Coralie Jones

Five years ago, I went to watch a friend compete in a Crossfit team competition that was being held at Gateway. I remember the energy that hit me as soon we walked through the doors nearest to where they were competing.

As soon as we were close enough to see, I was hypnotized. Everything about it drew me in. Every year, on the day of the comrades marathon, I have this overwhelming feeling that I should attempt running it one day. Then the day passes, and I realize it may just be too much for me to handle.

Well on that day, watching those athletes, I had the same feeling. I wanted to do something like that. I wanted to be able to do the things they were doing. And then..that day passed too, and I figured I wasn’t strong or fit enough, I was just an ordinary girl, nothing like those Athletes and I put it out of my mind.

Fast forward 2 ½ years, two beautiful girls later, and many MANY conversations with Gareth (my incredible hunk of a husband) who kept telling me that I NEEDED to try Crossfit as he knew how much I would love it. The fact that there was now Crossfit DBN West on our doorstep, I decided to take this leap into the unknown. Thankfully Taryn and Sarah opened an 8:15am morning class, so a friend and I decided to join together. I LOVED it from the moment I walked into that box and I have not looked back.

This is a testimonial. According to the Webster Dictionary a testimonial is ‘a written declaration certifying to a person’s character, conduct, or qualifications, or to the value, excellence etc. of a thing’. It also says that it is ‘something given or done as an expression of esteem, admiration or gratitude’. Sheesh no pressure!! Those are some intimidating words right there. I could write about how I have improved, how when I started, doing a consecutive tuck jumps was an impossible task. How just trying to remember all the various movements and how to do them (let alone what all the acronyms meant during a workout) was a workout. How I learnt to sometimes listen to my body and ignore my mind, and visa versa. But instead I want to explain what I have seen with my eyes, heard with my ears and felt with my heart.

I have trained at other sessions and have made incredible friends and met athletes who should get there own testimonial, but for the purpose of who ever is still reading at this point, it will be mainly be about Our 8:15am Tribe. Our class started with 2 of us, and it has grown to about 10 ladies. We are all so different, we vary in age (24 - 42) ,we differ in opinion, we are in various stages of our lives and yet, we rely so much on each other and have become the greatest of friends. Even if the last thing I feel like doing, after having no sleep with two sick kiddies who were up all night, is going to train. I go because I need to see my tribe. And then we train. And even when I’m not up for it I love it. This is the result of the energy and love that fills the atmosphere at Crossfit DBN West, which has been poured into this Box by Sarah and Taryn, and their love for Crossfit. The immense amount of love and admiration I have for these ladies is almost as much as how much I love crossfit.

There is one particular WOD (workout of the day.. see.. I’m a quick learner), that sticks out in my memory. It was 500m run, 20 KB swings (24kg) and 20 pullups, FIVE rounds. Whenever I see ‘running’ on the board I want to quietly back away and leave while no one is watching. Yet, knowing long endurance workouts are a weakness of mine, I participate in the death workouts hoping to improve. Well after 2 rounds, I mentally fell apart. 500m is a long enough run to phych yourself out of anything. I just kept thinking it was so long, the swings were so heavy, my hands were sore. I’ve experienced all these things before and managed to work through it, but not this time. I also seemed to be running whilst everyone was doing the inside work, and when I came in everyone else was on the run, so I felt like I was training on my own, which I don’t enjoy (and something I need to work on). It just seemed to be taking so long. And then, every athletes worst fear, ALL the other ladies had finished the workout and I was still on my 4th round! Couldn’t I just finish after 4 rounds? Isn’t 4 rounds better than nothing? I was so frustrated. I was exhausted, I couldn’t seem to work through it. I was honestly getting a little teary. (Now Gareth will tell you that’s not hard to make me do, but I like to think Im tougher than that). But then my tribe started to hustle. They came around and were supporting me. As I was leaving for my last run, there they were, beside me. After their own hectic workouts, after being exhausted themselves. They ran with me. It doesn’t sound like something so astonishing and yet for me, it was like they were giving me this gift of saying its ok to have an off day. Its ok to be exhausted, its ok if you are hurting, it’s ok if it takes you long. We are with you and you can keep going. This memory is a testimonial for Crossfit DBN West and the caliber of coaches and athletes that train there, but it is also a testimonial to a group of ladies that, through crossfit, have become my close friends, great team mates and when I need, a very strong support system. Can a “value” be given to that? No. no, I really don’t think so.

I have seen the hugs in the morning, the smiles on peoples faces, the determination that each person gives to a workout. Whether you are a beginner who can’t do a tuck jump, or a burpee, or a seasoned athlete, everyone is pushing themselves to reach their goals. How awesome to see a group of people all trying to do better, be better. I have heard people support me, I have heard people support others. I have heard absolutely nothing after a really hard workout. I have heard high fives, and laughter, and bacon sizzling on the skottle. Nice right?

I have felt the joy of reaching a goal I never thought possible. I have felt inspired by those training beside me, I have felt so grateful to my incredibly, gorgeous, loving, sexy husband for introducing me to Crossfit DBN West and the family all the members have become to me.

I have written this testimonial as “Something given or done as expression of esteem, admiration, or gratitude”. And I will be eternally grateful to Crossfit DBN West: Sarah and Taryn."