Finally, Elliot Has Found Something That Works

Okay. I’m Justin, I’m an office worker. I work in HR at a biotech company in Cambridge. I started really putting some attention on my fitness two and a half years ago, I think. When I became in here. So when I started at Tradewinds, I started out as a personal training client. I really liked the one on one atmosphere. And I did try to group classes, they were enjoyable, but I ultimately liked getting a little bit more direct instruction from the coach. A little bit more one on one, also a little bit shorter. The 30 minute slot is a little better for me than a full hour cross fitting. Before I came in I think it was just looking for a gym in Winthrop that was going to be convenient. I think my biggest challenge in committing some time to fitness was just squeezing it in, making a space for it, making the time for it.

And so it was close to home, that I could kind of roll out of bed, drive a few minutes, get there, get in and get out and get on with my day. So that was sort of what attracted me to Tradewinds. But then when I came in, met with Mary, had a sit down conversation and kind of dug into more of the why do you want to do this? What are your goals? How are you going to commit to this? That started to kind of get me to think a little bit more about this gym being different than other gyms that I had been in, where you pay a membership, you kind of come and go as you please. Clearly someone was interested in wanting to know why and investing a little bit more.

It was really actually committing to it longterm committing to something that I thought I could do for the long term. It wasn’t going to be a six month membership then I drop off and I kind of stop going. So if I think about it, I guess that was kind of the glue that kept me in this gym was the fact that there was somebody on the other end that was as invested as I was. And that was kind of the accountability piece too. It was like, I want to be as invested as you are. So if you show up, I’ll get you there, but you have to show up every day and do the work.

So last year I had a goal of participating in this bike ride, 125 miles Boston to Province Town. It’s a charity ride. I’ve known friends that had done it. We kind of watched over here from the sidelines and for some reason last year, I bought a bike and I thought it was a good goal. It seems pretty lofty but attainable because I knew people that had done it. And it seemed like a good motivator. And so I kind of committed a little bit on a whim but it ended up being a great summer goal last year.

It was actually great to have the integration. It wasn’t like I had two separate goals. It was completely integrated. She said, “Great. Let’s find a way to work your programming around bike riding readiness, figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are and then we’ll align your fitness journey at CrossFit with your biking goal. And ultimately, I think that probably may have been the thing that actually made me successful. I mean, I could have gone out and done training rides like everybody else, but I went into it a lot more confident knowing that I had been working out in the gym doing strength training, hitting hills and powering through hills that people on these training rides with me were struggling with, gave me a little bit of extra confidence to do it.

The Covid pandemic has been, there’s good and bad things to it. I think it’s been a little bit of a challenge for me as kind of a body in motion type person, to be cooped up in the house for such an extended period of time. In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad. I kind of enjoyed a little bit of a reason to slow down and take a break and keeping up my routine wasn’t so bad but four or five weeks in, it started to kind of became a little bit more of a struggle every day, starting to feel the same and harder to hold onto those routines, those healthy routines anyway, and definitely became very challenging to find the motivation to make the most of each day and find a way to make it fun and challenging and enjoyable.

Definitely, I think the thing that helped me the most was trying to find pieces of my old routine, my pre-Covid routine, that put something back. I wasn’t doing things that necessarily used up energy. Maybe they did, but they also kind of energized as well. One of those being continuing my fitness. My appointments with Mary and continuing to try to find ways to keep moving. Even if it wasn’t the same challenge as it was before, it was a different challenge. You know, the challenge was actually making the space, making the time to do it verus pushing the lift heavier or more reps, you know? So finding things like that, that I felt like even if they expended energy, they were giving back something whether it was joy or energizing or something along those lines. I think my biggest piece of advice to someone kind of starting a fitness routine of some sort is not to think about it too much.

Don’t spend too much time thinking about what you’re going to do or worried about whether you can do it or not. I think it’s about kind of committing, even if it’s 30 minutes twice a week, committing the time, expect to just up and find either a thing or a person that’s going to kind of help carry you. Once you show up, it’s going to kind of healthcare and your momentum and kind of build you up. I think that that’s, you know, as the key to my success of kind of sticking with it and building on it was, you know, finding that place, that thing that’s going to help you get there and not dwelling on it too much and worrying and doubting yourself about it.

The thing that’s changed for me in the past two, two and half years since I started here was really genuinely believing that I can do it, do any of it, all of it. I never thought I was going to be a Cross Fitter or that I was going to really be interested in lifting heavy weight or any of that stuff. And I think a lot of that was just rooted in thinking you can’t do it, that it’s too challenging and having done it now, having done stuff with Tradewinds, done the bike ride, I genuinely can tell myself with full confidence that I got it. I can do it. It may not be easy, but you can do it because I’ve done it.

So I think thanks to the Tradewinds community and specifically my coach, Mary, for sticking with me and encouraging me and keeping me motivated over the last couple of years, but especially over the last few months as we’ve been trapped inside and kind of waiting out this Covid situation. Anybody who’s sort of on the fence about it or thought about it and has any interest in taking that first step in their journey, don’t think too much about it and just show up and commit and you’ll get there.

Coach Andy is an Owner and Head Coach at Tradewinds. He grew up in traditional martial arts and uses that rigor and discipline in his CrossFit training. The more technical the movement, the better, with his specialty being the olympic lifts, especially the snatch.