Dawn South became my Facebook friend way back in 2011. We both signed up for WOD Love‘s Muscle Up Club and continued to virtually encourage each other on our pursuit. Please take some time to read her words. You can find the original post on her blog here. Thank you, Dawn, for being such an inspiration!
Even the best laid plans don’t always go as expected.
Since beginning my CrossFit journey almost 5 years ago, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to be a coach and one day have my own gym, but not for the reasons you would expect…or maybe so.
When I found CrossFit, I was needing something positive in my life. I was empty and lost and on a terrible spiral down into a dark depression. I had prayed for God to lift me up and what He did was lead me to a place where I would learn to lift myself up…and I did.
How could I not share this? How could I possibly keep this to myself? I had found the best therapy for me.
When I started CrossFit, I was 15 pounds underweight, living off minimal sleep and just trying to make it from day to day. I can promise you, “getting fit” was NOT on my mind. The only reason I joined my first CrossFit class was because my boys karate instructor had been pretty excited about the “new class” he was offering and he thought I would like it. If you don’t know any karate instructors, they are quite persistent.
So, I tried it out, partly because he asked me to, but mostly because I needed to do something other than sit around feeling sorry for myself.
That first class we did a little chipper. It didn’t look bad at all, but I ended up in a puddle on the floor. As I was pulling out of the parking lot that night, it occurred to me that in that hour long class, I had not thought ONE TIME of anything else that was going on in my life. My focus had just been on the moment I was in and I was hooked!
As time went on, I really began loving getting stronger. I fell in love with the barbell and I had finally found an outlet for my secret competitive side by competing in local CrossFit competitions. My husband soon began CrossFitting and my boys started CrossFit Kids. To say CrossFit had changed my life would be a complete understatement. It changed my whole family.
Fast forward two and half years and I was blessed with the opportunity to open my own CrossFit gym which I would co-own for the next 2 years. What an amazing experience! (That is a whole separate blog.)
My love continued for coaching. I fell in love with Olympic Lifting. I wanted to be better, to be stronger and faster and my goals continued to evolve. I felt more comfortable in my 40-something year old body than I ever had my entire life! I made life long friendships in the community and I was happy.
I imagined how the gym would grow over the next years, all the awesome things that we could do, but sometimes my plan and His plan are different.
In June 2014, I finally had to admit to myself that it was time for me to change course and I sold my part of the gym to my business partner. Once again, I felt like a failure and very defeated for those first few weeks, but God always has a plan and I had to remember that. I can absolutely testify that sometimes the right decisions are often the most difficult to make.
The Scenic Route
Almost immediately, my husband and I began working on our garage and made it into a garage gym. It was around our 3rd workout together that I realized how rare it was that we ever workout together. In all the years I had been coaching, I can literally count the number of times we have worked out together.
It was fun! FUN! And I was given another reason to love CrossFit. My boys joined us for the next one and I was given yet ANOTHER reason to love it.
Did I imagine 5 years ago that I would be coaching people out of my garage? No, but I did imagine that I would still be in love with CrossFit and I am. It continues to be the best therapy ever. It’s my “Happy Dose” each day!
Benefits of the Scenic Route
CrossFit has been given a bad rap over the years, but I can tell you that it saved me and it saves me everyday. I LOVE getting stronger. I love sweating and knowing I gave a workout everything I have but mostly I LOVE coaching. I love the look on someone’s face when they do their first double under, or kick up to their first handstand or get their first pull-up..when I see the joy on their face, there’s nothing like it. THAT’s what it is all about to me and I don’t see that getting old for me anytime soon.
I’m still on my journey and what I have learned is that God’s detours are blessings and I believe sometimes He wants us to take the scenic route instead. I am thankful for the detours because it causes me to slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Everyone has a different reason for beginning CrossFit and my story is just one in a million. Whatever your reason is, the goal is to be happy with who you are and what you are doing.
So go be happy! Life is just too short to be anything else.
“I have learned that, for me at least, I am most successful when doing something I love and what makes me happy. This makes me a better wife, a better mom, a better friend and a better me.” Dawn South is a 40-something year old wife and mother of 3 wonderful boys. She has a true love for art, writing and CrossFit.
She has been a graphic designer and artist for over 20 years. About 5 years ago, she discovered CrossFit and was immediately hooked; she loved everything about it and soon began coaching it as well. Today, she still paints and works as a freelance graphic designer in addition to coaching. When she has free time that is not spent with her family, she is either writing or reading a great book.
Do you really feel as if Dawn’s story is one-in-a-million? Comment below to show her that she is not alone on her scenic route!