Theda Johnson: A Physical Transformation of a Different Kind

Theda Johnson“CrossFit!? That must be a workout for those ‘hardcore athletes’. Certainly not for someone like me!” Those were my thoughts when I first heard about CrossFit.

I never did any sports growing up, I wasn’t the type. In my early 20’s, I was introduced to weight-lifting at a big name gym. I really enjoyed it at the time, but it just didn’t stick. So I became a, put-in-a-video-to-workout-at-home exerciser. That’s the extent of my exercise experience and that eventually fell by the way side.

Over the years, the issue of mobility in my back started becoming noticeably limited. My mobility level was to the point of having to brace myself just to sneeze! I knew I had to do something to improve it. I just wasn’t sure of what to do.

About 3 ½ years ago, by divine providence, I met a woman that inspired me to begin working out again. She, being one of those ‘hardcore athletes’, talked about her experience with CrossFit and encouraged me to look into it.

Well, I called the closest box to my home, talked with Beth, and decided to go for it. (Thankfully, that box is owned by Paris & Beth Vannata.) What a sight I must have been that first day. I could not complete the warm-up and barely made it through the WOD (Workout of the Day).

CrossFit has given me a physical transformation of a different kind. I was so limited in my back; bending over was torturous. My first realization of its benefits occurred when I could actually bend over to tie my shoes. That was a big deal for me!

My endurance level has improved greatly. Before I decided to join, it never occurred to me that running would be involved. Had I known it was included, there was no way would I have considered joining. Just recently, I completed a WOD that included running and didn’t walk through any of it- a first for me.

Strength – what a beautiful thing! I’m lifting weight that I never dreamed of and am working toward more.

CrossFit is truly a program that can accommodate any age or physical ability. Every movement can be modified to individual specific level. Being 50+ when I started is a testimony to this. Age doesn’t matter, CrossFit is a diverse community and has a place for everyone!

Finally, I appreciate my coaches, Paris and Beth. They take the time to know and learn the abilities their box members. They know when and how much to push each athlete.

The most moving memory I have is when Paris told me how many rounds I could possibly complete on a WOD. When he came around to find out how many I actually did, it was the number he initially said. (I surprised myself with that number of rounds completed.) Then he said, “I know my athletes.” Later that day it hit me, he called me an athlete… a word I never thought would be used to describe me.   

CrossFit…a workout for ‘hardcore athletes.’ I can confidently and gratefully say, “boy, was I wrong, nothing is further from the truth.”