Primal Athletics Blog: News, Events, Promotions

I was once a high performing athlete. I was once able to make it through a 90 minute soccer match without a substitute. I used to practice 5 days a week for 2 hours a day and then workout on my own during the weekends. I was even once capable of going from one practice for one sport, into a game for a completely different one within the same day. That is not the case anymore.

I’m not able to contort my body into strange looking positions for stretching or mobility purposes. I can’t run 5 miles without multiple rests and I sure as hell can’t give 100% one day and then immediately shove myself back into the fray the next; but I’m getting there. Slowly I am learning that the body that I once inhabited isn’t the same as the one that it is today, and for good or bad, it’s mine. This body that hurts in the morning, has imperfections all over it, and is extremely stubborn when it comes to weight loss is mine. This body is something that I have the power to make into anything that I want or try for, so I may as well give it everything I have. My whole heart is in this journey; my whole heart is helping me stay on track.

Throughout the years and starting at a very young age, I’ve struggled with a body image complex. When I was 15 I fought through the disease of Anorexia. When I was in college I struggled with an addiction to laxatives. And in in my late 20s to now I had found myself on the opposite side of the spectrum. I started eating to excess, becoming addicted to food, and just being depressed about it. I was the heaviest that I had ever been, and completely miserable with how I looked and felt. I felt that I was dying on the inside and losing every part of who I was to the addiction that had become food. Food as an addiction is a tricky one for me. It’s hard to be on the opposite side of Anorexia, still knowing how skinny it can make me, still feeling that pull of not wanting to eat versus binge eating all of the food in the house. I am battling two different demons at the same time. My brain at all times is in constant war with itself; picture the Heat Miser and Snow Miser yelling at one another for 24 hours a day.

So you’re probably thinking. How does one overcome or battle something like that? Can it even be balanced? Well, I haven’t overcome it. I don’t think either urges will ever fully go away but I’m trying. Balance is necessary with something as tricky as this. I have to re wire my brain into thinking that it’s ok to eat, but it’s ok to eat healthy things. I can’t let myself get bogged down in depression because I ate X amount of calories for the day and it seems like a lot but I also can’t just eat because the food is healthy. There is a fine line I’m balancing here, and it’s hard. Though it may be hard I have support. I’m grateful that I have the guidance of Eric and Sarah and that I have the support of my Fab 5 teammates.

I am also incredibly grateful for all of the wonderful coaches at the box for without them I wouldn’t be able to push myself as much as I have. Through this pushing and guidance I know that I will be able to make it through a 90 minute recreational soccer match, stretch and contort my body into weird positions for mobility, and maybe even get to the box for back to back to back sessions. I know that all of this will take time. It is going to take time to rewire my brain into thinking that I’m pretty and fit again, that I’m worthy of wearing tanks to the box (I have yet to do this), and that I don’t have to over stress or get anxiety about eating healthy things to fuel my workouts. I know that it will take time to get myself back into a semi-high performing athlete again, but I will get there. It may not be today or tomorrow.

But I will get there all thanks to my own hard work and pushes from those who genuinely care about my health and well-being. I'm forever grateful for that.

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Dawn O'Brien

Dawn is a participant in CrossFit Nashua's 2015/2016 "Fit-For-Life" program. Participants track their progress in the CrossFit training program during the coming 1-year period and log their progress in this blog. Best of luck Dawn, in meeting your training goals!

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