Featured Member – Ben Rasmussen

When I graduated high school I weighed 165 lbs. By the time I joined CrossFit 18 years later in May 2014, I weighed 265 lbs. That was a number I never thought I would see!

I had never really been all that athletic. When I was younger I enjoyed playing sports but was never good enough to “make the team.” As I got older I stopped playing because life gets busy and who wants to go do anything after a long day?

I had gradually gained about 5 lbs a year since high school and I guess I figured that would stop at some point…it never did. Somewhere along the way I started to realize that I was pretty overweight. My friends would make fat jokes and I would laugh and act like I was ok with it. And really I wasn’t bothered by the jokes so much as I was bothered by the effect the extra weight was having on me. There were things I used to do that I didn’t do anymore, like skiing, or playing touch football with friends. I wasn’t interested in doing much of anything that involved physical exertion. I would leave my shoes tied all the time so I didn’t have to bend over to tie them!

A good friend of mine had discovered CrossFit and she would talk to me about it. She would tell me about the positive atmosphere, and the positive changes she was experiencing. I figured she was probably on to something, but there was no way I was gonna do it. For 3 years I listened to her and for 3 years I found reasons not to join CrossFit. Then one day I stepped on a scale at the Dr’s office and saw that number I mentioned before. I was shocked and I was disappointed in myself. I wasn’t even 40 yet and I was letting life pass me by because I was too fat and tired to do anything!

When I walked into CrossFit Colby for my first WOD I had not worked out since high school. When it was over I went home and laid on my bed for 45 minutes. I had never felt anything like that in my entire life! I had pushed myself beyond my limit and I had survived. I had completed a crossfit WOD! I could do this!

The next few weeks were a combination of soreness and satisfaction. I was sore because I was using muscles I forgot I had. But I was deeply satisfied because I had recognized the need to make serious changes and I was doing just that. I was doing it!

That was two and a half years ago. CrossFit is now a regular part of my life. I do my best to make it into the gym three times a week. Sometimes life happens and I don’t make it more than once. But I keep coming. I keep coming because I have seen the positive changes in myself. I am healthier at 39 than I was at 18.

These changes cross over into other parts of my life too.  When I’m working on something that is hard I will take a break and then get right back to it. That’s what I do in a tough WOD. Before CrossFit I would hit that wall and quit. It’s hard to explain but it’s definitely there. That voice in my head that says “keep going” or “get up” or “you got this.”

I could go on and on about the benefits of CrossFit but the truth is the benefits for me are different than they will be for you. The things that will be the same; more strength, more flexibility,  more endurance, better overall health, and most important, the feeling better about yourself

Walk in the door, leave your sweat on the floor, and walk out better than you were before…

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