One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Am I Really an Athlete?

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Yesterday I took a trip to a physical therapist for the first time ever. I have a history of neck issues, and recently my lower back has been giving me trouble.

As I explained my symptoms and let him evaluate my posture, strength, balance, etc. he says:

We see this a lot with athletes. Especially runners.


Wait. Hold the phone.

I know it sounds ridiculous from the outside looking in as I’ve been running now for almost 6 years, but I still have a hard time accepting this new identity I’ve created for myself.

Should I be able to confidently say…

I am a runner.

I am an athlete.



I can’t stress how foreign this still FEELS. I think it’s just hard to undo 20 years of self-inflicted brainwashing. I absorbed what people told me. I identified myself as chubby, lazy, unathletic. Skinny, active and confident was reserved for the lucky people, and I just wasn’t one of them.

You’d think the therapist’s words would be a boost to my confidence and ego, but unfortunately it had the opposite effect. I immediately started to feel like a fraud. I became insecure, questioning yet again who I was and whether I deserved his words.

To make matters worse, last night the CrossFit Games announced the first workout for the Open. I signed up to challenge myself, and challenge me it will. I’m not sure I’m going to survive the first round!

As I watched the woman in the demo last night, I was quite sure I made a huge mistake.

There’s no way.

No way.

Then, as if on autopilot, I went upstairs to go to bed. I scheduled my alarm for 5:30 a.m. Set out my workout clothes and crawled into bed.

This morning the alarm went off and I laid there for a minute as I always do before getting up. Then I brought my clothes into the bathroom, got dressed and brushed my teeth. I headed downstairs, grabbed a sweatshirt, my keys, phone and hopped in the car.

I arrived at the gym 5 minutes before class, chatted and then worked out withOUT an insecure thought in my mind.

I came home and did a few yoga poses.


The entire morning I was just in the moment.

I was doing what I do now, and it hit me,

My insecure thoughts don’t define who I am nor does anyone else’s perception.

The only thing that matters is what I do.


And I do what “athlete’s” do.

I guess there’s no denying it, huh?

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There are 20 comments so far.


    March 7, 2013

    I know that sometimes the image we see in the mirror is not the true image that is being reflected. I look at you and see an amazing athlete and mom. You are a true inspiration.


    March 7, 2013

    So how did you do on 13.1??? The burpees are going to kill me!


      March 7, 2013

      I’ll find out Satuday morning at 8Am


      March 8, 2013

      I do it today at 5:45. My mantra is “do one more”. So, when one is done and I think *I’m* done, I’ll do one more. :P I’m REALLY thankful it’s an AMRAP so we’re all done in 17 mins. I hate being the last one standing, trying to finish a WOD with everyone watching (they’re cheering me on, but I’m not used to/comfortable with the attention).


      March 8, 2013

      5:45 TODAY, I mean. :P YIKES!


    March 8, 2013

    Love it!! You certainly look and act like an athlete so yeah….. you are! :)

    Fiona Jesse Giffords

    March 8, 2013

    The most important thing is to fight back. It’s good to find out you didn’t step back. Facing the problems will only give you success. Try to calm yourself and don’t think about losing.


    March 8, 2013

    I know it isnt about skinny, but girl, you looks skinny and fit in your yoga pose!!

    If I remember correctly, your back was bothering you before you started Crossfit, right? I only ask because I have heard there are some Crossfits that are better than others that show you how to use correct form, I hope your box is great about helping you prevent injuries.

    Um that 13.1 workout? I would.die. Her burpee form is so frickin awesome! I feel like a fish flopping around, gasping for breath after about 10 of them. And I dont even know how to do that weight lifting move.


      March 8, 2013

      They are, it’s nice. And yes, my back has been as issue for some time, unfortunately. :(


      March 13, 2013

      Can I just say I am so appreciate that you answer people’s comment questions? I read several blogs and it drives me crazy when I know they read the comments (like the ones that get moderated before posting), I ask a question in my comment, and they dont answer it? Yet another reason why I Thanks!


      March 13, 2013

      I’ll never understand that either. Why blog?! I wish I had more time to respond to non-question comments but I do my best to reply to anyone who asks a question. Thanks for the feedback, it’s nice to know people notice. :)


    March 8, 2013

    you look so incredibly fit in this picture!!!!


      March 8, 2013

      Thanks. :)


    March 8, 2013

    Roni, you ARE an athlete! I do worry about you and your back pain though. My trainer’s specialty is correcting muscle imbalances and dysfunctions whether from athletic endeavors or sitting at a desk all day (or both!).

    There are a couple ex-crossfitters at my gym (who came to my trainer after sustaining injuries at their Box) that were discussing workout 13.1 yesterday… the general consensus was that performing heavy snatches after doing 100 burpees and 90 lighter snatches was just asking for injury… Please consider the risk/benefit especially if you have just learned how to perform snatches, and don’t worry about rushing through your reps.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really am not a Crossfit basher; I honestly think I would LOVE crossfit style workouts. But I also love the fact that I am injury and pain free after my workouts. Crossfit might burn a little bit more calories and get me to my goal a little bit faster than the slow and steady approach my trainer uses, but to me it is worth it to have a workout completely personalized to my body’s strengths and weaknesses.


      March 8, 2013

      Thankfully I have a good box (they don’t even call it that) one of our members is actually a physical therapist and will be running a special class one a week specifically on stretching and preventing injury. I just hope I can make it!


    March 8, 2013

    I love this post Roni & can totally relate. Since I didn’t grow up playing sports, once I started as an adult, it was really difficult to call myself an athlete. I would always tack on “later in life” before the word.

    But I think that Crossfit has helped me in that respect. Because I work with coaches (something I didn’t have as a child) and they refer to us as athletes, it’s become much easier to see myself in that light. Plus, I think that thinking of yourself as an athlete, and calling yourself one, changes your entire perspective on the rest of your life.

    (Also, I’ve been doing CF for three years and this is my first time doing the Open. Good for you for signing up! This also means we’re competing against each other…)


    March 8, 2013

    “My insecure thoughts don’t define who I am nor does anyone else’s perception.” Amen to that! Need to remind myself of that daily. Now that I think about it, I’ve always been somewhat athletic, although not in a conventional way. And I NEVER would have or even still would describe myself that way. But…I think we need to give ourselves some credit for what we put our bodies through as far as exercise/fitness! Sending you some encouragement for the Crossfit games; you’ve got it. And you do look super fit & awesome:)


    March 8, 2013

    Yes there is no denying it. You are an athlete. Remember they also had to chose a time to start. You chose now.

    Connie D

    March 21, 2013

    You are awesome, I come to your site when I am feeling a little down or hopeless and I feel uplifted, thanks!!


      March 21, 2013

      Thank you Connie. Made. my. day…