CrossFit of Ithaca
How has CFI transformed your life?

When asked how CrossFit of Ithaca has changed their life, our CFI family takes it seriously. Here is one of our inspirational stories!

"On September 11, 2016, and every day since, I’ve said, ‘I’m not drinking today.’ I didn’t plan it.  I woke up that Sunday morning and knew I needed to make a change if I wanted a chance to enjoy my life or even live a long one. Alcohol and substances were playing too big a part of my life.  Anxiety and depression were becoming unmanageable. 

On Sunday I stopped medicating myself with substances and on Wednesday I began Foundations at CFI. I felt awful and my nerves were on edge. Coaches Jared, Nina, and Lisa were kind, patient and professional and strangely enough, I felt comfortable.  Then I started classes and a miracle happened: I had fun! I got out of my head, concentrating on the work.  I still did not want to talk to anyone, however, I wasn’t always given a choice because the people were friendly and kind.  I joked with my friends outside the gym that I would get my girlfriend to go with me to act as my ‘social buffer.’  

She did eventually join the gym and working out together has had a major positive impact on our relationship.  We even got married since - after a very long engagement.  I give a lot of credit to CFI and sobriety (and my good fortune) for that.  

Sobriety has been a huge learning experience and a catalyst of major change. Many people who live inside addiction for years experience different forms of arrested development, especially emotionally.  I quickly started feeling, really feeling after getting sober. CrossFit was and is a great tool for coping and is a perfect outlet for 20+ years of emotional baggage I had previously left unsorted. 

Learning to be vulnerable, to fail, to ask for help, to support others, to reach out, to be proud, to feel worthy are all lessons I’ve learned at CFI along with Olympic lifts and gymnastics movements.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last 19 months is I really like people.  I’ve learned that I want to feel connected and loved – just like everybody else.  

I sat in my car on the night of my first Open (2017) nervous as hell in the parking lot.  As I sat there with both hands sweaty and gripping the steering wheel, I decided I was going to speak to everyone inside that crowded gym. And I did. No matter how much I sweated or blushed, I spoke and chatted with everyone with what felt like sweaty, awkward introductions.  It got easier over the five weeks and I had a freaking ball! I loved talking to nice, interesting people and getting crushed by the tough workouts. 

At the last night, the coaches gave out awards and there was a special one at the end.  Jared announced an award for community spirit/most improved and I didn’t hear any of the rest.  No one knew the goal I had set or even how hard it was for me and, somehow, I got an award for it?! The moment Coach Jared said my name was the proudest I had been of myself in a very long time. 

It is a year later from that Open and I am still making progress toward my fitness, life and personal goals. Some people who knew me before CFI and sobriety say I am transformed and I agree.  Even so, all my problems have not magically disappeared. I still experience depression and anxiety, but I process them with far more grace and gentleness than before. The simple fact that I shared this story is a testament to the change I am sustaining through the work.  I am grateful for the chance to be at CFI and for my amazing friends and family.  Thank you for reading this and for being a part of the journey." ~Anonymous  


Thank you! You've made a profound impact on more people than you know. Keep up the amazing work, we love and support you!


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