June 21, 2009
Paul Eich, a.k.a. Apolloswabbie, toiled many years in a wilderness of plyometrics shoes and Bowflex. In 2007 he finally found his way to the Land of Murph and Cindy. This is his story.
I hit a couple of home runs in the fourth grade. From then on, my athletic career was mostly downhill. In 2007, I discovered CrossFit and everything changed. It’s been quite a journey, with many lessons learned along the way.
I think of myself as a blue-collar athlete, which is to say I work to be fit and have consistently done so since I was 18. But I don’t have a lot to show for it. I’ve wasted a bunch of time feeling frustrated with those athletic limitations but recognized long ago how much better my life was when I worked at some aspect of fitness. I always expected my athletic breakthrough was right around the corner. It finally came in Baghdad in December 2006 when a fine young soldier, Sergeant Alan Fetter, suggested I look at CrossFit.com
I scanned the site for about three weeks and started reading about the concepts behind the crazy workouts. My first actual workout came on Jan. 9, 2007. The prescribed WOD was a 5x5 shoulder press. Soon after I attempted and survived notable CrossFit WODs such as Helen and the Filthy 50, and I knew I was onto something good.
Almost 40 years after starting, I was stumbling out of the fitness wilderness.
For me, it was transformational to have new fitness goals to pursue and a program that allowed me to achieve them. Competing in the 2008 CrossFit Games left me both humbled and fiercely proud, but the life transformation comes in the daily courage check, the chance to test myself physically and mentally against whatever challenge CrossFit.com delivers.
Performance improvements made it easy to stay with CrossFit in the beginning. Now I have performance goals, skills goals and coaching goals to pursue in what is now my third year in the fitness promised land.