Doing a challenge such as Murph, or competing in the CrossFit Open is particularly huge for me for several reasons. I am the short, overweight, uncoordinated child who did not crawl or walk until I was almost 3 years old. I hated sport throughout school, and felt constantly belittled and made to feel stupid in that environment. I carried body and weight issues into my 20’s and only started to take up solo sport, such as length swimming as I started work. I walked into a gym a little later and was content to just do my thing for many years. Before having my first child I even lost 16 kg! But, it wasn’t until I walked into CrossFit CEY in May 2019 at almost 51 years old, that I found “my thing”. I felt as though I had come home. Thanks to the patience and expertise of the Coaches and the grace of God, I really started to love the health and fitness journey I was on. Not once have I felt belittled, rather, the consistent encouragement to learn and to push and to achieve my best has been quite literally life-changing for me. At the same time I have completely changed the way I eat, I have been doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting for 3 years, and have recently cut alcohol from my life. The challenge of menopause has also come my way for the whole of my time at CEY and I believe I would not be living the way that I do without CrossFit. Many a day I have to remind myself that it’s about showing up, giving my best and believing in the coaching I have received, even if I don’t feel like it. Every time I walk out of the gym feeling better. Yes, at almost 55 I have aches and pains and swellings and take longer to recover after exercise etc etc, but I am super proud to be able to not only go to CrossFit, but to compete and achieve and push – all with the constant support and love of my community. Being a woman of my age and stage is not an excuse to not exercise, it’s to be celebrated. I want to walk into my next decade stronger than I am now and ready and more able to conquer all that life has for me!