Hey Buzzfeed. In 2009 I started training for my first half marathon. This is in conjunction with attempting to lose the 50 pounds I had gained back between 2005 and 2009. Running was huge to me and between 2009 and 2014, I’ve run 11 half marathons and 3 marathons. At that point in my life, I needed something that would allow me to be fit and do it on my own terms. At 31, I changed jobs and also had to move back home - leaving friends and communities that I had built over the past years. I fell out of love with running because it was so solitary. I needed to get fit the way I lost my weight, surrounded by community. A friend of the family suggested I check out her box. As I went through the “Foundations” courses, I struggled with getting 35 pounds overhead. I even actually fell off the pull up bar due to my own stupidity. I was very intimidated and overwhelmed…but…the community I had found in my box was amazing. Each person greeted me my first day and encouraged me during my first work out, as slow as I was. Given the focus of my coaches (who are some of the best and most patient in NJ), the support of my community, and the programming that is provided through Crossfit - my life has changed. Just last weekend I competed in my first Crossfit competition and did well (very close to the Top 5.) I am now able to get at least 160 pounds overhead. I can do toes to bar (the movement that led to my faceplant off of the bar). I have competed in two Crossfit Opens. I can actually string Double Unders together. My form and understanding of the mechanics of my body have improved greatly. These are huge accomplishments for me. Not only has my body changed (I actually have muscles…my gut doesn’t hang over my pant’s waist…people call me skinny) I am the strongest and most confident in myself that I have ever been at 32 years old. And at least 4 times a week I am surrounded by a community of friends and family to which I belong…and they cheer me on as I accomplish a new movement or a heavier weight, even if I am the last person to finish a work out.