Testimonial Week: Chaz “Chazzy D” Darling

DefinitionAn exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something.

I can’t believe I just defined “definition” but it has a point, I swear. Joining CrossFit Austin has been one of the, if not THE, single greatest things I have ever done for myself. Let me explain…

Before joining CFA, this is how I defined myself:
Chaz: Tall, chubby, not athletic, smart, lazy most of the time, not genetically gifted, “something good will happen if I wait long enough” mentality, timid, unconfident, quitter.

As a kid, I was more interested in video games, television, and sodas than physical fitness; in middle school I got a little adventurous and tried football. I figured “Hey, I’m kind of fat, I can probably play lineman.” Well apparently you also have to be either strong or kind of fast (preferably both), of which I was neither. After quitting half-way through 8th grade, it wasn’t until sophomore year of high school I would exercise again with wrestling, but I wasn’t all that great at that either thanks to what I would describe as my “in between frame” (think potato with toothpicks coming out of it for arms and legs).

One day during my junior year of high school, I was tired of being overweight and wanted to get in shape, so I joined a Gold’s Gym and started 3 sets of 10 bench (with a spot, bro), iso-arm curls in the mirror, and blasting my quads on the leg press. I also started eating “healthy” meaning low-fat everything. I ended up staying with it through the rest of high school and even into college when I also started playing intramural sports.

Even then, in spite of all the activity I was doing, I never saw the results I wanted. During sports and sometimes life’s little tasks like lifting something or bending over to pick something off the ground, I didn’t know how to MOVE properly.

A year after college is when I felt like I really hit rock bottom. Desperate for fitness motivation, I signed up for a half-marathon, but even after all the training, I didn’t feel (or look for that matter) in shape. I was talking to one of my best friends on the phone about my fitness and health woes one day and she suggested I do CrossFit since a couple of her coworkers did and enjoyed it. That night, I gave Wes a call and scheduled an introductory assessment.

For so many years, I felt like I wasn’t coordinated or strong or flexible or this or that and something about it said this is a second chance to redefine myself. Not as a clunky, uncoordinated, overweight person, but as a driven athlete. A classification I had never been able to give myself.

After the introductory assessment, I went to the beginner’s classes where I learned not only about proper form and technique for most movements, but also the way to eat better (fats are good, don’t eat processed crap) and live better. I jumped into the advanced classes and haven’t looked back since. I’ve done things I thought I never would or COULD do. Examples: overhead squats, front squats, cleans, jerks, clean and jerks, snatches, muscle ups, double unders, toes to bar, 375 deadlift, squat my body weight, etc. etc. It sounds like a lot, and if you told me I’d be doing all of those things, I would have thought you were crazy, but they happened!

Today, I define myself much differently:
Chaztall, strong, confident, smart, goal-oriented, driven, athletic, “get it done” attitude, slim, defined (in some areas J), happy, work in progress

Joining CrossFit Austin hasn’t just changed the way I look, it has changed the way I live, work, approach obstacles, and, most importantly, view myself.

Thanks CFA!