Karen Robinson

 I’m Karen Robinson, 37 year old mother of 3. Like many women, I have little time for myself.  My life is hectic to say the least. I have a full-time career, I’m in college part-time and  I have a family to care for and children who are actively involved in sports and other activities. I was your typical “soccer mom” who had no time to think about exercise or eating right and as a result, my health continued to decline.

             I hit my breaking point when I discovered that I was 70 pounds overweight which put me in the category of “Obese”. At that moment my heart sank. I was tired of being tired. I didn’t look or feel good most days. I had been a smoker for almost 20 years and I was easily out of breath performing routine daily tasks, like walking up a flight of stairs. Not to mention, my back ached often and I didn’t want to go through a second back surgery. I knew that I had to make a change, but I didn’t know how or what to do. I was never an athlete, I never played a sport and I lacked coordination and had little stamina. When I did try the latest work out video I often wasn’t able to perform the movement correctly. I also tried walking and bike riding. At one point, I even joined the YMCA, but quit going because I felt so lost and out of place.

             Desperate for help, and with the encouragement of my son, I left work one evening and drove straight to Southern Columbus CrossFit. As I looked around and watched a class, I realized that I had no idea what everyone was doing and I was confident that I couldn’t do most of it…..but I knew I had to do something.  Still apprehensive, I took a complete leap of faith, signed up for the On-Ramp class and placed my trust in Tim Pitro and Kyle Hanigosky. I began attending classes or WODs (Workout of the Day), and in the days following little by little I began to learn the different skills and the barbell movements.

            The workouts were so hard I thought I’d puke, there was so much I couldn’t physically do. Every movement had to be scaled for me and I could only complete a portion of the workouts, but I wouldn’t give up. My hands were calloused and my shins hurt, but I still felt better. Every day, I’d read the quotes on the wall for inspiration while I was doing the warm-up, until I memorized them and at times I repeated them to myself when the workouts were particularly difficult. Every day someone I didn’t know said something to me that was so encouraging.  It gave me the strength and the will to come back another day. I knew that I was way out of shape and in poor health, but I never felt out of place or lost. Even in my weakest moments (yes, I had several), someone would step up with encouraging words to push me through and remind me that it isn’t intended to be easy!

             I began seeing physical and mental results with the first few weeks and I walked out every day with my head held a little higher. My confidence increased daily and I felt a sense of accomplishment. Not only did I start losing weight immediately, but I could see the changes in my body. I started to realize the mental barriers I had created for myself and I began breaking down the walls I had built in my own mind. There was so much that I didn’t know I could do, capabilities I didn’t know I had, and wouldn’t have ever known if it weren’t for the coaches encouraging and pushing me through. The physical and mental strength I have gained since I started at Southern Columbus CrossFit is far more powerful than I can put into words. I never imagined that I would feel so good and be so committed to any form of exercise nor did I ever see myself lifting weights or climbing ropes. Every day, I am more empowered, more confident and stronger than the day before. CrossFit, Southern Columbus CrossFit, Tim and Kyle – you have changed my life.

            I feel so blessed that several members opened up to me and shared their stories giving me hope and inspiration. In all my life, I had never experienced a culture quite like this. Everyone is so supportive, encouraging, helpful, understanding and kind. It truly is a culture of individuals who want to be their best and want you to be your best, no matter where you start.

            I would encourage anyone, especially those who think they can’t do this, to try it for 3 months. You CAN do this, you WILL be amazed at the strength you will discover that you didn’t know you had.

            As for Tim and Kyle ~ you are truly amazing coaches / trainers. The dedication, compassion and commitment you have for this gym and it’s members goes beyond the exterior walls. The help and support you provide is remarkable.

            To all the members at SCCF, I can’t thank you enough for welcoming me and supporting me!

            I feel very fortunate to have met so many great people and to be a part of something so fulfilling, so rewarding, so hard, so painful, so fun and so good for you! I can’t imagine my life without SCCF!!