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Kristine, Before CrossFit Talon, with her husband, Cliff

My first day at CrossFit Talon, I was in the worst shape of my life. I was a new mom to an almost six month old baby girl, feeling the weight of years of mistreating my body adding up as I contemplated what kind of example I was setting for her. I have always struggled with my weight and self-image, trying just about everything under the sun to be “skinny”.

At the encouragement of my CrossFit-ing husband, whose year and a half long patience, persistence, and example finally won me over, I darkened the doors of a place that was foreign to me. While I was still in the pursuit of “skinny”, what I didn’t understand about CrossFit, at the time, is that it’s not just about changing your body; it’s about changing your whole self.

For me, the transformation began in my heart and mind. Every day I showed up, pushing myself to new heights and being encouraged by a whole community of people on their own unique journeys. Soon, I was pursuing “strong” instead of “skinny”, leaving behind my self-doubt, endless obsession with numbers on a scale, and worry about what I saw in the mirror. Eventually, I noticed others remarking on what they were observing on the outside; I had failed to really see it myself because I was already feeling it on the inside. Clothes started to fit better, the weights on my bar got heavier, the repetitions higher, the times faster. I was changing and still am.

Kristine Kneeley, first week of CrossFit vs. Last Month

Kristine Kneeley, first week of CrossFit vs. Last Month

Thirty pounds, twenty inches, eight months, and three dress sizes later, I’m darkening those same doors, but I’m not a stranger anymore; to myself or to the people there. But for everything thing I’ve lost, what I’ve gained has been that much greater, including freedom from a lifetime struggle. And this is just the beginning.