Farewell to Amanda

photoAmanda has put in her time at Gonzaga Law school, and will begin her new career in Tacoma. As she transitions to the west side, her search for a comparable gym has left her a little bewildered and not too excited about her options. In her own words, she tells us about her experience and why she will miss Farmgirlfit so much.

When I started at Farmgirlfit it seemed like things were at an all time low: (1) I got into a car accident and hurt my back and shoulder and the insurance company refused to pay for it; (2) my high school through college sweetheart and very close friend was killed in a motorcycle accident; and (3) I just barely scraped by my first year of law school and was considering cutting my losses, dropping out, and taking up a career in satire.

I had also put exercise completely on the back burner. And by back burner I mean I wasn’t exercising at all. It was always “I don’t have time today but I will definitely go tomorrow.” As you can imagine living in constant fear of my law professors, not eating well, and spending days at a time handcuffed to a computer took its toll on my body. I was shocked to realize I went from a size 8 to a size 12 in a matter of 10 months. All women occasionally have to do the squat/wiggle/twist to get their jeans on but it was getting plain ridiculous. I decided I needed to make a change. So after reading every corner of the website and getting winded from just watching the video I told myself to buck up and do it.

Have you ever woken up the day after a workout and felt like you died in your sleep, rigor mortis set in, and then somehow you were miraculously revived, blessed to be stiff and achy for at least a few days? That is how the first few weeks of Farmgirlfit felt. But for some reason I kept going back. And low and behold a year and a half later I’m still here and still waking up occasionally wondering what deranged madwoman created the tortuous workout from the day before

It was over the summer that I was first confronted with the harsh truth that I would be moving back to Tacoma in December and my daily grinds at Farmgirlfit would be no more. I immediately began preparing for the fallout by searching for a comparable Women’s gym on the Westside. None exist. NONE. With that plan out the window I chose option two: a co-ed cross-fit gym. I mean how bad could it be? I did some research and chose a gym that looked promising. I went home for 3 weeks in August so I got the chance to try it out.

The first day was like a first day anywhere. You have those first day jitters and doubts. What if they don’t like me? What if I do a deep squat and rip my pants in half? What if my shorts fall off while I am doing double unders? What if I fall doing a box jump and knock all my teeth out? What if they are doing some crazy exercise I have never done before? I was sweating just thinking about it.

I approached the white-board and read my fate. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before. In fact it was a great workout with lots of double unders, my favorite. What hadn’t crossed my mind that morning was what would happen if I out double undered a guy who was likely on steroids my first day at the gym. The answer as it turned out was I got to see a grown man scream “F—” and throw his jump rope to the ground while commencing a toddler-like hissy fit. Needless to say, things were off to a great start and I was making lots of friends.

I still went back the next day and partnered up with a few girls to do some front squats. The trainer told us we should be doing 75% of our one rep max putting me around 110 pounds. When I told my new “friends” what weight I was planning on doing I was immediately cast out of the group because “us girls, we just don’t lift like that here.” I did my front squats on my own, but watched as these other women put forth practically zero effort and barely broke a sweat yet had the gall to complain they weren’t seeing the results they wanted.

My third day was my final day. This gym’s workout has 2 levels “Challenge” level and “RX” level. The third but unspoken level, the “You Suck at Life” level, is what anyone who couldn’t do RX or Challenge was pegged at. Men and women each had their own weights listed but the men’s RX was always the same as the women’s Challenge. I chose to do the Challenge weight that day as did a lot of the men.

I don’t recall everything that was in that AMRAP but 10 push-presses and running were a part of it. I hauled my butt back into the gym after my run to get in a few more push-presses before the clock timed out only to find some guy I didn’t know using my bar. Not only did this completely throw off my groove and my time but he was also sweating on everything.  SWEATING ON ALL THE THINGS! Apparently shirts aren’t mandatory for men, who knew? I politely asked for my bar back. He not so politely told me he would be finished in a minute.

While rather discouraging, my three-day membership was a learning experience. I learned I could send a full grown man into fits of rage with my jump-rope skills, intimidation and fear can come across as bitchiness and sharing isn’t necessarily caring. But the hardest thing to learn was that no gym is ever going to be able to replace Farmgirlfit.

I’ve been lucky to be a member at Farmgirlfit for as long as I have. I’ve gotten to know the trainers and so many of the awesome members. I have a group of great workout buddies. Every time I walk through the door, I am surrounded by beautiful, tough, strong and inspirational women. When there is a hellacious grind I see women encourage each other to push harder and dig deeper. I see women of all fitness levels working out together in an environment that makes everyone’s achievements just as important as any one else’s. Every day you have an opportunity to challenge yourself. Each day there is a new grind, a new skill, and a new personal best.

This Friday is going to be my last day for now, but I’ll be back. [Please read that last bit in a Terminator voice] I’m not sure what I am going to do. I might try to find another cross-fit gym in Tacoma or I might find a gym with some free weights and do the grinds on my own. Either way it is not going to be the same. My diabolical plan is to hound Jenni and Jaunessa until they open a Farmgirlfit on the Westside, but I won’t hold my breath.

It has been a long, tough journey but with Farmgirl’s help I have achieved more than I ever thought I could possibly do. I can do 78 double unders in a row. I can row 1,000 in 4:08. I can do a pull-up without a band. I can run a 10k without slowing down. I can lift all manner of heavy things in quite a few different ways. And can jump onto a 24-inch box without knocking my teeth out. To some it might not seem like much but I can also say I am the healthiest and happiest I have been in a long time, and you just can’t beat that.

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Thank you Amanda, for being a perfect example and representation of what it means to be Farmgirlfit. The transformation you’ve made right before our eyes, is such a great reward and compliment in itself. Thank you for making us smile in the mornings, for always getting after it, and for your kind words. We hope you’re able to continue training hard and reaching your goals. It’s farewell for now, we’ll see you again when you visit Spokane! Congratulations on finishing law school and being a tough chick for the zombies to kill.