Hmmm, where to begin. I had a perfect childhood in the suburbs of Pittsburgh; climbing trees, building forts, catching crayfish and salamanders, playing Ghost in the Graveyard until the bell rang on the Johnson's back porch. Over the years, my dad became physically and emotionally abusive to his family – my mom in particular.
Fast forward to my late teens and my mom was raising four kids while working 3 jobs, so we were pretty much on our own. I guess that's why I thought it made sense to move to Cortland with my first serious boyfriend when I was 18. My next big mistake was accepting his proposal when I was 19. I was pregnant at 21 and in an unhealthy marriage. During this time, I graduated with honors from Radiology school and was awarded a scholarship to attend Radiation Therapy school. Now a single mom, I packed up my son and moved to Syracuse to attend SUNY Upstate Medical. It was the hardest period of my life, but it made me that much more determined to succeed.
We moved back to the area when I accepted a position at Albany Medical Center.
In high school I played Varsity Tennis and Swimming, but never considered myself a competitor. In college I ran for fun (did I just say that?) and loved aerobics. Yes, I am talking leg warmers and Reebok high tops :). I used all the Nautilus machines out there, and dabbled in dumbbells, Pilates and Boot Camps. It was a Boot Camp at The Court Club that introduced me to CrossFit. I'd see these crazy people hoisting barbells over their heads then running laps around the parking lot, and couldn't imagine why they would put themselves through that. I still don't remember what convinced me to make the switch to CrossFit, but obviously I have no regrets.
CrossFit never gets easier. I have always struggled to ignore the voices in my head during a WOD saying "Stop! This is too hard," or "You can't lift that. It's way too heavy for you." I think I keep facing these demons because I have faced them throughout my life, and have succeeded every time. I also couldn't imagine not having my CrossFit family. I have made the best friends of my life by being a part of this community. I am honored to coach at Albany Crossfit and think I get as much, if not more, satisfaction out of seeing our athletes succeed as I do my own successes.
Life is short. It's taken me nearly 50 years to figure out that I don't need to take it so seriously and you have to make the most of every day. Smile. Laugh. Help others. It's that simple.
I love you all,