Guest blog post, written by CrossFit Uncompromised athlete Jeff Frandsen.
There came a time in my life where I realized something needed to change. Both my mental and physical health were suffering. And that’s putting it lightly. I found my anxiety being a common occurance, my depression forcing me to take really long naps. My self confidence was null. I was desperate for things to get better, but I didn’t know where to start.
I estimate I had gained about 50 pounds since I got married in the summer of 2014. One marriage, one kid, one dog, and lots of Coca-Cola led me down a path that ended with me wearing oversized clothes to hide my shame. Each morning, I would pull on the bottom of my t-shirts, to give my muffin top space to disappear.
Christmas came and I remember not being able to fit in any of my nicer clothing for church with family. A few days earlier, I decided to go to Walmart and find a red sweater. One of those really basic Hanes kind. I contemplated getting an XXL. I thought, “this is just temporary, I’ll just need this for right now.” So instead of spending a lot of money on a “nicer” sweater, I settled for the Walmart one.
And just like that sweater… I had settled into my “fat” life. I was miserable. I was hopeless.
The new year came and I was paralyzed, not knowing where to start. My family has a membership at the YMCA, but just going to the gym alone was always a bust for me. No iPhone app could help guide me toward understanding or enjoying those trips. So I just stopped going… a long time ago.
Then one day, I saw a promoted advertisement on Facebook. As I look back at it now, it feels like a cheesy infomercial. The ad read something like “Are you a guy looking to change your life around?” And I was like… um YES! So I clicked the ad and that’s where my journey at CrossFit Uncompromised began.
I set up my consultation meeting with Phil. I was terrified. My social anxieties, being intimidated by CrossFit, and being way overweight combined to make this one of the hardest things I’ve had to jump into mentally. Those overwhelming feelings almost led me to cancel my consult. I was scared. My mind was desperate for an excuse to get out of it. Instead, I quickly confirmed my meeting via text. No way out now, no way out.
Walking into the box was probably one of the most overwhelming feelings I have experienced in my life. I remember it well. I parked my car and I sat in the lot for a good 10 minutes, distracting myself on my phone. I wasn’t sure what door to go in. “Why do all CrossFit gyms have to be in sketchy warehouses?” is what I thought. I got out of my car, in my baggy hoodie and I walked in.
With my heart rate probably around 250, the only person exercising was Coach Kayla. Immediately I compared myself and thought… “holy frick, what am I doing here?” This girl is freaking ripped and I’m a tub of lard. Escape, escape, escape! But she was welcoming and nice. I exhaled.
I then officially joined the 6 Week Challenge at CFU. The goal was 20lbs in that time. I would have to cut out 110% of my diet and completely restart. I’ve lost this type of weight before, so I was confident I could make it happen. But not in this intimidating environment.
I remember my first class. I was the only one there. I could barely do anything. But I gave 100% to the scaled version. The second workout I fell backwards while trying to do an overhead squat. A week later I fell on my head trying to do a handstand pushup. I was discouraged, frustrated, sad. I wanted to be great at everything… right away. I compared myself to the other members who could breeze through the workouts. But after my second weigh-in, I was already down over 10lbs. My confidence began to grow.
The pounds started flying off. Three days a week at the box and a sense of extreme accomplishment. I was excited to share with others what my workouts were like. To this day, I still get home and share with my wife what each of them are like. And getting to tell her about my first toe-to-bar and my #200 back squats make me (and her) proud.
Then I started to look forward to the workouts (okay… most of them). Ironically, the last workout of my 6 Week Challenge happened to be the first workout of the 2018 CrossFit Open. I didn’t register this year, but I wanted to join the fun and try to immerse myself in the community. I’m so glad I did. The Open flew by and I’m already missing those Friday Night Lights.
21 pounds lost. I did it. I crushed my goal. Sarah’s excitement for me only built up my pride. It wasn’t easy. But when I set myself up for a challenge, I’m always 100% in. And this time was no different. Both my diet and my exercise are something I enjoy and take pride in.
I’m now 3 months into my journey and I’m hooked. I’m one of those annoying people who doesn’t stop talking about CrossFit. Ask any one of my friends or family. I’ve embraced it, and make sure to accept the running joke about my obsession. I don’t care because it’s working. I’m enjoying exercise for the first time in my life. And I want others to experience this too. I think the biggest reason why I can’t stop is the inspiration that all the other members are to me at the box. In no particular order… every time I see these people working their ass off, it makes me want to try harder. Thank you Kayla, Dani, Niall, Dustin, Paige, Stephanie, Lauren, Chelsea, Jose, Raf, Tyler, Heather, Mark, Matt and so many more. They are the ones I see the most at the box and they all inspire me such much. Honestly, everyone who steps inside there is someone I look up to.
And this is just the beginning. I get giddy everytime I think about how little experience I have at CrossFit. It’s no longer something that frustrates me. I now see it as a challenge. Each day is a step in the right direction to better myself for the rest of my life. I’m a little bit happier, a lot more healthier, and so excited to see what I can accomplish in the future.
Look out world, the shirtless mirror selfies are coming soon. Jeff is back.