Athlete of the Month: Phil and Melissa Rueff

mphil

CrossFit has been an amazing journey for both Phil and I!!
I love the fact that God led me to SolaFide first and Phil thought I had joined a cult! He finally jumped on the crazy train a year later and for about a millisecond it was the most glorious time in my life! For the first time in 20 years of marriage I was stronger and could finish a workout faster than that mighty-super-competitive-athlete-always-good-at-everything husband of mine! It was short lived as he became totally obsessed with all things CrossFit. I must tell a little story on him, before he ever started at the box he worked on double unders just so he would know how to do them when he got to class! Yes that is the competitive man I married and after 2 years of CrossFit I can finally now do them… albeit they are really ugly floppy crazy fast and freaky looking ones!

This is where most people will tell you of the great loses they have had doing CrossFit and although I have had some huge loses I think the gains have actually been the most impactful.

So what does my two years of CrossFit review look like in terms of gain?  Well the typical things that most of you are thinking are Strength, Flexibility, Power, Stamina and the other Typical Cardiovascular Benefits. Yes, I can actually do a pull-up and yes bring my toes to the bar, but that’s expected, right? So before I share my unexpected gains let me share how I first found CrossFit SolaFide.

Depressed, Suicidal and Scared I had been praying a very desperate Prayer. “God please help me or just take me, I can’t live like this anymore.”  It was during this season that God used my friend, Shannon Hester, in the most powerful way.  She wouldn’t stop talking about this new workout she had been doing and wanted Nina Suggs and I to join her.  I thought she was psycho because she could barley walk and went around incessantly sweating and eating all the time.  I was so desperate for something to change in my life that I went to check it out, although I must admit that I was almost trembling the first time I got out of my car at the old box.  I was extremely intimidated and the negativity in my mind told me to leave.  Then I saw and experienced the intense encouragement of Shelly Jergensmeyer and Nicole Spitzack; my heart was racing with voices of inadequacy telling me this is the day I might die.  But greater is He who is in me than the negative self-doubt that was bombarding my mind and “body”. I knew God led me to that place for a reason and I felt like it was my last attempt at life.

craziesSo I came back! And you know how that story unfolds. I was so sore I couldn’t move, I couldn’t look up the workouts without wanting to vomit, I thought I would seriously die during every workout, but I didn’t, so I just kept going back for more. The transformation was amazing. Yes, I eventually lost weight but more importantly I gained an entirely new sense of identity and self worth.  My relationship with my Lord and Savior was strengthened. I woke up each consecutive day with more purpose then I had in years.  My sluggish, self-absorbed, defeated heart woke up and I began to see past the façade and into the hearts of others.  I gained life long friendships forged from a little blood, lots of sweat and even some tears.  I gained an insight to women and their struggles and the pressure this world puts on us to be perfect, look perfect and even in church, always pretend to be perfect–even though none of us are. 

CrossFit SolaFide became a church for me, a place of solace, a place where hurting people could come and find friendship and unconditional love.  I know this sounds bizarre to all of you who may not WOD at our box or who are new to the whole idea, but for those of you that have been here a while, you know exactly what I am saying! It is the most real, down-to-earth place I have ever been.  I see God here, in the faces of people.  So many beautiful, complicated, competitive, broken, redeemed people, all of us imperfect in need of a savior and each other. I have gained a peace of mind, I have come to appreciate my crazy jacked up loving family, and I have gained a sense of self-acceptance I never knew existed. Furthermore, I have gained strength and wisdom that goes so far beyond just the physical. Life is definitely sweeter and more abundant!  I love all you CrossFit SolaFide freaks!

Happy New Year! Let’s see what we can GAIN in 2014. ~ Melissa

 phi

 (His Side of the Story)

“Crossfit, Crossfit, Crossfit!!! That’s all you talk about!  Why do you insist on constantly talking about CROSSFIT!?!?”

That is what an outsider thinks about this cult called Crossfit…  But once you sip the Kool-Aid, boy does the story change.  I had to apologize to all of Melissa’s workout friends for beating them up over their fascination with this work out program.  I became one of them!!!  I started at the old box in March of 2012, and boy oh boy… was that a wake up call!

Let’s back up a few years, my health had really taken a turn for the worst after I had accepted a position with Trane, a local manufacturer in Clarksville.  I had adopted a sedentary lifestyle where days behind a computer and very little activity outside of work were the norm. This led me into one of the deepest darkest periods of my life.  With the weight gain, and constant fatigue, my self-esteem and confidence hit an all time low.

There is a myth many of us buy into, that once we get “Old” we can no longer have fun doing what we once did. However; The human body is the most efficient machine on the planet… The harder you push it, with time the stronger it becomes!  Amazing…

I was 41 years old and in the worst shape of my life when I began my CrossFit journey.  I remember being amazed at the athletes in our box… I had never been beaten by a girl at ANYTHING before that day… Boy was that humble pie bitter.  I quickly became accustomed to being dead last in every WOD.  My wife lifted more weight, with faster times every time we worked out. I also learned that if a WOD was named after someone… lookout!  It’s gonna hurt bad… real bad. HA!

Crossfit has become a huge part of our lives. When I travel with work, I try to always drop in with local Crossfit affiliates and the result has always been the same… Awesome people, Killer WODs and a Sense of Community no matter the location.  I love it!  I look forward to working out with all my friends, leaning on one another for encouragement, and lifting one another up in and out of the box.  I wish I could have discovered this 20 years ago. ~Phil

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phil 4:13

 

 

 

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