Take a Journey...

  • By Eric Evenstad
  • 25 Jul, 2015

Meet Tillifinney!  (Today is her birthday!) Some of you have seen her around the gym over the last couple weeks, paying close attention to coaching and movements, busting her butt to get work done and coming and going with a HUGE smile. It’s for these reasons (and many more) that she will be taking us on her fitness journey over the next six months!

From frustrations to PRs, from low-energy-I-don’t-wanna-be-at-the-gym-today days to walking out happy she pushed through, I can’t wait to see her mind/body transformation over this time. Each week we’ll get an brief update and each month a more detailed progress check. Starting today:


Current Weight: 247#

1-Month Goals:

  • 10 Unbroken Double Unders

  • Run 1 mile without stopping to walk

3-Month Goals:

  • Pull-Ups using bands

  • 20″ Box Jump

And now, I present….The Birthday Girl!

Hi, everyone! My name is Tillifinney, and welcome to my CrossFit DeCO journey! I am an elementary music teacher, a beast in the kitchen, and an avid recycler. You and I (yes, WE) will be traveling together for the next six months through highs, lows, and times when I just want a damn slice of pizza. I say that we will be traveling together because I would not have embarked on this journey without you. The support of peers, colleagues, and even total strangers has been such a driving force for me to take on this exciting opportunity to represent not only how badass I am, but how badass Leslie and everyone at CrossFit DeCO are. So, let’s get started, shall we?

In January of this year I was at a music education conference with a former college professor of mine, Dr. Carla Aguilar, and she was singing the praises of CrossFit DeCO over a bun-less burger and lettuce. I found myself sort of interested, so she invited myself and my friend Lauren to class the next Saturday. On the outside I said, “Cool! We’ll be there!”, and on the inside I was terrified.

I got home from the conference and immediately started to prep myself. I couldn’t back out… Well, I could have, but I felt like I had something to prove, so I didn’t. Instead, I read basically every CrossFit article the interwebs could offer me, bought a cute new workout top, and kept a countdown of how many days I had until CrossFit Saturday.

So CrossFit Saturday morning came, I put my hair up in a ponytail that would secure all the short hairs, and was off to pick up Lauren. We decided that, even though she lived way out of the way, it was best for us to go together for accountability’s sake. We stopped at Whole Foods on the way to pick up a sack of almonds because these crazy people were having some sort of healthy food potluck after the workout, and almonds were what we were told to bring. We pulled up to DeCO 45 minutes early, and sat in the car wondering and worrying about what we were getting ourselves into. Here’s a picture we took during that time and a conversational quote to go along with it:

take a pre-CrossFit picture!”

“Ok. Are we smiling or looking hardcore?”

“I think we look pretty hardcore…”

“…or naïve…”

I’m still sticking with hardcore.

When we mustered the courage to leave the car, we were immediately greeted with enthusiasm and friendliness from everyone at DeCO. I remember that Coach Andrew was the first one over, and he led us right to the MacBook to sign our lives away. We stood around for a while and kind of stretched (or so we thought…), and then were introduced to the WOD (which stands for workout of the day, for my non-CrossFit friends). I remember feeling so excited because it was a partner WOD, so Lauren and I would get to suffer through box jumps, burpees, air squats, push-ups, and planks TOGETHER! The next 60 minutes are kind of a blur of excitement, nerves, and the feeling that I was for sure going to die that day, right there under the pull-up rack while singing Nicki Minaj. But guess what? I didn’t die! Nobody did! Here’s a picture immediately post WOD, courtesy of Carla, who carried her phone with her that morning because she was sure we were going to bail:

I purposely didn’t crop out those jump ropes, because I will be visiting them a lot over the next month to reach one of my goals.

See that smile I have? Definitely less pronounced than the pre-CrossFit picture, but I think I look pretty happy, and definitely satisfied with what I just accomplished. Prior to CrossFit Saturday, I was pretty non-committal to anything health. I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. I’m a foodie and I love binge watching Netflix shows. Now that’s not to say that I don’t get any sort of physical activity – I was a decent pitcher and even better third  baseman for my softball team until I was 23, I played flute in the marching band, and I even joined and went to 24 Hour Fitness at least 30 times in two years! I just always had excuses. I was too busy/tired/angry/sad/whatever to go workout. I hate being out of breath. I don’t want to further injure my back. Nobody is going to go with me. What if one of the TV’s at the gym isn’t showing Modern Family reruns? Well, suddenly, with a little encouragement from all over, my excuses went away and I was ready.

I left DeCO on CrossFit Saturday thinking these things:

– There’s no way I could have done all that stuff like everyone else. It’s really cool that the coaches made modifications for me so I could still do everything and finish strong.

– Everyone there was SO NICE!

– That healthy food potluck was actually delicious. Maybe I could try that someday.

– Holy crap I can’t move my body. But it hurts so good.

I was sore until the following Thursday, but it was the most satisfying pain I have ever been in. It felt so good knowing that I accomplished something, and it felt even better knowing that I had something to work toward. I couldn’t wait to go back. I was hooked on everything CrossFit. I even made a Pinterest board. Here is one of my favorite pins from that board:


So here I am in April, three months after CrossFit Saturday, ready to embark on a life-changing journey. April 16th is my 26th birthday, so I see that as a perfect “official” start date, even though the transformation has already begun. I already feel stronger and way more confident, not to mention much more in control with both my body and my mind. I look forward to sharing this journey, and hopefully even a Saturday workout with you! You will be receiving updates at least every week to share my progress toward my goals as well as some rants and raves and some goofy pictures every month to show my physical progress.

I’ll leave you with this awesome picture and quote, again from my Pinterest board. This is my driving force, and I hope it will inspire you to do something great today.
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