RAISE YOUR HANDS HIGH IF YOU’RE READY FOR SUMMER?!?!? Because man, it is so cold. I’m over it. But then I remember as I’m typing this that I’m in my warm house, under a big blanket, drinking a Cerise Limon Lacroix. So, I think I’ve got it made. And this convo got brought up at the gym today…If you’ve been at CFEC for 3 years or longer, you definitely remember the old gym. Remember how there were no heaters? No one wanted to even grab a barbell or a kettlebell because everything was so cold. BUTTTTTTTT started from the bottom, now we here because how nice is it to walk into a gym with heaters? Some would say spoiled, but I say #BLESSED.
Today I want to tell all of you about my friend, Robin Koenig. Robin has been a part of CFEC for the past six months or so, but I first met her back in March of last year, during the Open. She came to CFEC for one of our Friday Night Lights to do some taping, rub on some biofreeze (the best stuff) and just make connections. Robin is a chiropractor in Anderson, but she’s not just any chiropractor. I would tell you alllll about how wonderful she is, BUT she typed me up something beautiful, so I just shared it below.
But before I do that, here is some background info! Robin has been working out at CFEC over the past several months. I wanted to share her story for 4 main reasons:
- Her passion – and why she ultimately wanted to become a Chiropractor – while balancing, helping and raising her family
- Her step of bravery to change her life around by starting CrossFit – ultimately putting her on the road to being healthier and happier. Her perspective is awesome. Read to the end!
- She has battled with a few injuries that happened at home, but the way she has persevered through them and CONTINUED TO MOVE has inspired me.
- She was so moved by watching everyone do the Open last year, so she is signing up to compete herself this year! She will also be hanging around and providing the same services she did last year for 3 out of the 5 Friday Night Lights this year.
Seeing Robin kick butt in the gym has been awesome. Check out her story below. She wrote this for me a couple weeks ago, but FYI, since then she has already accomplished one of her two CrossFit goals for the year – getting over her fear of a 20 inch box jump! She went from 12 inches to 20 inches in just a few weeks.
And to top it all off, she has been a huge help to me in getting a little bit of range of motion in my right ankle back. She also adjusted me in her office one time, since that crutches to boot life messed me up even more than I already was. And I was personally blown away by the attention to detail she put into it. She adjusted me, made me walk around, still didn’t like what she saw, so she would try another technique, or focus on a different spot. Her prices are reasonable, and you don’t get caught all up in dumb insurance stuff with her. It’s worth checking her out on her website, or on facebook.
I also emphasized a quote below for you to read, in case you’re the “not into having any fun, with too much to do” type of human, and you miss out on reading her story.
“For me personally, the best thing about CrossFit has been the change I have seen in my mobility, energy level and the increase I have in my self-confidence. My husband says I walk with my head high and I interact with others different. I love exercising now and look forward to pushing myself every day to do just one more rep than the last time or go just a little bit longer than I did last week. Every workout is a new challenge, every week I accomplish more than I thought I could every day I prove to myself that the only thing standing in my way of doing the things I never thought I would be able to do is me.”
I am a 46 year old Chiropractor that is married to an amazingly supportive man and a mom to 5 sons ages 11-24. One of which is severely autistic, cognitively impaired and suffers from a pretty severe seizure disorder. When Matthew was 8 I took him to a chiropractor and the difference I seen with his seizures and behavior was amazing. So at age 34 with the support and encouragement of my husband and my two older kids, I started my almost 11 year journey, to become a chiropractor. During the time that I was getting my undergrad degree, I was able to juggle, keeping up a home, kid’s school and sports schedules, therapy and doctor appointments for Matthew, keeping a 3.9 GPA and working out 5-6 days a week successfully. Grad school was a whole different ball game, we moved to SC from MI and this meant that I left my support system of family and friends. My husband had to take a job that required extensive travel so that he could support our family and I didn’t have to work. My grad school schedule was brutal, 40 hours or more of classroom and labs per week, with evening clinic hours in the last 18 months of the program. There was an average of 4+ hours a night of homework or studying and was a 4 year program, 12 months a year. I was the oldest person in my class, competing with people half my age and keeping up with the curriculum at my age and with the responsibility I had at home was difficult. Exercise was the last thing on the list of things to do, and my diet consisted of sugar, fast food and prepackaged garbage food. I went from being a semi fit and healthy person to someone I swore I would never let myself become, overweight, extremely stressed and sleep deprived.
