Michaela Grey

A little bit about me– I have lost nearly 100 pounds, cut 14 inches of hair off my head, and preened my entire wardrobe from my closet.

I also have lost the words I need to write a testimonial I deem good enough to begin to describe what I’ve gained from Crossfit Dubuque.

In a culture that teaches us to always be less of what we are, Crossfit has taught me to be way more than what I am. I have gained knowledge, muscle, and confidence. I have put weight on my lifts, distance on my runs, and reps to any AMRAP.

The most important gain is the community and support that comes with Crossfit Dubuque. I could not have gained and lost anything without the aid of some of the greatest people I will ever know. The people in this community have helped me in so many ways. They’ve helped me become me again, a better version with more power than ever. They help me figure out what I am capable of on a daily basis and I am so grateful to them.

So, before I begin to tear up a bit, let me explain some of my experiences with Crossfit Dubuque!

What were you doing for fitness prior to CFD?

I want to write this one from beginning to end because there’s a point I want to make, bear with me. Fitness before CFD was non-existent. I was always a thin person without much work until I began to have health issues. It began with debilitating female issues where I would find myself stuck in bed most days. After two surgeries for said issues we decided it would be best to manage however I could. I was beginning to gain weight from lengths of poor diet and no activity. Hormonal treatments threw my body even more off balance. This is where my digestive system basically shut down– I couldn’t eat, I weighed about 250 pounds, and was very ill.
After many visits to doctors, we pinpointed very specific points in my habits that were giving way to being unhealthy. I began a regiment of better diet and activity, (as well as plenty of new medication that would slowly disappear after a year at CFD). I began to walk, (difficult due to flat feet– I had custom orthotics made). Then I began to jog– no more than 100 meters between walking. Diet became my medicine and fitness, my therapy. I graduated slowly to the treadmill, elliptical, and bike. I was never interested in fitness practiced with these machines and yearned for something that would make my body strong, moveable, flexible.
I attended a health fair in the Quad Cities where I saw a center that promoted correct movement of the body– a very yoga type fitness. I was very interested in trying something like this and was looking for it in Dubuque. I met Phil and Jake at a health fair in Dubuque– they convinced me I was talking about Crossfit. I wasn’t, but it wouldn’t be the first time these guys knew better than I.
When I was bigger, I would purchase clothing according to color. If something fit, I would buy 5 in different colors. I thought that’s the way it was going to be from there going forward, at least I would have clothes that fit that body, (my friends at CFD helped me learn how to dress correctly too).
To the point– my body still isn’t perfect but it’s so much better. There is never any point of no return. No matter where you are, you can always get better.

What was your first WOD, how did you feel during and after?

During my first foundations courses I squatted so much I couldn’t use the stairs in a fire drill, fell on my butt while attempting a double under, and had to drive to work when it was raining because my arms hurt so bad from thrusters I could not hold an umbrella.
Theoretically, my first WOD was a Monday 6:30pm. I was late and didn’t RSVP. Turns out, I was coach Mike’s only surprise attendee that day. We had a heart to heart and I was signed up for the 5:15am class the next day. The WOD consisted of an AMRAP of 400’s and wall walks, for what felt like 5 hours. I finished my first 400, belly flopped a bit, and wheezed up the hill again. It was a very sad attempt, but it was an attempt. But how amazing are those other people who are flying through these things! I so wanted to learn how they do it and know what it would feel like to be able to do that!

How has Crossfit Dubuque helped you in your day to day life?

I couldn’t get out of bed after 12 hours of sleep on a normal day before Crossfit Dubuque.
I don’t know if I could even begin to describe all the ways Crossfit Dubuque has helped me physically on a day to day basis. The difference in energy levels is enormous, the amount I can do physically even larger.
The biggest difference is my confidence. It’s something I still need to work on. Most of the time I don’t know what I’m capable of and I appreciate my coaches even more, they push me to realize I’m capable of so much.
There have been a lot of changes within my life, Crossfit Dubuque a catalyst. Like I said before, I’m learning how to be me, a me with all this power Crossfit Dubuque has given me. I’m learning exactly what I want and what I don’t want, how to communicate that, and how to stand up to anything that comes between it.

What is something we don’t know about you?

Not much, I think I’m pretty open which is probably a little unfortunate sometimes!
My first ‘race’ ever was the Tough Mudder in May 2013– I was upset when it was almost over and thought it was a little easy, (I’m sure that was because of CFD). I didn’t run through the electricity, however.
I have also practiced a little MMA, Capoeira, and Hung Gar.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out at Crossfit Dubuque?

Keep at it! Keep trying! It’s going to be tough, but it’s so worth it. Your body can do it, it’s your mind you have to convince. Meet these people, they are so wonderful, amazing, kind, hardworking, truly the best of the best. Talk to everybody, be open, have fun! We’re all friends here! Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Learn your own, don’t compare yourself to anybody else– it’s your turn to discover yourself, what you want, what you can do. It’s truly the opportunity of a lifetime.
Some journeys end at the beginning and that’s a wonderful place to be.

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