Superhuman 40 Transformation: Laura Spalding


Laura Spalding: Regaining My Fearlessness and Embracing My Future

It’s hard to write a story when the story isn’t over.   Everyone keeps asking me about the end but this is only the beginning and I can’t wait to keep going…. I can’t wait to get better!  When I started the Challenge I was very focused on losing weight and on winning.  As time went on I started to realize that losing weight, while a nice benefit, was hardly the point.  The improvement in how I feel on a daily basis and in my overall happiness has exceeded anything I could have imagined.  I feel like my old self, my pre-cancer self, my fierce, fearless, force of nature old-self.

This has been life changing for me.   I’ve already won!

I had been working out for quite a while, several years actually, but every time I got things going in the right direction I would somehow manage to find a way to de-rail myself.  Something was keeping me from succeeding and my complacency was allowing me to make all sorts of excuses for myself (my back hurts, I don’t like to run, I can’t do those movements, I’m too tired, I’m too old etc.).  I wanted to lose weight and I was tired of being ruled by fear and uncertainty, tired of feeling like I couldn’t keep up and really, just tired.  So, I decided to complete the Superhuman 40 Challenge hoping to figure out what was holding me back, learn how to succeed and to re-gain control of myself and of my life

The first week of the Challenge was pretty rough, the sugar and wine cravings were almost unbearable and the second week was worse.  I felt so weak and tired it was hard to even complete the WODs, but I did.  Coaches Andrew and Brendan assured me that this was totally normal and that if I kept at it better days were coming.  And they were right!!   By the end of the second week I was starting to feel better.  During the third week I felt great… full of energy and have felt that way ever since!

Over the 40 days there were so many changes! I’ve had improvements in several movements. My toes to rings have gone from not being able to do them consistently to touching my toes to the rings almost every time (toes to bar is next!).  Running is easier, rowing is faster and even burpees are less tiresome and awful!  I’ve gone from thinking “I’m so tired I need to rest” to “just one more, you can do one more.”

About half way through the challenge once of the WODs included rope climbs (my least favorite thing to do).  I’ve always been afraid when climbing the rope… afraid to fall and afraid to fail.  This time was different.  My foot slipped twice on the rope that day.  The first time I gave up and slid down.  I waited a minute and got in a good climb.  The next round I was about 2/3 of the way up and my foot slipped/unwrapped again.  Instead of feeling fear, I felt opportunity… I re-wrapped my foot and climbed to the top.  I’ve gone from “I can’t do it” to “Don’t give up, you can do it.”

At the end of the third week I pulled my back muscle.  Instead of using that as an excuse to quit (which is what I have been inclined to do in the past) I asked for help to modify the WODs and continued to push to do as much of the workouts as I could.  This challenge has provided me the opportunity to see beyond the barriers that traditionally would have stopped me.  Instead, I’m embracing the opportunities to improvise… to figure out how to keep going (thank you to Coaches Andrew, Brendan and Sarah as well as my awesome partners Marcy and Angie… you really make amazing friends at CrossFit) and do what it takes to finish/succeed.

I don’t really enjoy cooking, but as a result of the Challenge I have come to be very proud of all the healthy meals I’m preparing for my husband and my boys.  The kids love to help me experiment with paleo recipes, lots of which were shared by my CFPB friends and other challenge participants.  We can all taste and feel the difference eating grass fed beef, organic fruits and vegetables, healthily raised chickens, local eggs (yummy) and healthy oils and fats.  I love that I am setting a healthy example for my boys and they are embracing it.  As a parent there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are doing something that has a positive impact on your children.

All totaled up I lost 14 pounds and LOTS of inches.  I wish I had measured at the beginning so I had numbers, but my jeans are so big I can’t wear them and I’m down at least 2 dress sizes.  Lots of loss, but what I have gained is so much more valuable!!   As I said at the beginning, I feel like my old self, my pre-cancer self, my fierce, fearless, can do anything, force of nature old-self.  It shows in my appearance but more importantly it shows in my attitude and my approach to life.