January 15, 2011: I attended the Orientation for Synergize’s 2011 Annual Shape Up Hollywood Challenge – it was one day before my 64th birthday. I was weighed and measured: weight 163.8 lbs ; body fat 45.8%; “real age” 70, and over all body inches – well let’s not even go there; needless to say I had a real wake up call. The part of it that really annoyed me though was the “real age” number because everyone always tells me I don’t look my age and I’ve even had people ask to see my driver’s license to prove it; and here was a machine showing me that I was six years older than my actual age. And then came the fitness assessment test! All I can say is that I could barely hobble around the parking lot to do my one long lap; or do the pushups, or do the burpees, and my performance in all the other “assessment” exercises was just as dismal.
Fast forward 315 days and 138 Workouts of the Day (WOD’s) later to November 27, 2011 and voila: weight 127.6 lbs (weight lost: 36.2 lbs); body fat down to 24% (awesome); real age 56, over all inches lost – 20; and down 3 dress sizes. Now I can run 6 long laps, do burpees, do pushups, do wall balls, deadlift 75 lbs, do rope pulls, etc., etc. – and whatever exercises are in the WOD. What an accomplishment for a woman who turns 65 in 7 weeks.
At the beginning of this year, I was totally out of shape and severely depressed from too many years of taking care of others and not of myself. I was spending too many hours on the couch, zoning out on mindless television programs and numbing my feelings by eating unhealthy food.
Synergize Home of CrossFit 954 handed me a lifeline and I grabbed on for dear life. I made a commitment to myself and thus began my health and fitness journey. I am now a very different person than I was eleven months ago.
Over the last 40 years my weight has yoyoed up and down as I have gained and lost the same 30-40 lbs in an endless cycle of dieting and exercising, but nothing I’ve ever done in the past has given me results like this or the tools for continuing to stay fit and healthy for the rest of my life. And I’m not just talking about the weight lost, the inches lost or the body fat lowered – I’m talking about a total transformation. Essentially, my body has changed but what is also important is how I’ve changed mentally, physically, psychologically and physiologically. I am no longer depressed! In fact, I am happy and smiling most of the time (a new phenomenon for me) and walk with a spring in my step; I feel excited about life, and have boundless energy.
CrossFit is hard, and very challenging, but the payoff of consistently working the program is worth everything. Some days when I get home from work, I’m dog tired, but immediately change into my workout clothes, eat a little something and push myself out the door. I can walk into Synergize Home of CrossFit 954 completely exhausted but do the warm up and complete the WOD anyway, and by the time I’ve finished, I’m feeling on top of the world and totally energized. The challenge is about winning your life back.
All my life I’ve felt intimidated in regular gyms and have always felt out of place. But Synergize Home of CrossFit 954 is a different kind of gym; where no one is prancing about in fashion workout clothes or flexing muscles to see who they can “pick up” – egos are checked at the door. Friendships are formed between CrossFit members because we all share a common goal — to get fit and healthy through high intensity exercise and healthy eating. Eating clean is a major component of the program and one I’m proud to say I’ve adhered to 100%.
Shondelle, is an amazing woman, whose knowledge about fitness knows no bounds. Then there’s Mike, one of the coaches, who has unlimited patience for my constant questions about how to do the exercises with the weight bars. They both always have encouraging words when we struggle to find our inner strength and dig deep to get through the WOD’s, which on some days can be extra tough. Shondelle’s almost daily motivational emails are inspiring and there’s always some special event going on at the gym in addition to the daily WOD’s.
My message to anyone on the fence about working out at Synergize Home of CrossFit 954 is this: don’t let it scare you. To sum it all up (1) just get in the door; (2) never quit; and (3) keep going back. Because Synergize Home of CrossFit 954 really does “Change Bodies and Change Lives.”
At the end of January 2012, I am leaving South Florida, my home for the last 38 years, and going to live in Israel, to join my two children who moved there last year. My journey of self-discovery over the past eleven months has been nothing short of miraculous. I look forward to the next chapter of my life with energy, eagerness and excitement as a woman who is now healthy and fit, brimming with self-confidence, and ready to take on any new challenges that may lie ahead.
– Caroline Silver