After getting out of college I just started to develop some really poor habits. I was always pretty athletic and even at my heaviest I still was able to do some things but it took a toll as I was well over 300 pounds for almost 20 years. Looking at myself in the mirror was very hard to do.
Once I had kids I knew I had to do something but still maintained a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. Eating whatever, whenever was my downfall. Especially at night. I look back on what I ate back then and it’s easy to see why I looked the way I did. I also went into a phase where I was very inactive. I’m a big golfer who still tries to play competitively and the thought back then of walking and carrying my bag was laughable at my size. If there were no carts available I just didn’t play.
I think the tipping point for me was when I moved from a 3XL shirt to a 4XL shirt and a 50 inch waist. Mentally that was tough to swallow. I knew if I didn’t do something it would get out of control. Early on I started walking every day to try to build up my cardio. That morphed into me doing P90x at home. The P90x gave me at least a little taste of what else was available to me aside from just joining a gym and running on a treadmill.
Then about 4 years ago a friend asked me if I wanted to try CrossFit. I was skeptical because I knew it was hard and I wasn’t sure I would wanted to commit to that. I made the decision to meet him in the parking lot at 5:45am and we walked in together. I remember Cara Goldberg was coaching and the first thing I did was a wall ball shot (with 10lbs). The first time I threw the ball up it came down and I missed it and it hit me right in the face! I somehow made it through the first session, hobbled out and could barely walk by 2:00 pm that afternoon. The next day I went again and it improved. I finished my first week and the pains and aches went away. That was over 1,000 classes ago! Crazy to think I’d even hit that number when I first started.
Crossfit has become a daily part of my life now. I knew I had to make a lifestyle change and working out at home isn’t cutting it. Getting out of bed every day at 5:15am attending the 6am class became routine which was hard because I was a night owl who never went to bed before 1am. The weight came flying off and I started to develop muscles that were once non existent. The cardio aspect for me was off the charts. Suddenly running 5 miles became easy. Doing 30 burpees wasn’t a problem. Biking 50 calories was a breeze.
What I really love about coming to Core it is the daily interaction with both the trainers and the people in class. Some have come and gone and some new faces come in every day. It’s a great mix of people who are incredibly supportive and who all motivate each other. The trainers are all excellent and have all helped me along the way. What I really love about the program is it allows you to focus on what works for you. I always have been more of the cardio/F.I.T. option person but I still love to bang barbells against the ground on occasion. It’s very flexible and Core is great about having that option. The endurance workouts are what really motivates me. It’s fun to challenge myself to see if I can get through the workouts.
I have also learned so much as far as nutrition goes. What to put in your body and more importantly what not to put in your body. Do I eat a perfect diet? Absolutely not but I do now at least do a better job of knowing what I should and shouldn’t eat. I always thought working out was the way to lose weight. Eating properly is so much more important and the workouts only accelerate the process. I wish I had started this years ago. I truly can’t imagine not doing CrossFit now. It has become such an important part of my life. It’s something I will continue to do and will continue to improve on as I get older.
In 2010, along with a career change, I decided to make some changes to my health and well being. I started weight watchers and joined a friend for a Zumba Class. I had done both before, with some success, but once the classes were over for the session, so was I. This venture was different because I had decided that it was time to focus and take action on some needed changes. I was going to Zumba 2-3 times a week and followed the meal plans as best I could. I realized I lost over 60lbs and found that I loved not only the Zumba workout, but the friends I made there. There is still a sizeable group of us that still get together socially. The workouts were not as easy as you would think, but I would say to myself, “I can do anything for an hour” and still say the same thing at CORE! I have always had the amazing support of my husband and family, and that makes everything easier. My daughter has joined in at Zumba and some of her friends and that of course makes the workout even more fun. Zumba has moved around some – but still go and look forward to the workout and Zumba family! Two years into Zumba, our class moved to Core Fitness in what was then a studio in the back of the gym. The first class at Core was still without heat or a bathroom, but so fun to be apart of Sean’s new adventure. The zumba girls were always welcomed and encouraged to take a Core class. Laurie Close and I decided to do just that. I like the variety and challenge of each workout. You never know what the next session will bring, so you have to go to find out. It’s like that feeling of not wanting to miss out on stuff you are a member of. I never look at the posted workout from earlier in the day, as I might not go – yet I know I can do anything for an hour! I learned that I do best in a scheduled class when I’m told what we are doing when, how long we are doing it for and when we are changing it up. I have also found the same sense of family with the 6:00a.m. CORE group and yet feel welcomed at any time slot I happen go to. I appreciate the support and encouragement from coaches and workout partners. Looking back, I remember in a Zumba class early on, we added an additional 8 minutes of CORE movement at the end of class and did a Bear Crawl the length of the floor. I thought I was going to die. We were asked to write down a few goals for ourselves and I remember one of mine being that I wanted to be able to complete the full 8 minutes and do the crawl without stopping! Now we do that and more in a warm up! To be honest, some mornings I dread going and have doubts I will be able to do the workout, but I get through it, and pretty well, and always feel great afterwards. Looking forward, I can now do things I never thought possible. I am stronger, have more muscle and have greater endurance. My goal is to keep healthy and keep moving. I have met some people with amazing ability and I support and cheer them forward. I also like working out with friends, familiar friendly faces and where I always feel like I belong. I like knowing that the coaching staff are trained coaches and take an active role in watching what goes on during the hour. The challenge CORE presents is actually something I like now. Some things like rope climbs, and box jumps I am just not going to do at 61 + and that is o.k. I can do other things.
– Kathy Sheridan
I have been part of the Core community since it opened in 2013. Initially, Core included Zumba which began classes without heat in the empty space as the Crossfit gym was being put together! Sean was welcoming to this tight knit Zumba group that found a new home at Core. We danced and laughed with our coats and mittens in the cold of December. Sean then offered Zumba participants a free month once the Crossfit gym was up and running. I admit that I was intimidated by what I saw in the gym with all the strong young “fit” folks but decided to give it a try by first trying the 7pm TRX classes! With the support, encouragement and humor of Sean and Coach Sa-id, I got hooked! I should mention that I am currently 65 years old and have been active my whole life. I had never joined a formal gym but had kept active over the years with swimming miles in city pools, biking the County and walking miles in the hills of Onondaga Hill. So I joined some TRX and Crossfit classes, I found that I was incredibly sore not realizing how many muscles had gone dormant over the years. I spent the first few months so sore that I woke up at night aching! But I persevered always up for a personal challenge and there was a something special about this gym and the participants that kept me coming! So, 5 and 1/2 years later, I am still at it. I feel supported and encouraged by coaches that push me to do a little bit more but honor my choices. I have met wonderful people who will laugh, commiserate and inspire each other to keep going and do their best. It is a meditation in motion as you can’t think as you are working your way through the workout. I am amazed at my personal gains and appreciate the culture that supports striving for your personal best without judgement. Core is a place that age doesn’t matter. Members and coaches are welcoming, encouraging and kind. It is rare to find a place that creates a diverse community that really works.