Exactly a year ago, Tara joined SCFIT! Flash forward 12 months, and we were excited to hear from Tara about her fitness journey. We started by asking how she found the gym, and what her first impressions were:
“I was feeling pretty depressed and unmotivated when I joined. I was falling out of love with exercise a bit and wanted to find somewhere I could make some actual progress. Fitness is a big part of how I manage my mental health, and I was looking for a gym where I could work hard but that had a fun vibe and didn’t take itself too seriously.”
A Welcome Surprise
She felt a little intimidated by what she’d heard about CrossFit – expecting it to be scary and intense, thinking she wouldn’t fit in. Sadly, this isn’t uncommon – there are many misconceptions surrounding what CrossFit is, and who it is for – but as Tara herself soon discovered, many of rumours surrounding CrossFit are untrue. She shared:
“I was surprised that the community there was so supportive and friendly. There’s a real mix of ability levels and everyone finds the workouts tough.”
We asked if there were any other surprises since joining:
“I’ve also been surprised at how much progress I’ve made in a relatively short amount of time.”
Does Thin = Healthy?
Tara opened up about her view of fitness before she found SCFIT, and the role that exercise used to play in her life.
“I used to be very concerned with being very thin, but now I can see than thinness does not necessarily equal fitness, health or wellbeing. Pre-pandemic I was very small but looking back I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was healthy. Everything about my life was intense. I went to mad HIIT classes or to hot yoga every day, worked a very stressful job and went out a lot. Most of my workouts were fast and focussed on burning as many calories as possible. I thought that having all those stress outlets was helpful, but now I think all that intensity may not have been good for me.”
A more ‘Considered Approach’ to Fitness
Tara went on share: “CrossFit has a much more considered approach to fitness and to building a harmonious relationship with your body. I think this has actually been better for me in the long run. By learning to slow down a little bit and listen to my body in the gym, I’m more able to patient with myself outside the gym. This has generally made me a lot more relaxed and confident.”
As well as attending group classes, Tara has spent time working 1-2-1 with coach Gareth on Nutrition. Tara explained that her proudest achievement at SCFIT isn’t related to a PB lift, or a workout time – instead it’s:
“Changing my eating habits through the nutrition sessions. I actually can’t imagine going back to the way I used to eat. I’ve been trying for years to become healthier and have a better relationship with food, but it’s only understanding more about how what you eat affects your life that has really made a change. It’s pretty amazing to go from eating 80% beige food and having 1-2 meals a day to 3 really good balanced meals that I actually enjoy. It’s also been really refreshing to adjust my habits without being really restrictive, eating well feels like a treat not a punishment now.”
Starting a new fitness routine or sport can be very daunting, and isn’t without its challenges. We asked Tara about what challenges she’s faced, and she told us:
“I used to be very embarrassed when I missed lifts or finished last in a workout. Now I can see that it happens to everyone and it’s no big deal. So I just do my best and enjoy it.”
Tara told us that she has some exciting goals and plans for the coming months, including:
“Doing the Spartan 10K in October, and perhaps a longer Spartan in 2024.”
We asked Tara if there is anything she wish she could say to her former self, or advice she would give to anyone thinking about starting CrossFit:
“All the things they say about using fitness to manage your depression or anxiety are true. Getting into fitness is like pushing a boulder down a hill – difficult to start but easy after that. Also, don’t worry about everyone else judging you. We all started somewhere and most of us are too busy dying during the workouts to notice what other people are doing.”
We want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to Tara for sharing the story of her fitness journey – what an insightful and honest account! We absolutely love hearing that her confidence has grown; this goes above and beyond any lift PB ever could (although her Olympic Lifting PBs are pretty incredible!). Thank you for being part of the SCFIT community, Tara – we are grateful to have you!
Feeling inspired? Get in touch to find out more about SCFIT, and our welcoming, vibrant community by booking your Free Intro.