At the start of this week (10th October) the world celebrated World Mental Health Day in an attempt to raise the profile about mental health issues that the majority of the population suffer with from time to time and to provide psychological first aid and support to those in distress. There are times when we all feel a little overwhelmed with life, many people suffer in silence, uncomfortable to talk about these issues. So it is encouraging to hear the remarkable story of one of our members, Natalie Martin, who found an alternative support network and motivation to get better.
“3 years ago I was 17 stone, unhappy in a relationship, had a panic disorder and depression.
After my relationship finished, I moved back to Preston and used the NHS mind matters service for CBT, to help with panic/depression. I also started going to the leisure centre gym, which was fine for the first few times, then it got really monotonous, so much so that I stopped going and became inactive once again!
I met someone who goes to a CrossFit gym and it sounded awful! 1000m rowing, burpees, lifting weights, pull ups ? I did not understand the appeal in it! I did some research on CrossFit and came across the CrossFit games archive footage of the women’s events and was blown away at how strong the women were. A few weeks after I bit the bullet and googled where the closest CrossFit gym to me was and found CrossFit Leyland (CFL). 5 hours later I attended my first taster session!
I was shockingly awful, I couldn’t even do a squat, I was hurting and sweating so much, but for some reason I loved it! I signed up for foundations that night, which introduces the most important techniques used in CrossFit and also teaches you how to ‘scale’ or adapt movements to your own ability.
Since joining I have not had one bout of panic attacks. Depression has subsided to the point that I can’t believe how bad I was a year ago with it. I put that down to CrossFit and being around such positive members and inspiring coaches.
In May I competed in my first individual competion at the Rainhill trials. Scared beforehand at how I would cope with panic because I catastrophise and have a wild imagination. What if I’m out on the floor and I fail a lift or do something embarrassing and everyone sees or I pass out?
I did fail a lift, I did do something embarrassing (a kettlebell slipped out of hand during swing and launched across room). I felt like passing out after the ‘fight gone bad’ workout BUT IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING DAY EVER!!! I felt free at last!
This summer marked my one year anniversary at CFL, I can honestly say this last year has been the best year I have had in a long time and I credit CFL for it.
CFL has literally saved my life”.
Well done Nat!