257 is not a Random Number

Recently, I was asked, What does NIKA mean to you?”

The question caught me off guard, but not in the way I thought it would. It only took seconds for the answer to come to mind. I’ve been asked the usual questions before, “How do you like CrossFit?”, “What do you like about CrossFit?” or my personal favorite “Why CrossFit?” I’ve been an athlete since age 5 but never really involved. Meaning, unless I was playing on a field or court I didn’t watch it on TV.

I’ll spare you my sob story and get straight to the point. I was the tall awkward person standing behind the crowd of people with eyes darting about, bullied and a nerd, so they said. When people smiled at me I reciprocated the action with hopes it didn’t bring on social interaction, not that it wasn’t welcomed. In other words, I was an easy target. Fast forward, I’m 32 now with a lot more confidence but still tall and awkward with ADHD. I’m anxious the majority of the time, socializing with people sometimes stresses me out, I’m stressed from the anxiety, underappreciated at work and socially awkward. Some days I have to disappear to recharge, it’s a bit overwhelming sometimes.

So, what does NIKA mean to me? A question I’ve asked myself quite a few times when cutting cost and making sacrifices. My response has always been the same… 257, now.

257 days I’ve attended classes at CrossFit NIKA and counting.

257 times I’ve walked through the garage door and felt I was in a safe space, judge free zone.

257 times I’ve cheered others on and the same in return.

257 times I’ve told myself, whatever happened today you leave it at the door or you work it out.

257 times I’ve removed my shirt and no one questioned the scars. It wouldn’t bother me if you did, I’m an open book.

257 times I’ve been able to be proud of myself for sticking with it and never giving up on it when it got tough.

NIKA is my outlet, so my wife says and has for a while now. It’s the first sport I’ve ever been this involved in. Whether it’s our box, competition at another box and/or on TV, I want to be around it, watch it and learn. I walk through the garage door and it’s a completely different feeling. I no longer feel awkward, stressed or anxious in my day-to-day life. It’s not about the W (Win or Lose), its Individual majority of the time. I’m not competing against anyone but myself, previous time and weight. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone but myself. I’ve never stayed after a “practice” to work on anything. I find myself sometimes staying 1-1.5 hrs. after class to work on anything that needs improvement, not to compete but to gain overall improvement.

It’s not working out, it’s working on. Working on everything from physical health to mental health. NIKA has helped me understand and change my mental state of health and what I thought healthy actually was. I’ve been able to encourage others as well as myself.

Out of 257 days attended in 2 yrs., I’ve only had 15 days I’ve needed to take anxiety medicine, 2 visits to the dr. to lower it and 1 visit to be told “I don’t think you’ll be needing those anymore”.

“If you let it, this place will change you” I’m proud to be NIKA Strong!

Thank you.

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