Broken Barbell of Strong Together Chester

Group Fitness in Chester - Strong Together Chester

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” –Ernest Hemingway

At the WODscars (our annual athlete appreciation event) I listened to a wonderful award given to a coach by an athlete. I listened to how her coach would “scrape her off the gym floor” (I believe literally and emotionally). This woman shared her battle with epilepsy and how STF Hackettstown motivated and helped her. On my drive home, I realized something: there are more of us “broken” folks at Strong Together Chester. Now, if you’ve been broken in any serious way, hearing another’s story of trial and success makes you take notice and realize, “Hey, I’m not alone!”

I had my first open-heart surgery in 2005 for a congenital heart valve defect. I had been a power lifter and then, when told I couldn’t lift heavy weights anymore, I started doing triathlons, demonstrating I could be mediocre in not just one but three athletic events. My heart valve failed way before its time in 2011, and I had my second OHS, receiving a very loud ticking carbon fiber valve.

My son Craig is, and has been, an enthusiastic CrossFit coach and athlete. As a physical therapist, I shook my head at CrossFit and all the crazy gymnastics moves and Olympic lifts for time. It wasn’t until Craig joined STF Chester that I began to change my mind. He raved about the coaching, the caring, the community, and the sensible approach to lifting and working out. He even got my daughter, Lea (who has her own broken story), to start CrossFit!

So, with a set of conditions necessitated by my heart, I went and met Trisha, Christine, and Ben. I CANNOT express how much I missed lifting, and now I am lifting again. I have to keep it light and watch my heart rate. If it’s hot, I have to really slow down and stay cool and hydrated. The hardest part? Not trying to keep up and match anyone else in the class, putting ego aside. Of course, our coaches always have a watchful eye.

So the point of this long ramble is to get YOU GUYS. I would like to hear from all the “Broken Barbells.” What is your story? Long roads provide the most interesting scenery. What have you found out about yourself? Maybe it’s not a physical injury or illness. Depression, loss, and substance abuse can kick a body’s butt, too. Not everyone wants to share, but it’s also nice just to know other folks might understand. Share your story with the gym, a coach, a fellow athlete ... you never know who might be in the same pair of Nanos. ;) #iamSTF #BrokenBarbell

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