18h30 Aug 28, 2018 I finally committed to my first class at CrossFit 360Vida - a few squats finished off with wall balls. Went home feeling light headed, but quietly committed to going back.
One of my lifelong friends had been nudging me to give CrossFit a go, himself a member of the Vida crew for about a year. On the eve of my 40th birthday and asking myself some midlife questions about my general state of fitness, I was keen to try something new. I had until then been the typical, intermittent gym-goer slash jogger. My gym regime typically consisted of treadmill, rower or the pool. The results were generally speaking, pretty underwhelming.
Needless to say, my first real taste of CrossFit came as a shock to the system! The intensity of the workouts was a real challenge for the first 2 months or so. I have self-diagnosed myself suffering from some form of exercise-induced asthma (a real condition according to Google) during this time. Despite the industrial grade stiffness and coughing fits, there was something that kept me coming back. Perhaps the accountability factor (to my friend that introduced me) as well as my coach and those other regular 6am punters, had a part to play.
A year later, almost to the day, I reflect on what has been an awesome, personal journey. Coming off a low base, I now actually look forward to a good burner of a workout, of which there are many (still coming to terms with the Assault Bike). The lifting and bar work has become totally addictive and the incremental growth I have experienced has been real. I like to make the analogy of a good chilli sauce. The deeper the burn the more you keep dipping in.
But in truth, the reason I believe I have persisted and feel fitter than I have felt since being in my twenties, comes down to a few factors. From day one, I have not met anyone at CrossFit 360Vida that has not espoused the values that are embossed on the walls of the 360Vida box. Good values to live by. The humility and encouragement from trainers and fellow sufferers has been the true inspiration.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time spent with the Vida crew and like to think I am a far better version of the person I was this time a year ago. I cannot compare my prior attempts at fitness to what I have experienced this last year. If you are reading this contemplating giving CrossFit 360Vida a bash, my advice to you is unequivocal. Do it.
I started training at CrossFit 360Vida in November 2017 when I was 4 months postpartum. I was apprehensive and uncertain about my abilities, but after a single session with Darren, I knew that I was in good hands. Within a few weeks I was hooked – enjoying the rush of learning new movements, lifting heavy things and becoming part of the 360Vida family.
In Jan 2018, after 3 months at 360Vida, I found out that I was pregnant again. I really didn’t want to stop training so soon after finding something I loved doing so much. Darren assured me that we would scale the movements as my pregnancy progressed and that by listening to my body, I would be able to keep training as long as I felt up to it.
With expert guidance from the coaches, I was able to train until my 32nd week of pregnancy. Despite my 2 pregnancies being only 6 months apart, I felt more energetic and healthier this time around which I credit the coaches at 360Vida with. I was also amazed and grateful for the 3 months of CrossFit before my second pregnancy that made my body strong and recovered enough to breeze through the nine months this time around.
I couldn’t wait to get back to 360Vida after my baby was born and looked forward to seeing my CrossFit family and continuing the journey I had started. It gave me a space to feel like me again and for an hour a day focus on only myself and my body.
Now, almost a year later, I am stronger, fitter and healthier than I have ever been. As a mom of 2 boys under 2, I look forward to the time I spend at 360Vida every day. It keeps me sane, gives me much needed me time and an opportunity to socialise and meet other moms and like minded people. The vibe and banter is awesome, the coaches know how to challenge every member and the thrill of seeing constant improvement is unmatched.
I can’t overemphasize the difference 360Vida has made in my life and health – physically and mentally - before, during and after pregnancy.
Moving from living in Germany for 8 years back to SA was a culture shock to say the least, with a handful of friends my first thought was to join a box again. I chose 360 Vida because the first few classes - I clicked with a few people and was immediately hooked to this community.
Over a year later and I look forward to every time I go. It’s those one or two hours a day that brings joy to my soul and makes me smile no matter how hard the workout is - there is always the camaraderie and knowing everyone is loving it and possible suffering with you.
When people ask me why I go to “torture” myself my response is always the same:
It’s not torture, it’s teaching yourself to dig inside and choose to show yourself what you’re mentally capable of, with that comes the beauty that you’re at times extremely vulnerable, you’re tired, you’re uncertain, but you’re in a place of zero judgement but 100% encouragement to be the best person, friend, team mate and athlete you can be. You’re encouraged to live a life that’s full, share your ups and downs with people at 360Vida who genuinely care - especially your coaches.
The value that they have added into my life is priceless, and they have become friends to me that only push me to strive for the best woman I can be.
I have learnt to embrace and express my vulnerability but also own my progress, physical and mental strength and know that even if I have times where I am completely disillusioned I can always come back and smile another day.
360Vida is not just a box, it’s a family of mishaps, injures birds, athletes, friends and family.
I have always been a fit individual, however I was eager to challenge my fitness level. And this is when I heard of 360Vida, whilst googling “best CrossFit box Fourways”, where 360Vida popped up. What makes CrossFit 360VIDA so unique is the community and the coaches. I have never felt more part of a family than I do at 360VIDA. On good days or on bad days, I can always count on my coaches and fitfam to push me to the next level.
