With Pain Comes Strength

Two years ago I was introduced to my first CrossFit class by my friend, Aleen. It only took one class and I was hooked. I don’t remember the Workout of the Day (WOD) but I do remember how I felt. Prior to the class, I felt this heavy and painful pit in my stomach. Afterwards, I felt a massive rush of joy and excitement. It took about 8 months for the pit in my stomach feeling to subside but I still experience that rush, every single time. And I love it!

The past two years have been amazing: participating in 4 competitions,  winning the 2016 scaled division at my gym of the CrossFit Open and most recently achieving 4 strict chin-ups.I surpassed all my strength goals.

Setting competitions and performance aside, I’ve experienced other amazing benefits including boosting my body confidence, developing  my patience (very, very slowly which is ironic), and strengthening my discipline. This past year, though CrossFit has been crucial to building my mental toughness and resilience. The Academy of Lions, which is my CrossFit gym, has served as my sanctuary as I faced pretty steep challenges at work and at home.

Supported by a warm community of lions, I was able to set aside my daily stressors and focus on the primal physicality of the sport. Its fast pace and rigor demands all of you, all the time. When I first started my CrossFit journey, I was worried about my performance, how I ranked and how I looked. But going through adversity provided clarity and perspective. And these are the greatest gifts CrossFit has given me.

Noise and negativity are distractions from your end game and do nothing towards changing your circumstances. Only action and perspective can do that. CrossFit and life is tedious, repetitive, frustrating and painful but along the way you come out a whole lot stronger. So show up, focus, work hard, move on and repeat. And repeat again.

Thank you to all the inspiring coaches at the Academy especially Freya Ravensbergen and Justin Santos. Thank you to my bootcamp for their encouragement and crazy good energy. And lastly, thank you to Soha Bastani and Dhani Oks, owners of the Academy of Lions for building a supportive, safe and welcoming community that enables athletes to flourish.

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