Val Rousseau: Becoming a BeastEtte

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Val Rousseau: Becoming a BeastEtte

How I Found CrossFit…

Fourteen months ago, my life, my health and my attitude drastically changed for the better. After two kids, 150+lbs gained and lost, years of globo and yoga, I crossed the threshold of CrossFit and never looked back.

After one year, with 25 pounds gone and — most importantly — several inches lost, I have never been in better shape at the ripe age of 41.
I started CrossFit like many others: I jumped in without really knowing what I was getting into. My first encounter was when I was training with my brother at his gym and saw a CrossFit class going on. From a distance I thought it looked fun, so I joined a box a couple weeks later. My first workout was Fran(!), but even the hell of Fran couldn’t deter me from continuing. In those early days, I could barely run 100m, and the first couple months were extremely challenging, to say the least. I had no upper body strength and my squats were a mess. I used a 15-lb bar and did jumping pull-ups.

There's no shame in scaling

But I kept going, because as I was entering my 40s, I kept gaining weight even though my workouts and diet hadn’t really changed. I had never had a problem losing weight before, but that was no longer true with the shift in hormones and metabolism that comes with age. Hence, I was willing to struggle. I made the switch to a Paleo diet with one cheat meal a week and just continued going to my box religiously, five times per week. After one year, with 25 pounds gone and — most importantly — several inches lost, I have never been in better shape at the ripe age of 41.

Now I look forward to my daily WOD. My current one-rep max for a thruster is 95lbs, and I’m still working on getting my pull-up, but I can now use the skinniest band.

When I meet women who are new in class and look like they are struggling, I reach out and tell them what I know from personal experience: “I was you a year ago. You’ll get there. It may not be easy, but you’ll get there.”
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