A brief background of my life…. I’m an armed response police officer, I joined the force 18 and a half years ago at the young age of 20!
I always wanted to do something active and the army was never an option as I’ve suffered with Asthma from childhood so ruled out any of the forces and the fire brigade, so the Police was the next choice and I could apply for that!
I’ve done a number of roles, policing the streets of Middlesbrough, a brief stint in CID (it wasn’t for me as I missed the thrill of the chase on the streets!) a dog handler then I swapped the dogs for a gun when I found 4 dogs and a baby a bit much to juggle!
So…. I found CrossFit at a time in my life when I was feeling a little lost. I have always been ‘sporty’ and competitive with it and have played a number of different sports over the years, usually competing but not at any great level. I’ve always been a relatively good all rounder rather than excelling at any one sport but I was happy enough. Since leaving school up until I had Scarlett, football was my main sport and would fit it in around my shifts at work as well as going to David Lloyd’s gym.
I then had my daughter, Scarlett 7 years ago and things changed. I was going to a ‘normal’ gym at the time of being pregnant and I’ve always struggled with self motivation and pushing myself when I train on my own, so when I was pregnant I didn’t really do a great deal so piled the weight on.
Once Scarlett was born it was quite a few months (4 or 5) before I felt like I was ready both physically and mentally to get back into doing some exercise and lose the weight. I was by far the heaviest/biggest I’ve ever been probably hitting close to 12 stones on the scales when I’ve always sat at about 10.
Anyway, I went back to my first football training session and I realised really quickly that after all of the years playing football and the love I had for it, it wasn’t there anymore. The girls were great but they were quite a lot younger than I was and didn’t have kids and all they wanted out of the training session was to have a good laugh, but I needed to get fit again so that was it…. my footballing days were over!!! I felt a little lost as I didn’t know what to do instead as I knew a ‘normal’ gym wasn’t going to do it for me. That’s when my best mate Karla stepped in and dragged me to boxercise with her at the local boxing club. It was good! To be honest exactly what I needed after having a baby and getting back in shape. It probably took a good 6 months of hard graft, training 4 or 5 times a week whilst I was on maternity leave and having my nutrition on point. I’d gone from being the biggest/heaviest I’ve ever been to probably the fittest I had ever been.
I continued with this for probably 2 years but something was missing….. competition! I craved the competition, so now what was I going to do?
Karla again stepped in…. Fancy coming to CrossFit with me there’s a new one in Middlesbrough opened up? Me…. what’s CrossFit???
And that’s where it started. I went with Karla in September 2016 and did our on ramps and I fell in love. This was it…. this was what was missing in my life…. CrossFit!!!!
This was when I met Ben…. he told me I was good at somethings… told me I was awful at others so thats where it began. I don’t like being ‘awful’ at stuff so working the weaknesses started early!
I was doing pull ups with a green band, I couldn’t do double unders, wallballs…. well I don’t think Ben had ever seen anyone so bad so I knew what I needed to work on and it was a slow process but I never give in.
A year or so in I entered my first comp with another member. It was great fun! We didn’t do any good but I didn’t mind I just needed that buzz of being on a competition floor so was itching to sign up for another.
We did… The Castle games and that’s when ‘The uncoachables’ we’re formed. Both mine and Ben’s partners who we had initially entered with both got injured before the qualifiers so someone said to us why don’t we pair up and give it a go…. we did and we didn’t do too bad either. That gave me all of the motivation I needed to get better at CrossFit as I absolutely loved it but knew I wasn’t in the same league as Ben and I felt I was holding him back.
This year saw us get our first podium finish and a win at that. It was an awesome feeling and for the first time i felt I was equal with Ben.
This is where my why comes in…. I’ve worked hard to be where I am and I couldn’t have done it without the coaches, the members, the encouragement, the set backs, the time spent in the gym, my nutrition and I want to use all of those experiences on my journey to help others achieve their goals. Whether it be like me to compete, or just to get fit after having a baby, a particular movement or help with nutrition and general fitness. I can help and I get pleasure in helping people which I guess is one of the main reasons I joined the police. It’s a rewarding feeling!
I’m still on my journey and I always will be as once I’ve mastered the muscle ups efficiently which I my current goal, I’ll move on to something else. You always need others around to encourage and help and I will do the same for others.
See you in the box!