Hannah Winner: A “Winner” In More Ways Than One


“The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.”

People used to look at me and see a young very thin girl, who appeared to be healthy and in shape, but this couldn’t have been anymore incorrect. I am 5’8” and before CrossFit I weighed just under 95 pounds. I was not physically or mentally healthy. My schedule was hectic between going to school five days a week and working between 6-7 days a week. My sleeping and eating schedule was irregular and I suffered from depression and severe anxiety. I was so focused on making a living, that I put my health on the back burner.

One evening after a shift at the restaurant I worked at, I glanced up at the television in front of me and it was playing the CrossFit Games. I remember watching in disbelief at the workouts these people were doing, wondering why anyone would want to put himself or herself through that sort of torture. Months down the road, several of my coworkers talked about the CrossFit gym they had started going to and one of them invited me to come and try it out.

I was instantly hooked on the high I felt after working out. It made me feel better than any medicine ever could. After my trial, I decided to jump in headfirst and get an unlimited membership. My first few months were extremely challenging as I had never lifted weights prior to joining, but the encouragement and unending support that I received from the trainers and fellow CrossFitters was absolutely unbelievable. I had never been so proud to be a part of a group of people in my life.

From the beginning of my journey, to now, there have been many ups and downs. There have been days I couldn’t will myself out of bed and days that I wanted to quit. But for every day I’ve struggled, there have been 20 days filled with triumph.

Because of CrossFit, I am a happier, healthier, more confident and better version of me. I am only going up from here. After just under 3 years, I have gained 40 pounds of lean body mass, I stopped taking medication to make me happy or calm me down and I have learned my self-worth. People can no longer tell me that I am tiny, weak, or that I need to go eat a burger. I also have the best friends (whom I consider more like family) I could ever ask for.