Karen Udarbe

Dear Crossfit Auckland,

It’s been another year since my last love letter to you.  So much has happened, I can say that almost everyone will agree, it’s like something out of the movies!

Ahh, CrossFit Auckland … The *people* make this place … my community, my family in NZ.  For expats like me, home is truly where your heart is.  I nearly left for Canada last year, but then realised NZ  is my home too.  What kept me here?  Believe it or not, it was CFAK.  Or rather, the PEOPLE in CFAK!  I write this to the folks that have stood by me on my continuing journey to becoming a better version of me.  It’s no secret that my world came crumbling down nine months ago – a very painful and very public breakup started the chain reaction to the transformation of what I was, to what I am meant to be.  There’s still a lot more to improve, but the journey thus far has been this roller coaster of a ride!

Over the last 9 months:

  • I’ve gone from 80kgs to 65kgs and I was 105kgs when I started at CrossFit Auckland!
  • I have the happy problem of being a size 8 but only fitting a 10 or 12 due to my arms, shoulders and/or legs not fitting in clothing.  BTW I started at CFAK wearing size 18 clothes. #crossfitproblems
  • I PB’d every day for nearly two months late last year.  People then joked I should have my own section on the whiteboard … LOL
  • My PBs included Weightlifting movements; my Deadlift, Clean & Jerk, Snatch, Front Squat and OH Squat. Each of these increased by about 10-15%
  • I can now do bodyweight exercises; Pistols, Rope Climbs, Handstand Push-ups and CTB Pull-ups.  All of which, especially with strict form, were almost impossible a year ago.
  • I shaved off significant minutes on workouts like Annie; from 16+ mins to 8+ mins. DT I did  twice in one day, faster by 2 minutes the second time around and in under 10 mins. And Ivan the Terrible from scaled to RX’d, and faster.
  • Running PBs (this is a MAJOR one for me).  In my early CrossFit days, I could only row, I did not run for over a year.  And I wheezed terribly.  All. The. Time.
  • I joined my first ever Olympic Weightlifting comp in February and ticked that off my bucket list. I got electrocuted with other CFAK Lions at Tough Mudder (I nearly kicked the bucket!) And went into this years CrossFit Open FEARLESS versus panicky and dead scared.

These gains in my CrossFit life have translated directly into making gains in my personal life – I have started to appreciate myself as a person.  I gained the confidence to expand my social circles and try new things. I’ve taken to Stand up Paddleboarding and Indoor Rock Climbing (when I’m not at the box, of course), and I now have non-CrossFit friends (whaaaat!). I even changed my look; yes, I even wear skirts now.  Although we all choose to deal with what life throws at us our own way, I just want to acknowledge the fact that I would never have come out of the state I was in if not for my fellow CFAKers.  My sanctuary not only provided me with an outlet for my energy, but my mates were really there for me…

Thank you for listening to me, offering me shoulders to cry on, many hugs and really sage advice, force-feeding me, giving me silent pats on the back and squeezing my hand in support, having heart-to-heart talks, offering me places to stay, cooking me dinners, opening up your own insecurities, vulnerabilities and even past hurts, your encouragement, your very kind words, and most of all, your time, respect, honesty, genuine friendship and love.  NOTHING compares to having people of this calibre all around me, every day.  You folks not only LOOK GOOD, you ARE GOOD!  For realzies.  :-)

So to you, my fellow CFAKers, I am forever grateful  …

… Lisa and Alex (and Kira and Russy), Antoinette and Nick, Bernie, David, Matiu, Puawai (and Kado), Panda, Bennylicious, Tila, Janelle, Katiebum, Courdy, CC, Amanda and Logan, Sonya and Ronnie, Nate, Danny, Craig and Julie, Mel, Suz, Aneliese and Carl (and Benny and Beau), Sarah and Richie (and Abby), Steph and Sam, Sarah and Ollie, Garth and Daisy, Asuka and Andy, Tarns, Jane and Matty, Jer and Jaqcues, Huggy, Laura, Michelle W, Hummer and Val, Trekkie and the Le Rouxes, Mama Catherine, Erin and Mark, Monica, Julie H, Caroline, Tracy, Andrea, Debs, Meliss, Daniela, Des, Boy Des, Fraswa, Jay, Buzzy, Naomi … oh man, I’m sure there’s more :-)

I don’t really know what I’ve done to deserve to have you amazing people in my life.  But then again, You reap what you sow, as they say. This is true for pretty much anything, including CrossFit Auckland.  So put that extra juice into your WODs, strive to make gains, set goals, challenge yourself!   The results willalways speak for themselves.

Three years on, and I can safely say joining CrossFit Auckland has been one of the BEST decisions of my life.  I’m looking forward to many more years of friendships old and new, gains, booty dancing (twerking? yeah nah) and of course barbells and WODding in my box.  Happy three year anniversary to us, CFAK.