Doormat:

 noun – door·mat | \ ˈdȯr-ˌmat  \

Definition:

  1. a mat placed before or inside a door for wiping dirt from the shoes.
  2. one that submits without protest to abuse or indignities.
  3. a team that regularly finishes last.

That was me. Items one, two and three. Welcome to Doormatsville, population 1.

That was not always the case, though. In my hay day I was spunky, fun and so, so loud. I enjoyed being the center of attention and standing out in a crowd. I hated being average. I hated being ignored.  

But, when you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you begin to lose. Over the course of our ten years, I allowed him to convince me that my friends and family members were trying to keep us apart and poisoning my mind. I had pushed away people I could trust, hobbies I once loved, and everything that made me who I was so I could fit into his mold of who he expected me to be. I lost friends and family members who didn’t understand. I lost jobs. I lost memories. 

Finally, I lost me.

After the relationship ended, I thought the healing would automatically begin. I didn’t know how hard it would be to recreate an entire human being from nothing. 

In time, I would meet a patient, wonderful man. My husband, Brian, is one of the strongest, kindest, most amazing humans to walk this earth. We found ourselves back on Brian’s old stomping grounds and set to work building our home, our family, and our careers. While I found success in our new home, I was still plagued by indecision and feelings of inadequacies.  

I was overweight, exhausted and, really, just existing.  At my max weight, I was over 200 pounds. We ate out too much, drank too many sugary drinks, and did almost no exercise. 

I have always had a problem with anxiety, but at this time, I found it hard to do anything without a panic attack.  I would find myself hyperventilating and sweating at my desk for, seemingly, no reason at all. 

I told my husband that I needed to do something for myself to get back on track. The Krav Maga gym I had my eye on was closed, so instead I headed to CrossFit South Aurora. I sat in my car for nearly 10 minutes and thought of all of the things I was going to tell them:

  1. I am NOT going to get big
  2. I am NOT going to work out more than three days a week
  3. I have NO interest in changing my eating habits
  4. I will NOT become one of those tire-flipping nutters

Finally, I mustered up the courage and walked through the doors and into the arms of owner Dave Gordon, when everything I had rehearsed went right out the window. “I’M A DOORMAT,” I wept to this stranger. 

Dave promised me that he would fix that. 

Through CrossFit, I have found a passion that lay dormant. I found hope and community. I found peace in myself.  CrossFit gave me my life back. I could never repay that.

I no longer wanted to be a doormat. I wanted to be a spiky doormat; someone who is still a little broken, but definitely not someone that you want to wipe your feet on. With each rep, each PR, each lift, I began adding spikes.

The day I bought, and wore, form-fitting gym clothes, I grew a spike.

The day I could deadlift 200 pounds, the weight of my former self, I grew a spike.

The day I climbed a rope all the way to the top, I grew a spike.

The day I was finally able to clean 145 pounds, the body weight of my ex-husband, I grew a spike.

I still have things to work on, but I’m getting better each and every day.  

Three years later I AM a spiky doormat!  


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