by Aimee Wojtowecz
Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of Underwood Park CrossFit, and although I haven’t been part of this incredible journey for the full 9 years, I can proudly say I’ve been a dedicated member for over half of that time. Within these four walls, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and coaching hundreds of amazing individuals. So, this is my heartfelt ode to UPCF and CrossFit and the amazing women (and men) of our gym, a testament to the impact it’s had on my life and the lives of so many others.
I embarked on my CrossFit journey over 5 years ago with a specific goal—to shed as much weight as I could, aiming to be smaller and lighter. I wanted to be stronger too; that was definitely a cool bonus. And guess what? It worked! I did get stronger, I did get smaller, and I did lose weight.
However, it wasn’t to the extent of being as small and light as I initially thought I wanted to be. I realized something profound throughout this journey. My healthiest weight—and maybe yours too—might not align with the smallest or lightest size we’ve ever been. Being at my tiniest didn’t equate to being at my healthiest.
In fact, I’ve never been fitter and more well-rounded as an athlete than I am now in my 40s. CrossFit transformed me. I’m faster, stronger, more coordinated, and my balance has improved.
But CrossFit isn’t just about what happens within the gym’s four walls. It has bolstered my mental resilience, allowing me to tackle life’s challenges head-on. It extends to how we nourish our bodies, my relationship with food has transformed. For the first time ever, I feel freedom around food and nutrition. Unlike conventional diet culture, which often promotes restrictive eating and unrealistic body ideals, CrossFit emphasizes the importance of fueling your body adequately.
CrossFit isn’t just about the workout; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It’s about realizing that your healthiest, strongest self might not conform to societal norms, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s about celebrating the incredible things your body can do and the strength you carry within.
I owe a significant part my transformation to UPCF and CrossFit—the community and the incredible support of my gym mates and friends. They’ve been there every step of the way, cheering me on, motivating me to push past my limits, and celebrating my successes.
In this empowering community, you’ll find a sense of camaraderie that’s not always common in mainstream society. In particular, women in CrossFit support each other in remarkable ways that they might not ever see in their lives outside the gym. Whether you’re tackling a tough workout, trying to hit a new personal record, or simply pushing through a challenging day, the women around you cheer you on, inspire you, and lift you up.
CrossFit is more than just lifting weights and doing WODs; it’s about embracing your strength, fueling your body, and realizing that being healthy and strong is beautiful, no matter your size or shape. Here’s to breaking free from old norms and celebrating the amazing women in CrossFit who are redefining what it means to be fit and fabulous!
Coach Aimee (and keep fueling those gains!)