I started my CrossFit career about 5 years ago in Batavia. I never took it seriously but for some reason I made it into a class almost every day. I was immediately fascinated by the things I was able to do. I walked in on one of my first days there and strung together five handstand push-ups. My coaches at the time seemed to be amazed that I had caught onto a movement so quickly.
A golfer for most of my life, I was used to being body aware and fine tuning even the smallest movements. I started playing at young age under my Dad’s instruction. A few years later, I had outgrown his teachings and was fortunate enough to have my own swing coach. I went on to play all over the country as well as for my high school team. Fast forward to my senior year of high school when I received my letter of acceptance in the PGM (pro-golf management) program at Florida Gulf Coast. I turned it down to pursue a degree in science and stay closer to home. This also opened up the opportunity to coach my high school team for a season! I share this golf story because the sport is nothing but hours, days, weeks, years of repetition and muscle memory (with a dash of talent and a whole lot of focus). I spent most of my life listening to a coach to adjust my movement and timing in my golf swing. If you asked 15-year-old me, it was boring. Hind sight, it leads me with a life time of being aware of how my body moves in space and being able to control it. I attribute this to being a rather quick study for the CrossFit career I have stumbled upon.
My time at the Batavia gym also brought attention to the things I was incapable of. A few examples in long list included, pull ups, push-ups, moving anything over 75lbs, and even knowing how to hold a barbell. My becoming of age obviously did not include any form of muscle building or even the desire to do so. In fact, this is where I share the other side of me which is not a varsity athlete. The game of golf does require muscle, however, I relied heavily on form to carry me as far as I did. Truth be told, the time that wasn’t spent on the golf course was time spent actively trying to be “smaller”. For as long as I can remember, I was fixated on the size of my body and the number that showed as I stood on the scale. From 8th grade year to freshman year in high school, I dropped over 15lbs. Luckily, I have a loving family who got me the help I needed. The energy spent focusing on my weight plays an equally important role in my journey as a Cross Fitter.
Taking my body awareness from years of golf and energy in the form of stubborn focus on body image issues, happened to be the right mixture for me to become the athlete you see today. Unbroken pull-ups, double-unders, muscle ups, and regularly lifting at a percentage well over my body weight to name a few. But, remember, it didn’t start that way.
CrossFit also introduced me to the love of my life, Mr. Andrew Pollock, CrossFit extraordinaire. The first time we ever worked out, he put around 85 lbs on the bar and asked me to squat it seven times. After one squat, I proceeded to sit down for the second and felt some resistance from the weight. Immediately, I dropped it and looked back at him. He had the look of “what the f***”. He picked up the bar and made me do it again with him spotting me. I wasn’t used to feeling uncomfortable but was able to push through it with a little encouragement. As time went on, I started joining group classes at CFTC and my main goal was to be a fly on the wall. I would hide in the back and hope NO ONE noticed me. To ensure that no one noticed me, I rarely did anything outside of my comfort zone that would push me to actually put noticeable effort in. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of being invisible, but the amazing community here didn’t let me fall through the cracks. Welcoming me with open arms, they fueled me to try a little more each day.
Three years later, I am Mrs. Pollock, coach Kayla, and you’ll find me regularly pushing myself at the front of the class to be faster, lift heavier, and cheer louder. Instead of focusing on my weight, I focus on my capabilities. Instead of dropping weight when I started to feel uncomfortable, I take a bigger breath and welcome the discomfort with a grin. CrossFit and each individual that calls CFTC their home has helped me to grow into not only the athlete, but also the person and mother that I am proud to be. I am forever thankful.
To all those people who try to blend in, who may not feel as strong or as fast as others, I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone one step at a time. For those who don’t celebrate their PR’s because they aren’t big numbers or it’s only a “small victory”, I challenge you to share them with your friends and be proud of yourself. For those who try to remain invisible, I see you and I am cheering you on. One day you will look back and see how all those small victories and time spent pushing a little bit harder than the day before carried you to capabilities you never thought possible.