I begrudgingly first stepped through the doors of CrossFit Manatee when I moved back home from college, after months of persuasion and nagging from my mom. I rarely ever did any physical activity, and when I did it usually consisted of about 20 minutes on the elliptical followed by a couple sets of crunches. Needless to say, when I finally gave in and attended my first CrossFit class I could barely make it through the 400 meter warm-up run and was gasping for breath. However, I got through the class (with a lot scaling and a lot of encouragement from the awesome coaches and my mom) and felt a sense of accomplishment that left me wanting to come back. A little over 2 years later, the best part of my day is going to the gym, and I am able to run 5 miles without stopping, lift more weight than I ever thought possible, and perform gymnastics movements like muscle-ups, handstand pushups, and pistols. I’m so thankful for not only the physical and mental strength CrossFit has given me, but also for the lasting friendships I have created through this awesome community.