Shawnette Cole

image1-9Seven years ago while out on one of my many runs I thought I had pulled a muscle but in reality I had fractured my hip.  This was one of those moments in my life when I look back that I now know was a life changing moment.  I used running as my therapy, I ran to get away from the world and my problems.  It was not long after my recovery, but I still hadn’t gotten back into any form of exercise that I met Sarah.  She invited me to some of her classes which I fell in love with and saw the weight that I had put on slowing coming back off.  But I wasn’t happy, my life was spiraling out of control and because of that I’d miss one day, then the next, then next thing I knew a week had went by and then I realized I was no longer going to the gym.  How could I go to the gym if I could barely get up out of bed?  All I wanted to do was sleep.  I was depressed, angry at the world, and needed help, but I didn’t know that at the time.  It wasn’t until I took too many pills one night, another life changing moment, that I finally got help.  Shortly after receiving professional help, I received a text, completely out of the blue, from Sarah, inviting me back to the gym.  Another life changing moment.  I was uncomfortable about returning to the gym because I had put on almost 40 lbs, I thought everyone knew what I had done to myself (and no one knew), I thought people would judge me but everyone welcomed me with open arms.  So once again I started working out, the weight started coming off and Sarah said let’s do CrossFit, another life changing moment, this one I wasn’t so sure about because it scared me.  This was one of those moments, that I still look at and I’m in awe about because I can’t believe I’m actually doing it.  I amaze myself most of the time.  Others have faith in me, when I have none.  CrossFit Madison not only gives me a sense of belonging, but it makes me laugh, it gives me hope, and it has taught me so much about myself.  Before CrossFit Madison I didn’t see what I see now when I look in the mirror, a strong (mentally strong) woman.  Because of the gym (Empire / CrossFit Madison) I’m a part of a bible study that has helped me win struggles within myself and find God again.  A life changing moment.  I’ve met some of my best friends at CrossFit Madison.  They have come to know and accept me for “me”, support me, and are some of my biggest cheerleaders.  They pray with me, pray for me, cry with me, laugh with me and love me.  I would not be where I am today if I had not joined CrossFit Madison and met the amazing friends that I now call family.

Most people see me as a happy person, and today I am, but keep in mind sometimes it’s the happiest people that are the ones fighting the hardest.  Depression hits 1 out of 4 people, it’s not something that you wake up with or something that you turn on and off.  It’s something you deal with.  

I may not be at my goal weight or size, but I’m getting there and enjoying the journey along the way.  I can longer run the distance, speed or amount that I once did but today I am the best me that I can be and tomorrow I will be better than today!     

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7