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TESTIMONIALS to our awesomeness!

Eileen M says…

Dear CrossFit Rebels,

CrossFit Rebels has changed my life in more ways than one.  I have done things I never thought I could do.  I challenge myself more than ever and I feel the way I have always wanted.  The feeling I have, I don’t think I could get anywhere else, not at any other CrossFit box.

I remember when I had my consultation with Ed…aka Mouth.  We talked for a bit and then, like all other trials, we went over to the kid’s area so Ed could see what kind of shape I was in.  We started with wall balls, I thought I was going to die!  We moved on to burpees, I knew I was going to die!  I think I made it through 3 rounds when it was apparent how out of shape I was.  I felt as if I was moments away from vomiting and blacking out.  Ed took me over to a box and had me sit down to collect myself.  The thoughts running through my mind were mostly me being disappointed in myself.  How could I have let myself get so out of shape that I couldn’t even do a 3 minute workout?  I went home that night and spoke with my husband;  I just wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I had to prove to myself that I was better than that.  Our budget has always been very small so making the decision to start was that much harder.  But, looking back, I wouldn’t have changed anything.

CrossFit Rebels has given me an outlet to relieve stress, have joy, accomplishments, motivation and success, not only at the box, but throughout my life.  Rebels has been a life changer for me!  I have never been more confident in my appearance than I am today.  I still have a ways to go but the difference now is that I know I can get there.  Between Ed & Sam and all the coaches, I know I have the support.  Whether it’s someone yelling at me to do one more rep or giving me nutrition advice, I know I can get there.  The support is overwhelming and the camaraderie is priceless!  I love every minute I spend at my Rebels box.

Looking back on my time with you guys comes at a perfect time for me as October marks my one year!  That is a milestone in my book; I have never stayed with any physical activity for that long and it has been one great year!  Thank you for giving me the tools to improve myself inside and out.  I’m not sure what I would look like or even worse, feel like, if I wouldn’t have found CrossFit Rebels!

Here’s to another amazing year, with an amazing box!  You all really are the best!

Hi Sam, 
Hope you guys are doing well!  I wanted to share something and I think you will really appreciate it!  For the past few months, I’ve been going through a barrage of tests, dr appts, etc, trying to get to the bottom of the heart issue.   Last week I had a echo/stress test, and yesterday I met with the cardiologist for the results.   Here it is..yes there is a problem with the electrical system of the left side of my heart.  Not sure what cased the damage, he feels it is either RA related, or I had some type of infection.  Regardless, sometime in the past year this occurred.  Good news is that apparently, because of CrossFit, I have been rehabbing myself without even realizing it.   The stress test showed that the rest of my heart is strengthening to make up for the damaged area, and I don’t need to see him for another year!  He said that he is sure that if I had not been doing what I was doing, this would have affected me much more, and that I just needed to keep on doing it.   I thought I hadn’t done well on the stress test, because I wasn’t able to go much longer than about 8 minutes,  seriously?  only 8 minutes??  But, he said that was phenomenal, normal is 5-6 minutes, based on the speed an incline they use.  He laughed at me.   He was so impressed..and I am so thankful. Explains a lot about how I’ve been feeling the past year, but he says the worst is behind me,  no restrictions, he is so impressed with what CrossFit has done for me.  He is a huge fan!
Thanks bunches!!

Anonymous writes…

I had something I wanted to share. Think you will really appreciate it! For the past few months, I’ve been going through a barrage of tests, dr appts, etc, trying to get to the bottom of the heart issue. Last week I had a echo/stress test, and yesterday I met with the cardiologist for the results. Here it is..yes there is a problem with the electrical system of the left side of my heart. Not sure what cased the damage, he feels it is either RA related, or I had some type of infection. Regardless, sometime in the past year this occurred. Good news is that apparently, because of CrossFit, I have been rehabbing myself without even realizing it. The stress test showed that the rest of my heart is strengthening to make up for the damaged area, and I don’t need to see him for another year! He said that he is sure that if I had not been doing what I was doing, this would have affected me much more, and that I just needed to keep on doing it. I thought I hadn’t done well on the stress test, because I wasn’t able to go much longer than about 8 minutes, seriously? only 8 minutes?? But, he said that was phenomenal, normal is 5-6 minutes, based on the speed an incline they use. He laughed at me. He was so impressed..and I am so thankful. Explains a lot about how I’ve been feeling the past year, but he says the worst is behind me, no restrictions, he is so impressed with what CrossFit has done for me. He is a huge fan!
Thanks bunches!!

Heather writes… (and speaks!…thanks for the pre-WOD speech Heather!)

Quick background
Upbringing – fairly well adjusted/big athlete. Then due to several precipitating traumatic events, I was dx at the age of 19 with bipolar disorder. Looking back, I can say with almost complete certainty that I showed signs when I was freshman in high school. Research says that most commonly the onset occurs b/t adolescence-early 20’s. Bipolar is classified as a mood disorder that is marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy & behavior. It can make the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks, school, work etc.. very difficult & sometimes impossible. On a biological level, what occurs is still not entirely understood, but research has shown an imbalance of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, GABA & norepinephrine.

