JOSEPH LABARBERA

"I stepped outside my comfort zone"

In November 2012 a few days before my 40th birthday I stepped outside my comfort zone and entered into 33 South Maple Avenue. It was unlike any Fitness Gym I have been to before, there weren’t rows of treadmills and ‘nautilus machines’, and mirrored walls just a rectangular warehouse room with graffiti on the walls, free weights, and the best coaches and members/athletes. I heard about CrossFit and I was concerned that it might not be for me because it seemed to be more for extreme athletes and I am far from that. The first class I attended I earned the nickname Jump Rope Joe because of my inability to jump rope and lack of coordination but the coach and the members that day were very supportive, patient, knowledgeable, and encouraging (and still are). I was never pressured to be at the level of the other athletes that day and yet I had the best workout I ever had. The 10 years before I joined CrossFit Ignite I did not do any physical activity. The heaviest thing I picked up each day was my laptop bag and it was a struggle. My weight fluctuated 35 pounds up and down in those years, my cholesterol and blood pressure were high, and I was under a lot of stress. Thanks to CrossFit Ignite and all the coaches and members that quickly changed. For five years I have been at the weight I should be at, my blood pressure and cholesterol are good and the doctors and nurses no longer ask me if I am a smoker and ask if I am a runner because of my low heart rate. I came to CrossFit just looking for a good workout and I have gained so much more. It is amazing to me the age range of the members and how different we are but yet we get along so well that you feel like you are working out with family and longtime friends. I look forward to growing fitter with everyone and I am glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone five years ago and joined the CFI Family. I want to thank Steve, Tina and all the coaches (Sandra, Adam, Jim, Danielle, Ryan K, Stevie T, Kiley…) and members past, present, and future for making CFI my happy place even though I usually look like I am in agony and in need of a defibrillator during and after the WOD.

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