The coaches William, Darren, Clint and Jason all have a unique and professional coaching style and are always there to offer their support and guidance when asked. The community is extremely uplifting, especially when caught within a strength exercise and the doubt sets in, and the entire box starts yelling and cheering you on to get it up, or do one more as you’re about to give up.
Not only has CrossFit transformed me physically but emotionally and spiritually as well, before CrossFit I had a daily struggle with anxiety and a feeling of not being enough, this all changed and disappeared the day I joined 360VIDA and completed my very first workout. The achievements that you accomplish during a workout does not only make you feel good during a workout, but after as well and many more days to come, as these accomplishments and self believe and achievements filter through your daily life and it makes you realize you ARE strong physically AND mentally! 360 Vida was a choice, and it has become a lifestyle, I have never felt as confident in the way my body has transformed in such a short amount of time, in 5 months I have managed to drop by 2 jeans sizes!!
360VIDA by far the best CrossFit box! And I am #360Proud!
I was introduced to cross fit 3 years ago. I worked with a personal trainer for a while and found that I wanted to do more sessions. I looked around the 4 ways area and tried a few boxes and finally settled on 360Vida. I have been training consistently for the past 3 years in a manner that I have never done before in my life. I have got my weight under control and achieved a level of fitness I never thought possible.
I have achieved many goals including participating in competitions… I would never have imagined such. All of this has become possible because of the incredible coaching team and the community they have built. The team understands that people matter and that connecting with people matters.
Every session is different and the community is encouraged to push yourself and each other. There is a high commitment to technical aspects of the practice to ensure that injury is minimized. I particularly like this. In addition, the personal needs of members are further taken into consideration – another important aspect that I think differentiates 360Vida from the rest.
I love my CrossFit sessions here……these times are the best part of my week.
Before we start at the beginning, I have been with Crossfit 360 Vida for just over a year and a half now. So let’s shuttle sprint to the beginning.
With every turn of the calendar, we hope the new year would be better than the last. 2018 was no different. Staring into 2018, I had to face certain facts. The hardest one was that I was overweight and had been for the past 15 years. I had more than a dad-bod! I could give the Pillsbury Dough Boy a run for his money.
Since I turned 41 in 2018 and didn’t want to die of a heart attack in the next five years, I decided to do something a bit more substantial than walking from the kitchen to the couch. That something would be CrossFit.
Although the box is close to home I have never seen it open. Curiosity got the better of me though.
I Googled 360Vida, found the contact info and fired a mail off to William. Great, the first step was done. I have seen enough Crossfit videos on Facebook to know that what I was about to do wasn’t a leisurely walk on a treadmill at Virgin Active. A quick email conversation later, and I was set for the introduction class. The first introduction class was on 11 January 2018.
I arrived at the box and introduced myself to William. Will then introduced all the newbies to the other coaches. I am not fond of people and new places. We will get back to this…
Completely out of my comfort zone and a bit anxious about what to expect, I reckon I can manage. Hilarity ensues from here on.
Clint took all the newbies for the evening’s intro class and explained some concepts about what CrossFit is and how it will affect you and your body. ‘Cool’, I think. ‘I can do this.’ It’s only squats, push-ups and sit-ups. Yeah right! 5 minutes in and my heart pounded like a rhino stampede in my ears. At some point I lost all feeling in my extremities. After all the squats, sit-ups and push ups I had to go home. Sitting in the car with my legs trembling on the pedals the thought crossed my mind; Uber or an ambulance?
I got home and collapsed on the tile floor. At that moment I would’ve taken anything to cool down my Satan’s armpit body temperature. After some time, my body started to return to ‘normal’. I helped to get the kids in bed and the time spent reading them a story was just enough for every muscle in my body to conspire against me! I was in pain.
Going to sleep, I fell into bed. Sleep was difficult, because everything hurt. At some point during the night, I had to penguin shuffle down the passage to the kitchen for some water. The longest walk in my life! By 4 o’clock I passed out, dead to the world and too exhausted to care. Blissful sleep until the alarm went off at 05:30. I rolled out of bed… no, seriously! I rolled out, waddled to the kitchen for coffee and tea to wake the house. I was in pain! If I could bend down, I would have cried in a foetal position in the shower corner.
The next session wasn’t any better. We ran… a lot! Om en om, and again! And again! The last time I had to run this much was when I was still in high school. At some point my brain stopped functioning. I blame oxygen deprivation.
Fast forward to August 2019... with a dash of seriousness.
Remember when I said, I am not fond of new places and people? The box has become one of my favourite places. I plan my schedule around training days. It has become a place of calmness in chaos. In that hour, I know exactly what is expected.
The first month was the hardest. As an asthmatic, there were more than enough moments where I thought: ‘Today is the day, this is going to kill me!’ On more than one occasion I thought about giving up. Yet, here we are. Consistency is key. You can give up on any day, or you can slowly chip away at it.
Although this isn’t the easiest thing I have ever done, it is one of the most rewarding. Crossfit isn’t for everyone, I get that. I know a few people who don’t enjoy it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go. Crossfit 360Vida is one of the places where people are welcomed regardless of who they are.
I have come a long way since January 2018. I still have a long way to go. To be honest, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I tried to do it on my own.