Category Archives: My CrossFit Journey

Guest writer, Hayli, wanted to share her unfiltered experience in her first month with us at CrossFit Regeneration.

Here We Go…

What follows are the unfiltered thoughts from one of our newest athletes, Selena.  She has agreed to document her journey through the first month of her CrossFit experience with us at CrossFit Regeneration.  Click HERE to schedule your Free No-Sweat Intro with one of our expert coaches.

Here We Go…

By: Selena Alexander

As I reflect on the decision I made to walk into a CrossFit Box tomorrow, I feel a lot of different emotions—but the one that is the clearest to me is nervousness. At one point in my life, apprehension was a foreign concept to me, certainly as it pertained to physical challenges. As a former college basketball player, being an athlete and competing always came natural, until 2009 when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The diagnosis came as a shock to my then nineteen-year-old self, and the aggressiveness of the disease was even harder to wrap my head around. By 2012 I had had four surgeries, including a total knee replacement, in attempts to correct damage the rheumatoid had done to my once superiorly healthy body.

Needless to say, the gym in any form took the backseat. Today, I’m back to exercising (semi) regularly, without many limitations—other than the fact that I have limited range of motion in my right knee and elbow, and absolutely no range of motion in my left elbow. That’s right, it’s stuck in a fixed position, I can’t bend or fully straighten it at all. And let’s face it, CrossFit doesn’t look like the kind of activity where having limited mobility will serve me well. Won’t I need both of my arms to do this?! Not necessarily, according to CrossFit Regeneration owner Charlie Sims. When I shared my situation with Sims, he looked slightly shocked, but with almost no hesitation said it wouldn’t be problem, that he was excited even, to face the challenge of modifying CrossFit workouts to make them conducive to my restricted abilities.

There are still a few hours left before the journey begins, so there’s no telling how this all will go—but while I appreciate Charlie’s enthusiasm, I’d be lying if I said with complete confidence I’m not a little skeptical of his “no problem” attitude. I can hardly do anything with my upper body and this is CrossFit—isn’t that a problem? I anticipate awkward moments and pauses while he tries to figure out what I can do in place of push-ups, rope-climbs, wall balls, and any other elbow-bending exercises he may have planned for this group of “New You Challenge” accepters in the next four weeks.

However, I did in fact accept this challenge, and I will follow Charlie’s lead. Even in the midst of my skepticism, his reassuring attitude is about the only reason why I plan to walk through the doors of CrossFit Regeneration with an open mind and willingness to learn more about this sport. Here goes nothing—let the journey begin!


My CrossFit Journey – Day 12

My CrossFit Journey Series

Have you been hesitant to come give CrossFit a try?  Back in 2015, our guest writer, Hayli, wanted to share her unfiltered experience and was kind enough to document her first month with us at CrossFit Regeneration. What follows are her words. You can read all of her posts here. Originally posted on her website.

Have you ever watched a triathlon or a marathon?

For some reason, I get super emotional watching races. It’s actually embarrassing. Like, real tears and sniffles and sometimes ugly crying noises noises, depending on how people finish.

Ending this last day of our Foundations class was also emotional. Thankfully, I didn’t cry, because that would be super embarrassing and no one would want to work out with me ever again.

Both races and the ending of Foundations don’t make me sad or overly happy. I think it’s just really cool to see how far people have come to accomplish a great physical task.

And that’s exactly what we did this morning. We did the same workout as our first day of the Foundations course. The goal was for the entire class to finish in under 6:30.

At first, I wanted to think of excuses of why we may not be able to do that. Like, what if we take longer because we’ve corrected movements over the span of this course and that takes longer? Or because I burnt my thumb yesterday and my hip hurts and one time I banged my knee on my desk…


Regardless, I was honestly worried I, personally, wouldn’t finish in time.

Aside from the worry, I was sad to see this class dismember. The majority of us are continuing with CrossFit, but may have to attend different classes because of being adults and scheduling life.

Thankfully, we soaked up our last day together with clean and jerks and snatches. I’m beginning to love clean and jerks, as I’ve gotten to the point where avoiding my collar bone area is the norm (and OK, I feel super strong and cool pushing that bar above my head) but snatches still don’t make sense to me! I’m so impressed watching my classmates do snatches. They lift heavy and they look natural. I’m excited to do more and more of these until the movement becomes natural.

After we were done with the weightlifting portion, which we learn will be a part of every CrossFit class, we gather around to prepare for the WOD.

