Ali Foertsch

Dear Jade, Dani, Laura & Coaches,

A little over a year ago I started looking for a gym.
Work hours were grueling, shifts had been taxing,Ali and I felt like I was in a rut–work, eat, sleep, repeat. The nature of my training program at the hospital is that there is a perpetual focus on what is left to learn, how much there still is that you don’t know, and constantly finding yourself in critical situations that you may not have been prepared for. It’s exciting, stressful, exhilarating, rewarding, overwhelming and challenging. It’s easy to get lost in the details of the day to day, and sometimes it’s really hard to see how far you’ve come, because there always seems to be more to do. I needed something different, something new. I love my job, but sometimes our best efforts in medicine fall short, and we can’t accomplish what we’d hoped, and that loss can feel profound. I needed an area of my life where I could measure progress being made, where I could tackle something tangible and know that it was a victory…or at the very least, know what to work on. I needed it to be different than anything I’d done in the past, and that’s how I found myself on CVCF’s website.

I loved what I read, and I thought there would be little to lose. Each on-ramp class I would walk past the gym full of athletes working through some wicked WOD, never really believing I could stand somewhere amongst them…but wanting to. I showed up for 5:45am class the morning after I completed on-ramp, and I have been hooked ever since. Every single class was something new, something else I didn’t know how to do, or wasn’t yet able to do–but at least I knew what to work towards. Coaches and the community were incredibly supportive, cheering me on from the very beginning, and I felt like I was a part of something. People were pulling for me who barely knew me, and I somehow didn’t want to let them down.

It has been just over a year since I walked into the box for the first time, and a lot has happened in that year. I got engaged a few months after starting, and have spent the last year juggling work, wedding planning and the gym. The first year has been a steep learning curve, with some progress, and PRs and a long, long, (growing) list of things to work on. But, there is no question that I have moved forward from where I started. And most importantly, Champlain Valley Crossfit has been a constant. For as much variation that makes its way into the programming, it has simultaneously been consistent as the very best part of my day each day. I love the high expectations, inspirational athletes and sense of community. It is an unparalleled experience.

A week ago I completed my last WOD before leaving for my wedding, and it was painful. As I was laying flat on floor at the end, staring up at the ceiling, I couldn’t help thinking about what a year this has been. There I was, in the same spot I was in at the end of my very first WOD, but so much has changed in the past year. There are subtle things, changes in my body that I have noticed, in the way I feel, how I sleep, in how my clothes fit. And there are big things, like satisfaction in working towards a goal, pride in belonging to such a meaningful community, and confidence in achieving what initially seemed unattainable. None of those things could exist without you, and what you have brought to VT with CVCF. There have been days at the gym where I’m tired, or feeling worn out from work, and I find myself trying to calculate how many hours you must work in a day. How infrequently you take a break. How dedica
ted you are to building so much more than a gym. I just wanted you to know that the impact of what you do must be so much greater than you realize, and I wanted to say thank you. Not because I have fun at CVCF and I have made new friends. Not because I have gotten stronger and feel more confident. Not because the wedding dress fits better or I am eating healthier than I ever did before. All of those are true, but pale in comparison to my thanks for pushing me, pushing all of us, to be the best version of ourselves–every. single. day.