The stress of the schedule was just a small part of what I was dealing with. I questioned my choice to be a chiropractor because I was in an environment daily with people that didn’t believe in the medical model of healthcare and thought that chiropractic spinal adjustments could cure everything from a pulled muscle to cancer and that patients should be adjusted several times a month for the rest of their lives. This philosophy didn’t resonate with me and I wanted to quit several times. By the grace of God the end of my second year I was introduced to an entire different aspect of Chiropractic. Short term treatment, treating acute conditions and athletes, with an emphasis on home exercise to assist with recovery and preventing future injuries. The focus was on biomechanics, improving function and increasing mobility so that patients would get better in a short amount of time and without spending obscene amounts of money on long term chiropractic care plans. I knew this was the direction that I would enjoy, there would be a market for this type of care and was excited to learn all I could about working with athletes and acute injuries. The down side was this required additional education that my school did not offer and consumed more of my time.
I made it graduated and in August of 2016, I purchased a practice in Anderson. My focus and energy was put on building my practice again my health took a backseat to everything else. I wanted to show the community I was different, and because treating athletes was my primary focus, I reached out to local sports teams and focused my marketing to local gyms and I went to CFEC and introduced myself as a new business owner in the area. We were invited to hang out during the open and this was my first experience with what CrossFit really was. I brought my portable table to CFEC and provided IASTM and kinesio-taping to participating athletes as a way to meet people and get my name out in the community. I watched in amazement at the athletes participating and thought several times, that I would never in a million years be able to do, the things they were doing. I had no clue what a double under, a wall ball, a thruster or “the rig” was. Box jumps looked as difficult as climbing Mount Everest and seeing Allison do several handstand pushups was probably one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. The atmosphere at CFEC was nothing like I had ever experienced at any of the gyms I had been to in the past. The excitement and positive energy was incredible, I remember the last day of the open and watching those that had given everything they had and couldn’t continue, cheer on those that were still going strong, the comradery was infectious. In the back of my mind I really wanted to try it but my fear held me back.
Over the next few months I began seeing a few people that I had talked to during the open at the office. I would listen to the stories of how they got started and how awesome CF is, they would continuously tell me that I should try it. I would say “I will someday” but thinking deep down that I was an overweight, 46 year old woman trying to balance meeting the needs of my family and trying to grow my practice and CF would be impossible for me because of the condition I was in. I was tired all the time and my weight had ballooned to 180 pounds, I had achy joints and my mobility and range of motion was more like that of a 90 year old and when would I have time to add one more thing to do every day. As much as I would love to try it, it seemed impossible for a variety of reasons.
I felt like a hypocrite, giving advice on the importance of exercise and nutrition looking and feeling the way I did. I lacked the confidence relaying to people what they needed to do to improve the quality of their lives because deep down I wasn’t in any shape to give health advice. It boiled down to the fact that I was too scared to step out of my comfort zone to practice what I was preaching. I had days where I would feel that I was cheating my patients and made a conscious decision to make some life changes. This hit me one day, when I realized I was out of breath demonstrating a very basic postural exercise program to a patient. The next day I packed my bag and went to CFEC but I didn’t get out of my car. I sat for almost a half hour and talked myself out of going in, this happened more than once. A few more weeks went by, I became very diligent with cleaning up my diet, and finally I got the nerve to go in, sign up and do the foundations class. I went to a few classes and liked it but still had the mindset that I would never be able to do most of the things everyone else did. My attendance was sporadic due to a back injury that happened with a fall at home, but once that healed up I went back and made my health a priority. I made a commitment to myself to continue with clean eating and put effort into my workouts. The weight started falling off and within just a few weeks my mobility increased, I was able to lift more and my stamina during conditioning has greatly increased and I wasn’t tired all the time and my joint pain disappeared.
One of the greatest thing about CrossFit is that anyone can do it, a person’s age, fitness level or weight is not a deterrent because everything can be scaled down and the coaches want you to succeed. There is a higher level of support and commitment from the coaches than I have seen at other gyms. They cheer you on, make sure you are doing movements safely using proper form and keep you motivated. I have personal experience with this when I injured my rotator cuff a few weeks ago. I have continued to go almost every day because of the support and encouragement I have received from the coaches. They have helped me modify the movements so that I can continue to safely working out and push me to do parts of the WOD that I can do. Not only do you have the support of the coaches but the environment is almost like a family, other athletes are encouraging, helpful and never make you feel judged or intimidated. Everyone that I have interacted with have been helpful and supportive especially learning the movements and the language of CrossFit. Interacting with likeminded positive people that push themselves to be the best they can be is contagious. I have never felt self-conscious when I had to scale down a workout or had to ask a question (and I have asked and continue to ask a lot of questions).
For me personally, the best thing about CrossFit has been the change I have seen in my mobility, energy level and the increase I have in my self-confidence. My husband says I walk with my head high and I interact with others different. I love exercising now and look forward to pushing myself every day to do just one more rep than the last time or go just a little bit longer than I did last week. Every workout is a new challenge, every week I accomplish more than I thought I could every day I prove to myself that the only thing standing in my way of doing the things I never thought I would be able to do is me. 2018 will be the year that I will be able do a real box jump without fear, and I will complete the handstand pushup that Allison amazed me with almost one year ago.