"Beyond the Barbell – Kelly Reynolds"

We’re going ‘Beyond the Barbell’ again and the next athlete we’re featuring from our #DCFStrong community is Kelly Reynolds. Kelly is 27 years old and has been doing CrossFit for 2 years. She’s also one of our many athletes who participated in the Desert CrossFit Paleo challenge and underwent an amazing transformation! Kelly gives you some insight into why she started CrossFit and her experience transitioning from our introductory program designed for individuals new to CrossFit into our ‘All Levels’ CrossFit classes. We thank you for your contribution to the blog and for being part of our #DCFStrong community Kelly!!!

“Welcome to the cult.” That was what Coach Mo said to me when he handed me the certificate that said I had finished the CrossFit essentials class; I could now enter the main cross fit classes. As I mustered every last inch of effort I had left to lift my sore arms that were screaming at me to just lie down and stop moving to grab that certificate. I thought, “Wow! That/he seems a little intense.” What I had yet to realize was what being a member at Desert CrossFit would mean for me.

I walked into Desert CrossFit on a dare. Someone had told me they didn’t think I could do it and so, of course, I needed to prove them wrong. I had only lived in the Coachella Valley for a year and was still struggling to find a place where I really felt a sense of community. I had always been pretty athletic, but had slipped into a lazy and sedentary rut that had left me overweight and in terrible shape. That first class was a real eye opener. Not only was I out of breath after the warm-up, I also could not do most of the movements without modifications. I knew halfway through that first class that this was exactly what I needed to knock my butt out of that lazy rut. I also knew I was going to be super sore and tired the next day so much so that I would probably talk myself out of ever coming back! I decided immediately after that first class to signed up for a whole year. In my whole athletic career I cannot remember ever being as sore as I was during that first two weeks of the essentials class. Once I finished that class I had an extreme sense of accomplishment followed immediately by panic- I had to join those crazy people I watched in the all-levels CrossFit classes now! I will admit it took me a while to get the courage to join those classes. I spent the first month going to just the Boot Camp classes on Monday and Friday nights and that was kicking my butt! Then I decided to take the leap and add a Wednesday CrossFlex class and eventually I added in a Tuesday and a Thursday and then Saturday…needless to say I was hooked.

I began to look forward to the workout everyday and being really upset when I had to miss one. I was seeing great results physically especially after participating in one of the Paleo Challenges. I getting back into shape and improving my overall health without any shadow of a doubt, but that wasn’t the entire addiction. The big draw for me was the sense of community.

I have found a place where people push me everyday to be better, hold me accountable when I am tempted to slack off, cheer for me when I accomplish something, and encourage me when I struggle. It doesn’t matter if you land your first jump on a 12” box or a 30” box somebody is going to celebrate with you. If you are dead last to finish and have an all around terrible day some one will be there to encourage you through those last gut-wrenching reps and to assure you every workout won’t be that way.

Getting healthy and joining a gym is a personal decision, but for me walking into Desert CrossFit was one of the best decisions and investments in myself that I have ever made.