Twenty pounds lighter I returned home from biking coast to coast. I was also now jobless. Biking into town I noticed there was something new on my coffee route. Yellow flags reping Beer City Crossfit caught my eye as I was peddling past thinking of what my next step would be to begin training clients.

One of the biggest things I gained from my cross country trip was how much community matters. As I scrolled through Beer City's website their mission statement and training philosophy really resonated with my new found hunger for helping the community through fitness. After a short meeting with Abby, one of the owners, I felt like their box would be a great opportunity to work with clients and give CrossFit a try.

As a fitness/wellness professional I had avoided Crossfit due to preconceived notions that Crossfit was another fitness fad that had high risk of injury. I began joining in on the WODs that coach Jeremy programmed. I have to admit I had thought pretty highly of my fitness level until I encountered Olympic lifts such as clean and jerks, and snatches. My body had so much trouble manipulating the bar path and when it came time to attempt a ring muscle up wasn't pretty.

Jeremy's programming humbled me but at the same time provided a challenge in an environment where everyone there was pushing themselves at a high capacity. I loved the feeling of going all out and leaving nothing left in the tank. I worked hard and studied my weak points in efforts to catch up on skills and movements that I had previously avoided. Front squats, back, squats, tempo squats, overhead squats, cleans, snatches and maybe if we got lucky more squats. This style of training blew me away but as a trainer I saw the brilliance behind the madness. Jeremy's programming not only focused on crushing me but developing my weak points to facilitate huge gains in my power output and aerobic capacity.

In 7 months I went from struggling to rep 225lbs on a back squat to squatting 350 and gaining 15lbs of lean muscle mass. My gains were more than just physical. Jeremy, Abby and Josh knew when and how to push me in a positive and encouraging way that pushed me to my limits. With my newfound fitness community I trained and competed in a Crossfit competition in the scaled mixed team division. We placed 3rd but I felt as though everyone who competed in the competition showed comradery I had not experienced in bodybuilding shows, bike races and running races. I'm about to take on my next big bike adventure riding the Continental Divide on my mountain bike and I know that my training at Beer City this past year has me pedaling with more power and confidence than ever before. I'll be smiling and thinking of some of Jeremy's 'spicy' WODs as I mountain bike over the Rockies knowing whatever challenge comes my way I'm ready. Much Gratitude for the Beer City fam! Mountain top!