Onset at 19
As if I woke up one day and brain was replaced with someone else’s/My thought processes were not my own, they felt completely alien to me/As if someone had taken a hold of the controls upstairs and I was along for the ride/Best way to describe it – I felt a complete loss of control & totally imprisoned
  • Mania sometimes had me up for days at a time, doing things completely uncharacteristic of me
  • If you were to look up the criteria for mania – at one point or another, I pretty much satisfied the entire symptom checklist
  • These highs were followed by depression that would have me sometimes curled up in my apartment for days. Because of my inability to “pull myself” out of the depression, I failed out of college at one point and lost 2 jobs.
Treatment: Unfortunately, in the early years, I was bounced around to a few ill fitting psychiatrists & given limited direction other than medication. (14 in total)
  • I had a couple of wonderful & well intended therapists, but unfortunately they didn’t have extensive knowledge of my condition and of course, neither did my family.
  • I felt my resources were fairly limited (internet not prevalent at the time), with the exception of a few books I read & a couple mental health group meetings that weren’t a good fit b/c they weren’t with peers I could relate to.
  • This experience led to a loss of hope and I became suicidal.
 
Road to Recovery
After years of being as proactive as I could, but still going through real periods of struggle, I realized that my treatment was not being handled as well as it could be, so I embarked on what I call “My Intuitive Path to Mental Wellness”.
I became in-tune with my body/no one knows your body better than you do! …most importantly, how my body/mind reacted to my dietary choices, exercise, stress, sleep, negativity & then the joy I got from engaging in hobbies.
I took an aggressive & integrated approach to my own recovery
If it wasn’t for fortitude & getting angry enough to say, not only am I not going to let this thing beat me, but I’m going to find a way to live a purposeful, fulfilling, happy, “I’m gonna go for it” kind of life!” I wouldn’t have made it. I felt I owed it to myself to figure out how to do that.
 
Integrative Approach
My integrative approach included: a tailored diet, intense exercise, non pharmacologic treatments such as acupuncture & hypnotherapy, ensuring ample sleep, eliminating toxic relationships & creating a strong support system.
 
Regarding diet
Avoiding or having very little caffeine, little to no alcohol, no sugar & no gluten resolved gut issues and those have been scientifically linked to depression.
That is why when I strictly follow the paleo lifestyle I am at my best & it works so well for me.
In addition, when consuming foods rich in phytochemicals, like juicing veggies in a raw form, they promote neuronal function & can aid in combating symptom severity associated with psychotropic medications.
 
Regarding CF
What brought me here today to speak to all of you – after years of being sedentary b/c most meds made me pretty cloudy & lethargic, I got to a point where I started exercising regularly again – tried the gym etc…but when I found Crossfit, it’s like I discovered one of the best forms of medication around.
The intense, constantly varied workout provides a release of endorphins that’s unparalleled
Intense exercise is proven to promote restful sleep and decrease symptoms common in brain diseases such as hostility, irritability, lethargy, weight gain, anxiety and depression.
Not only did CF remind me of the camaraderie I got from group oriented sports I loved growing up, but I can’t think of anything more fun than a Hero Wod like Cindy or sprinting, KB swings, throwing wall balls, doing power cleans and thrusters & kipping pull-ups.
 
Conclusion
There was a time I had accepted that I would always be on medication & I was okay with that. I was told this condition was a life sentence.
I’ve been off psychotropic meds for a year and half now, I can honestly say I’ve never felt better, and it’s b/c of the key components I mentioned earlier – Paleo & Crossfit being two of the most impactful.
I’m not condoning that people living with brain diseases (otherwise known as mental illnesses) should stop taking their medication by ANY means.
I just want people to know that under certain circumstances and with certain conditions, it is possible.
I advocate for patients to settle for nothing less than finding a psychiatrist willing to work with them collaboratively.
We are so blessed to be living in the age of the internet, where we can learn from so many spreading awareness about their own experiences
I am so grateful to be here today & to be able to say that after going through the hell & back several times, I not only came through it, but finished college with highest honors, became successful in a career that I love, I’m surrounded by family, friends and a husband that ALWAYS saw past the illness – stood by me through my worst until they could see me rise to be at my best.
And now, I can stand before you today and say that the greatest challenge of my life, has actually been a blessing, b/c I’ve recovered from a condition has tragically & unnecessarily been a death sentence for so many, and it doesn’t have to be. I have a voice & a story, and as long as I have that, I can help others fight to bring themselves out of the darkness and God willing, save lives.
 

Chelsea writes…

Sam, Ed & Coaches,

I just wanted to thank each of you for truly being a huge part of my life this summer. You pushed me to do my best and helped me achieve goals in such a short period of time that I didn’t think were possible. the total weight loss for me from June 10th to present (August 15th) was 45 pounds! I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys. The way you guys care about each of your athletes is amazing. Always welcoming people with open arms. I’m sad to leave but happy to share the knowledge you guys provided me. It has been life changing for the better. You guys truly are a family. I shall return, skinny and with a J-Lo booty!

 

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