stats:
Deadlift: 265 lbs.
Back Squat: 185 lbs.
Clean & Jerk: 145 lbs.
Snatch: 105 lbs.

And the people! are the BEST. Everyone is so different, but that’s what I love about it. We all have different backgrounds, different hobbies, different families, different goals – but we all come together for that one similarity… CrossFit (and PRing all over the damn place). I’ve met some of my best friends here – my role models – my current roommates – and even my wonderful boyfriend. My whole life revolves around this place.

I have been in Chattanooga for almost 6 years now. Most people don’t know this, but I can honestly say that until I found Brigade, I was lost. I didn’t know who I was. I had great friends and family, but I was struggling with self-esteem issues and I couldn’t define who I was as a person. I had trouble interacting with people. I thought having a boyfriend would help my uncertainty with myself. I chased them. I’m not a chaser. That was stupid. They weren’t for me. You can’t make someone else happy until you are truly happy with yourself. My confidence was so low, that I questioned every little decision and thing I did. I would look at other people and wish that I could be more outgoing like them or at least have the words to say. I was stuck. Stuck in the (un)comfortable zone. It wasn’t until I started actually challenging myself in CrossFit and pushing my boundaries that I was able to figure out what to do to make Kelsey happy. It’s like a switch went off. “Oh hey Kelsey! I’ve really missed you.” I said.

I am now about to move Austin, Texas to work for IBM Design. Why leave something and the people here in Chattanooga that make me happy, you might ask? Because now, I have these people behind me – my best friends, my roommates, my role models, and my boyfriend Kevin – pushing me to be the best person I can be. I believe that I can accomplish whatever it is I put my mind too and I have learned to take risks now, even if they are scary.  I found myself and I can now be myself, wherever life’s road takes me.

CrossFit changed me. The people at Brigade changed me. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

Don’t be scared to try it. And not even that, don’t be scared to try something outside of your comfort zone.

You might surprise yourself.

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