My whole life, my weight has gone up and down like a yoyo. Through the past thirteen years I have battle bouts of depression, had two back surgeries and gained quite a bit of weight. Then I would lose some of it then I would eventually back slide again. That was my cycle.
After finishing therapy from major shoulder surgery in October of 2010, I ballooned up 325 pounds. I found my myself in a familiar place. I was very depressed and basically fell off the face of the Earth. I hid from the world in hopes that no one would notice me. I started to hide behind my weight. I stopped going out socially. I basically would lock myself in my apartment and shut down. Finally I made the decision that this wasn’t who I was at all. I heard from our PTO president that there was a CrossFit gym in McHenry. She suggested that I should look them up because I would really enjoy CrossFit with my athletic background.
So February of this year, I called and talked to Jennie and made an appointment for an assessment and I stumbled into CrossFit Fire. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for but I knew I needed something. I truly did not like what I saw in the mirror anymore. I thought "what the hell", CrossFit Fire was as good of a place to start as anywhere else. So, I went through the assessment and had a nice conversation with Bill about what CrossFit was all about. He seemed like a pretty cool guy and he really knew what he was talking about. So, he convinced me to join the February Ramp-up.
That first session I was thinking, “What did I get myself into?!” When I started I was SO OUT OF SHAPE! I barely made it through the workouts. I couldn’t even do ONE PULL UP! Since then I have come a long way. As it stands right now, I am weighing in at 270 pounds. That is total weight loss of 55 pounds in 6 months. I am stronger and in better condition than I have been in over 10 years. Not only all that, which is FAB-u-lous, but I have started to change on the inside. For a person who has battled depression his whole adult life, negative self-talk is something that I have a tendency to do from time to time. The crazy thing is, over the past 6 months it has reduced quite a bit. I tend to walk with my shoulders back and I hold my head higher.
Now all that is fine and good, but I would really like to dive into what makes CrossFit Fire such an amazing place… It is the community. This sense of community starts with Bill and Jennie. When they welcome you to your first night of ramp-up not only does Jennie do a little cheerleading/James Brown dance, but they also welcome you into their family as well. I truly look forward to seeing everyone everyday at the Fort. It is a special place to me… Almost like a sanctuary. Despite what is going on in my life or how bad things may seem, I walk into the Fort and by the time I walk out I am all smiles and y’alls again.
On a more personal note, I would like to thank Bill and Jennie for going above and beyond in everyway… As gym owners, coaches, but most importantly as friends. They truly care about the Fort and everyone that walks through the doors.
To all the members of the Fort… I thank you as well. You have no idea how much of an impact each and every one of you have had on me over the past six months. You have pushed and CONTINUE to push me everyday to become the best I can be. Because of y’all I dig deeper than I thought possible.
This is just the beginning… I can’t wait to see where I will be in a year! Giddy-up.
Kelly “Mad Dog” Madigan – Testimonial
September 17th, 2012, by Jennie