From Sleeping in to Crushing Goals

By Cristal Delgado | Photo via 510crossfit

Waking up was always a sluggish start for me.

Instead of being grateful for another day, I would lay around and contemplate about what wasn’t happening in my life at the moment. I would eventually force myself to get up, rushing to get to work. After being in my car and starting to feel awake, I would regret not eating breakfast.

Why did I keep doing this? Because, like many people, I found comfort in my daily routine. I was in this zone for about a year or more of being overall physically not present, alive, or grateful for seeing a new day.

One day, I woke up and asked myself: “Is this it? What’s my purpose here?”

At 23, I needed something new in my life, a challenge for myself. I wasn’t reaching my highest potential or evolving into someone I wanted to be. So I decided to do something about it.

One morning, I grabbed my laptop and began researching dance classes and gym memberships trying to find something that suited me. I came across a boot camp at 510 CrossFit in Richmond.

The class was advertised as an intense way to take your body to the next level. What caught my attention was its focus and start time: 5 a.m. I could start my day differently for a change.

When I finally saw the place in person, I was convinced. I was, after all, looking for a challenge.

First, I learned about the rules: show up on time, be present, and push yourself.

There were only about eight of us there that early in the morning. I liked it because it created more opportunities for one-on-one training so coaches could help me with my posture and how I held my body during a certain work out.

Moving and stretching the body in ways you haven’t done before can feel traumatizing to the body, but, done correctly, I learned how good it feels to tone important muscles like my abs, thighs, and arms.

At first, the exercises with weights appeared intimidating, but that changed when I kept going at it. The running, too, was initially difficult, as it’s always made me short of breath. I quickly learned some new tips and tricks that have since made a difference.

My first class may have been free, but I paid for it in other ways. I was very sore, to say the least. It felt like I wasn’t going to be able to overcome it. But I did. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. has been a big transition. Before, when I was sleeping in until the last minute, I didn’t realize how limited my time is here and how quickly it goes by. It helped me live a healthier lifestyle.

On that first day, I first learned how to work the rowing machine. It took a while to fully understand and work it, but I also learned about pushing myself, even when I’m getting tired.

One goal I had was reaching 5,000 meters — or more than three miles —on the rowing machine. Another one was completing a set of pushups and sit-ups before resting for ten seconds.

When I’m at the gym, I can sweat and let go of my day or anything I’m holding inside. It forces me to focus and stay present in the moment.

In my new routine, complete with new goals, I’m excited. I have, and will continue to have, difficult days, but I am not giving up on myself. The key thing is to give it your all as best as you can at your own pace.

What I like best about this new chapter is being around the right people for myself, those who also want to challenge themselves. We all started around the same baseline, but that only shows that we all come from the bottom and have to put in the work to make it to the top.

Crossfit has helped me change for the better. I’ve felt less stressed and more active. I am capable of doing more for myself now than ever before. I’ve realized that I was the only one holding myself back.

I now wake up early mostly every day. I awake with a lighter mind and want to be more active with the goal of losing weight and toning my muscles. It’s part of my healthier routine, but I also want to show my friends and family that it’s possible to overcome fear to achieve what you want in life.

Every day, my motivation remains the same: wake up early and go harder than I did yesterday

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