Crossfit Healed my Anxiety

About 3 & ½ years ago, I started getting symptoms of Anxiety. When they started, I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. I would have moments when my heart would start palpitating with a squeezing sensation in my chest for no apparent reason. I found that I was quite tired a lot of the time, lacking enthusiasm to perform even the simplest tasks around the house and a lot of my confidence in myself started to diminish without me realising.

These niggling symptoms went on for quite some time, sending me crazy as I had no idea what was happening and every time I would mention it to the doctor I would get the same answer: ‘I can’t find anything to be worried about.’ Google was telling me something different. Might I add self diagnosis is not always the best option.

I went on to have 3 major Anxiety attacks in the space of 4 months. My first on an Airplane, second in a shopping centre and the third one woke me up to what was happening. It was the end of January last year and I was driving back to work from picking up my lunch. I was in the middle lane of a busy road when all of a sudden my temperature went up, my heart started racing, the squeezing sensation in my chest appeared  and I felt like I was going to faint. All I wanted to do at this point was get out of m car and leave it where it there. I had about 2kms to go until I was back at work and this involved 2 sets of lights. I started to breathe myself through the situation and I got back to work. I was not in a good way as the attack had drained a lot of the energy out of me, so I called my husband to ask him to pick me up and take me home.

This was the beginning of a turning point in my life. I realized something had to change and I had to take charge of what was happening to me. I started seeing a lovely lady who specialised in Women’s Anxiety, depression etc. For the first time, I didn’t think I was going crazy. Kerri gave me some great pointers on how to regain control of my mind and recognize what was triggering these attacks. I might also add I had a great support network around me.

For a year, I worked on the health of my mind and was doing great but I still felt like something was missing. I am by no means the athletic type – I hadn’t done much physical activity in years besides walking and the occasional gym workoutu.

My husband started Crossfit at the beginning of this year and would come home sore and sorry but still raving about what a good time he had. In March, I decided to give it a go myself. I was driving to my Introduction class and I remember thinking how sore Adrian was getting and I thought  how hard can this honestly be. Well let me tell you, I ate my words at the end of the class. I came home and just lay on the couch for about an hour, not wanting to move. The only words Adrian could get out of me was ‘These people are crazy.’

The first month I would look at the WOD (Workout of the Day) and honestly believed that I had no chance of making it through the morning. Not only had I not heard of most of the movements but the way a WOD was put together intimidated me. I can remember my first little victory being able to jump on to a 20 inch box. The first time I tried box jumps in a WOD, all I could manage was jumping on a small step. I know it doesn’t  sound like a  hard movement but the confidence and personal satisfaction I got out of being able to accomplish this one movement was exhilarating. You could not wipe the smile off my face all day. The momentum kept building from here and still is. I look forward to conquering new movements and being able to accomplish more in my workout. I love the environment as we all cheer each other on and congratulate each other once we have finised. The coaches are genuinely interested in seeing you accomplish your personal fitness goals. As a bonus, I have made some really special friendships along the way. The confidence I have gained from my crossfit achievements has spilled into every aspect of my life.

I have not had an anxiety attack in almost a year and a half and I did not end up having to take any medication. With the help of Kerri, my friends and family and ultimately getting myself involved in Crossfit I have found balance in my life again.

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