I was officially introduced to CrossFit in May‐2011 and it has completely changed my view towards exercise, health and life. Prior to CrossFit I had been working out for hours at globo gyms with only one goal in mind, to lose weight. I was tired of not seeing results and willing to try anything that would help with my goal. A friend suggested to look into CrossFit and I was trying to understand it, when coincidentally, got an offer and purchased the ‘Women’s only class groupon’ for CrossFit Chicago. My first day through the door I was really scared I didn’t know what to expect but everybody was so friendly and welcoming that I felt comfortable. After the workout I felt like puking and I realized that I was completely out of shape. Since I began I loved the fact that every time I showed up for a workout I was not only sweating, but having a good time, learning moves, meeting new people and challenging my body. I was getting addicted to the challenges that every workout presented and at the same time I was so excited to learn that my body was capable of doing movements never performed before, or simple forgotten movements, like box jumps and jumping rope. I grew up playing sports, particularly basketball, and I was in disbelief when I found myself afraid of jumping on top of a 12 inch tall box. I decided that I was going to take on the challenge. In the past, I had used weight machines and dumbbells but never a barbell. When I was introduced to the 22 lbs. bar I thought it was super heavy and trying to perform movements with it I felt awkward, unbalanced and truthfully a little foolish. But I went with the flow, soon the bar was too light and I started adding weight on it, I felt strong and my confidence started to improve. At CrossFit Chicago the coaches are very knowledgeable and are willing to be there every step of the way. Initially I was blessed to be working with coaches Kelly, Gina and Eileen and every time I showed up at the box they were always pushing me to go further, heavier and faster. I was introduced to better nutrition and have adapted a paleo lifestyle, decided to participate in the paleo challenge and learn more from other athletes and coaches. Later, I realized that weight loss was not my main focus anymore because I had other priorities. Now, I focus on my health, nutrition, family and career. Every time I come to CrossFit Chicago I look forward to the workout, challenges, and the community. I am inspired by all the women in the community and admire their strength, confidence and determination. After almost a year of CrossFit I have completed my first half marathon, ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K 10 minutes faster than my previous run, and fit into smaller size clothing. I’ve learned that I no longer need to eat everything that’s in front of me, that I am in control of what I feed my body and its consequences. I no longer look for excuses to not work out and most importantly I feel stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. I always look forward to the next workout, improving my technique and learning all the skills that I haven’t yet conquered.