Nicole Defee

An avid runner and swimmer all my life, a former high school and collegiate athlete, like most people my age, I had gotten a little, uh, soft. I was fairly healthy. I had cardio for days, but I wasn’t very strong or lean, or even close to what I now know “fit” is. And I just was not comfortable in my own body. I had a mythical weight at which I was comfortable and had been chasing since I was 28. So my Christmas present to myself December 2011 was that I was just going to finally force my body into fitness submission. I bought myself the DVDs of the latest in in home fitness, and January of 2012 I started that program, added hour long runs to it 3-5 times a week, and still tried to get my usual “long runs” in on Sundays. I was feeling pretty good. Then in February, my husband came home and said “I’m going to start doing CrossFit.” I said, “okay, sure, whatever man. Try to compete with my fitness guru here.” He started following using what little equipment that we had, and he stuck with it. I thought, “hmmm, this program must be legit!” I began using the other fitness program as my warm-up, and then I’d do the workout as my real workout. Then this thing happened—the inches started moving faster—even with our limited equipment resources and my limited skill—and I started to feel even better. In the meantime, my mom and sister had been talking about this Paleo diet, and not to be left out, we tried it—I had found a new way of working out and a new way of cooking. 


When that summer came around, my husband and I had been talking about how we could be more serious about our training. Do we join the gym and do our workout there? Meh. Or do we save up money and make our own garage gym? That was our plan. I was about two weeks away from purchasing the base kit from Rogue for a starter garage gym when CrossFit Ruston opened its glorious doors. Within an hour of hearing that there was a CrossFit box open in Ruston, we walked through those doors, which I think was the second or third day it had been open. Evan started to tell us about CrossFit and before we let him get three words out of his mouth, we said, “where do we sign?,” came back for the 4pm class that day, went to the 6 am the next day (two WODs in 12 hours!) and that was it. Hooked for the long haul. Holla!

We both immediately fell in love with the atmosphere, camaraderie, and community at CFR. I loved that within about two months, even though I wasn’t really throwing around that heavy of weights, I was the strongest and probably most fit I had ever been in my entire life. And it was fun! I loved being in a place where I could cheer for others during a workout and grunt and scream without nary a crossways glance from someone. I loved that every day was a challenge and a chance to try something new. And I think it’s good too to have a chance to fail and to learn. I did a lot of that the first couple of months, and still do probably on a weekly basis. It’s good for me. And then four months after joining CFR, I got pregnant. I was so happy that I had a decent enough base that I was able to continue CrossFitting throughout my pregnancy. It was a little hard for me to check my ego and put my competitiveness aside for a few months, but so worth being able to continue working on my fitness and getting stronger while growing a tiny human. It was a long road for me to come back after the baby after lots of starts and stops. But now, after about 8 months of pretty solid training, I am far far stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and miles ahead of where I was before I got pregnant. 

What I’m really thankful for about CrossFit, and specifically CrossFit Ruston, is that everyone there has helped me become more self-confident than I’ve ever been in my entire life. That’s helped me as a person, professor (we do academic W.O.D.s in class), wife, daughter, mother. It’s made me a better mom than I probably would have been. I’m glad that my daughter will know me as confident and as a CrossFitter and not unsure of myself and complaining about my body. I’m sure it’s made me a better wife (you’ll have to ask Jeremy. Ha!). I feel better. I move better. I sleep better. I can run circles around my 20 year old collegiate athlete self. I’m sure I’m harder to kill now. And I’ve almost solved the riddle of steel! Did I ever dream I’d be this BA at my age? No way! Sure, I have a ways to go yet. There’s a whole lotta room for improvement. I wanna be muscly and cut. I want a 300 pound deadlift and a triple digit press. A better kip. But the best part about wanting all of those things and working toward all of those things are the people with whom I get to share the journey. Thank you CrossFit Ruston!! 


Christian DunnComment