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Cottrell family gainz

Cottrell family gainz

In January 2018 I decided to take up running. Don’t ask me why – I have no idea! I’m often impulsive so maybe it was that? I’d spent the last 40 odd years avoiding exercise. I came last at every school sports day and did no sports out of school. I was large, I was clumsy, I was at best awkward! It turned out though with a bit of effort, a few blisters and a bit of sweat (ok a lot of sweat) I actually managed to do the couch to 5k programme (with a little help from my friends at SRDI).

I decided to continue with my midlife exercise crisis and signed up for an 8-week Hiit style programme. The 8 weeks flew by. I was a stone lighter; I’d picked up a few injuries (hiit does that) but felt great.

I signed up to more classes…but there was this one little voice in my ear, this thing over my shoulder- it was my mate Caz telling me to try CrossFit Ulysses. “Just try it once” she’d say “honestly Vic you’ll love it” over and over again!

So, I tried it and I hate to say it…she was right (it’s the only time it's happened Caz) and I’ve not looked back.

The coaches are really bothered about form, about you not getting injured, about you being the best version of you on that day, about you pushing yourself to the maximum. They have your self-belief for you, for the times when you don’t have it yourself.

There’s a real sense of being part of a community in the box. Everyone pulls together, everyone encourages no matter their level of fitness, no one gets left behind.

In the last 6 months my body has transformed. Years of terrible posture had left me unable to squat properly?!?! I hadn’t even realised this was the cause of intermittent lower back pain and knee niggles, all due to tight hip flexors.

So here I am now squatting like a boss, no back pain and knees that don’t niggle. Thanks to the sneaky workout routines my running has improved! I’m now able to run 12 miles on a good day downhill with the wind behind me.

This is not the best thing about Crossfit for me personally though it’s the change I see in others, more specifically my children.

My eldest son Max joined Crossfit, he was 15 at the time. Football was never his thing and he wasn’t exactly what you would call an exercising loving kid. His only exercise was a 10-minute bike ride to school and school PE. In the last 4 months the change in him has been dramatic; confident, strong, capable. He really enjoys Crossfit (especially when he beats me at stuff) the varied workouts stop anyone getting bored. He’s gone from struggling to move on a bar to doing 7 toes to bar in one go. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming and Crossfit has played a huge part in that. So many lads his age are up to no good, my lad is mixing with hard working absolute Teesside gems and hanging out with such great community minded role models, I know he’ll go far. CrossFit has been a welcome break from GCSE revision and trust me teenage angst can easily be chased away with a WOD. I totally treasure the time in the box spent with Max, working out together, laughing (usually at my expense) not all mums get to spend time with their children like this and you can’t beat a mum/son rowing battle (coming soon).

You might think this is the happy ending (probably hoping it is, this write up has turned in to an epic) but it gets even better now my daughter Molly has joined CrossFit and already she’s biffing out more press-ups than she ever could and her confidence is growing. Crossfit really is for everyone and now with the youth level method and the over 55 one there’s no excuse. Old people, young people, fit people, unfit people, tall people, short people, if you’re any sort of a people just try it like that wise guru Caz said “just try it once” – who knows what you and your family might achieve in 6 months? x x x