Why do I Crossfit? – by Christina Maragh

We want to share with you all of of the most incredible stories we have ever heard of. Not only did we hear it, but also we witnessed it. After reading it, feel free to email Christina with any thoughts or comments about her remarkable success –
Here it is as told by Christina Maragh:

When I joined Crossfit it wasn’t about losing weight, it was about getting fit and getting strong.  I had no idea what I walked into when I walked into Crossfit Affliction, August 29th, 2009.  I had seen all these crazy photos on Facebook of my friend Heather lifting weights and doing all sorts of crazy stuff and one particular photo caught my eye and the next thing I know I am making an appointment for Foundations with Steve, having not researched Crossfit and basically walking in blindly which is a rarity for me.

I suffer from chronic about an 8 on a 10 scale pain level EVERY day of my life, it never goes away, it doesn’t subside, it its always there…  I have permanent nerve damage from the 3 surgeries, and things that I know I have to live with. I don’t have an athletic bone in my body or never did… anyway…  I always just rested, slept and medicated.  In 2007 when I was expecting my first child I vowed to stop the medication and spent 4 weeks in physical therapy.   Off the medication I was still weak and very out of shape, I couldn’t walk very far, or stand very long…  I was perpetually in muscle spasm and had a rough time lifting my son.  Needless to say I was frustrated as hell at that point.  How could I live like that?  After that first day in the gym, feeling sore as hell I was hooked…. Hooked on Crossfit!

I walked in for my assessment and Heidi Bowser the coach and co-owner of the gym said, “Okay how many sit-ups can you do?”  I laughed pretty hard and I think she probably thought I was insane at that moment having no idea why that would be funny to anyone.  You see when I walked in  to the “warehouse” that is Crossfit with no AC and a bunch of people who looked like they may pass out at any moment mid workout, I was weak as a kitten,  scared out of my mind that they would say what a lot of other trainers, pilates instructors and fitness instructors say…. After I say…. I have rods in my spine, I have had 3 surgeries and I am one big train wreck, I am pretty inflexible and very weak….  “YOU need privates…”, Sorry get a note from your doctor…”  “Or hell no….”  I didn’t want to be handled with kid gloves I was sick of it, sick of the pity.  After an hour with Heidi I knew she was having none of that…. I saw someone who was going to kick my ass with rods in my spine or without them.  I said no sit-ups, she said no problem I will sub the exercise out, make no mistake I said SUB not scale.  When she asked about pull ups…. Well….  Let’s just say I laughed over that one too…

Heidi and Steve and the rest of the coaches at CFA/Playground worked with me day in and day out, subbing out exercises for what I couldn’t do, NEVER handling me with kid gloves or worrying that I would break. On my first day I could not do a sit-up, but that never stopped all of the coaches from pushing me to be better.  I was so used to people who were afraid to push me for fear that I might break somehow. My first days at Crossfit were my most challenging, when I did sit-ups they had to be assisted sit-ups, with someone literally holding my hand.  My weight was scaled down to the bare minimum.  Heidi and Steve and all of the coaches always watched over me and made sure everything I did was for form first, never for time or weight.  Gradually over time I added weight slowly to everything I did.  It wasn’t only the coaches it was the other members of the gym.  No one made me feel intimidated or scared; instead they pushed me, and helped me want to be better.  I never got a free pass because of my back, and I never wanted one.

I have made some of the best friends I have ever had in my life, and mark my words if I don’t show up to workout someone is calling me to make sure everything is a-okay.  I have never competed in anything but a spelling bee up until last year, and so far  I have competed in 10 Crossfit competitions and completed the Spartan Race in 2011.  The first competition was last January and when it was finished I felt such a sense of accomplishment.  I can’t explain what that felt like to be able to represent my gym side by side with some of the best athletes I know.  To see my coaches and fellow athletes cheer me on as I ran with a 95lb barbell on my back was such a wonderful feeling.  Those same people who watched me progress from day one!

NEARLY 3 Years later this girl who couldn’t do a sit-up can dead-lift 270 lbs, front squat 195 lbs,  do pull-ups, climb rope, jump over 6 foot walls, and has grown to love competing.  I have never felt more energetic, or stronger in my whole life.  I want everyone to know that you can do it!  It has changed my life.  Although I still cope with chronic pain and struggle with certain movements, I have never felt better in my life.  The coaches, the camaraderie, the friends I have made have changed my life!  I am also so very happy to say that I am now coaching twice a week and it is my hope that my story can inspire others to stick with it and that Crossfit is for EVERYONE at every level!


  1. Amy P. February 3, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Amazing story Christina! So happy that you discovered CrossFit and that it has had such an impact on your life. Your strength, determination and chutzpah are what this community is all about. Look forward to seeing you in some more local competitions here in S. Florida:)

  2. Bartolomeo February 2, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    CrossFit is Life…

  3. karen hayes February 2, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    congratulations!!!! I feel the same way about Crossfit. I absolutely did not have the same obstacles you did but the end result is the same. I LOVE CROSSFIT. (although double unders still elude me) Again, congratulations!!!!!!

  4. BrianG February 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Pretty awesome.

    Capital CrossFit
    Dulles/Sterling, VA

  5. Brandie February 2, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    You are an amazing woman, an inspiration to us all. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!

  6. Michael Grant January 31, 2011 at 5:38 PM


    This is wonderful and you are awesome! This is what amazing is all about. Great job and glad to know you.

  7. eileen January 31, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    I just cried. Thank you.

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