Name: Lorraine Browne
Occupation: English Professor at Nova Southeastern University
Lorraine is also a mother of two, a CrossFitter, and a Triathlete. I know, you're already impressed... but wait, there's more. Here's her story....
I found out about CrossFit in a pretty roundabout way. I’ve been at it about a year now. A couple of years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease called Cholesteatoma. This is when cysts grow in the middle ear and in worst cases, can enlarge and become fatal by getting too close to the brain. Since Brie had a very large mass on her right side, something that was growing unbeknownst to us for her whole life, she lost her hearing on her right side and her ability to taste. Although we were extremely lucky we got it out in time, I was devastated for her.
During the year of her first two surgeries, which had to be done through the back of her skull, the only way I could think of to deal with the stress was to go to a gym. Prior to that, I had been pretty out of shape while raising my young kids in my 30’s. I began at Shondelle’s gym, which is right by my house. I worked out like crazy. The timed workouts there resurrected my old athletic self and made me want to compete at something again, so I began to train for triathlons. In 2009, I went from a size 16 to a size 8 and lost 40 lbs.
Shondelle saw that I was trying to cut my running and biking times, so she introduced me to Tom and Fernando. I’ll never forget the day she took me to do my first wod. I was so excited, I almost beat her in a rowing/air squat combo wod! She was surprised and had to come back and outperform me at the very end to win, and we were both passed out on the floor with these funny smiles on our faces. It was literally like I had woken up from a long, boring past life. I felt at home at once in the CrossFit environment, and was so happy I found something that challenged me for the first time since I played basketball in college. Before CrossFit, I thought my competitive athletic days were behind me.
This past year has passed by quickly. Since beginning at SFCF (South Florida CrossFit Endurance) and sticking with the CFE (CrossFit Endurance) there, I’ve cut my mile time from 10:30 to 8:30, and recently held around that time for three consecutive miles. That’s the first time I ever did that in my life. I’ve done better in the last few triathlons in my 40’s than I did in my 20’s, and I’m continually improving. I have such a passion for CrossFit. I don’t know where I’d be in my life without it. I hear people say this a lot and I agree: I wish I had known about it sooner in my life. I am indebted to Shondelle for seeing my need to improve athletically and being enough of a friend to see CrossFit would be a good fit for me, even if it meant she would lose me as a client.
For me, CrossFit workouts pose the life metaphor that you need to be ready for anything. Whatever the workout is on the board, I will do it to the best of my ability, and love being competitive with myself and others, so I can improve and learn how to do new things. That carries over into every other facet of life, personally and professionally. Other Crossfitters, especially other women like you Sarah, inspire me a lot. I’ve gone from an out of shape, worried mother to a fit, capable person, ready to tackle any of life’s challenges. This is largely due to the attitude adjustment that occurs every time I achieve something I never thought I could do before at CrossFit. Two weeks ago I deadlifted 225 lbs. I began at 180 just a year ago.
Brie had another surgery recently, and we persevered through it. She knows that CrossFitting helps mommy be calm and strong for her. Whenever I complete an Olympic distance triathlon, I put the medals around her neck. My goal for 2011 is to get in the top five in my age group. After I do that, I’m going to train for the Ironman.
When I asked Lorraine what she wanted on her customized necklace she chose "Larrock". This nickname was given to her by her sisters when they were growing up because Lorraine and her friends used to lift weights in her garage and get "really pumped up". Lorraine said that she had lost that part of herself when she left home but she thinks she is becoming "Larrock" all over again. I couldn't agree more! Go Larrock!