Re-Testing WOD:
Run 200 meters (we did not do this because it was monster pouring our first day)
Run 200 meters (still didn’t do)

Before we started re-testing, we simply encouraged each other. We passed around “you got this” words and “you can do it” phrases and “at least we’re not running” reassurances.

Charlie reminded us that throughout this whole course, we were supposed to be taking WODs as “yeah that sucked, but I can do it again.” Today, instead, we were supposed to finish and not be able to do it again. We were to give it our all.

Then, we did.

When one person finished, they would encourage the other. And so on and so forth until everyone was done.

And we finished in less than 6 minutes.

After, we gathered in a circle and Charlie called on us individually to tell the time we finished this morning, and he read the time we finished the first morning of the Foundations class.

So many people from our class finished in under HALF the time it took them the first time we did this WOD. In less than a month of CrossFit, we were finishing a similar WOD in half the time it took us to complete it the first time. It was truly inspirational.

It was in that close-knit, sweaty, smelly circle I started to get emotional. It was beyond cool to see everyone clapping and patting each other on the back when they read their results back. Everyone had just accomplished something great.

Now, I’m super excited to attend regular CrossFit classes with these people and continue to watch them, and others, grow in their fitness goals. I’m super thankful for this opportunity to grow as a person and grow in Louisville – a new area I’m trying to call “home.” It’s nice to have a 3rd Place within the city to feel comfortable.

My CrossFit Journey – Day 11

My CrossFit Journey Series

Have you been hesitant to come give CrossFit a try?  Back in 2015, our guest writer, Hayli, wanted to share her unfiltered experience and was kind enough to document her first month with us at CrossFit Regeneration. What follows are her words. You can read all of her posts here. Originally posted on her website.

Since we are re-testing ourselves on Saturday, this is our last WOD. And I can honestly say I am sad to see it go.

It has been so fun getting to know my Foundations classmates. Moving to a new area was definitely scary, and I had told many people that I wanted to make friends outside of work (although I am so thankful for those friends, as well) and this opportunity helped.

Before our WOD, we discussed which classes we were going to attend post-Foundations course, to see if we could continue to CrossFit together.

Not only was it great to make friends with my classmates, but I consider the Coaches friends as well. Though, some may jokingly prefer I say “acquaintances.”

It has been so fun to learn from them, both inside the gym and at the 3rd Place. It’s gotten to the point where many of us have stayed after 8 p.m. just to practice certain movements (super sorry for that now, Coaches. I’m sure you actually wanted to go home.) But that’s the community they created.

Needless to say, I’m not done with CrossFit. Although it’s an expense, I am making it work. Because it’s an investment in myself, which is something I don’t often do.


And it’s not just an investment in my physical health, but it’s challenged me. Pushed me. And now that I drank the “CrossFit Kool-Aid” I’m not going to stop.

I mean, I still have to get a pull-up.

And although I did not reach that goal within this course, that definitely does not mean the course failed or I failed. Far from it, actually. I found out more about myself that I thought. I realized I’m not some super endurance athlete and I have a lot to work on, in terms of simple physical movements. I’ve learned that I enjoy working on those things and getting better. And I’ve found that pushing myself inside the Box can be transferable to pushing myself outside the Box.

And I really enjoyed what I learned in the 3rd Place – from midline stability to nutrition to the definition of CrossFit: increased work capacity over time with scalability and modality….IM SORRY COACHES I’LL GET IT.

I probably have more than a year before I get a pull-up (or memorize that definition) but I’m going to enjoy the journey getting there. Because along the way, I’ll get better at front squats, snatches, squatting in general, etc.

So, for our last WOD:
Kettlebell Swings

It’s a thing in the CrossFit world to hate burpees. You can find countless memes about it.

But I kind of like them. I probably look ridiculous actually doing them, especially because doing burpees in CrossFit is far different than how I did burpees for soccer conditioning, but they’re a full body workout that you can feel all over. Especially the next day.

With the thrusters, I was encouraged once again that I will get over the collarbone phobia. And I truly hope I do. Until that glorious day, I use my shoulders as a human rack for the barbell.

Also, thrusters are similar to snatches. They don’t make sense to me. In my mind, I don’t see how thrusters or snatches are humanly possible.

But that’s another great thing about CrossFit. You, or at least me, really shouldn’t think too hard about the movements, but instead do the movements as your Coach instructs with a lighter weight until you’re comfortable with the movement. Then add weights, be a beast, and compete… and beat Rich Froning.

Just kidding.

It was great finishing this WOD encouraging one another and planning when we’re going to see each other again. I am anxious to start real CrossFit classes with others, but also excited to meet more new people and continue seeing improvements in movements.