Kimberlee Harkins


Published January 27, 2015


Growing up, I was never one of those super-athletic people who did every sport, gymnastics, and stuff like that. I’ve always thought of myself as uncoordinated and never really did anything that physical – at least not for long.

But I remember a vacation I took to visit family in Maryland, where I’m from. We went to the beach, and had a good time – but after coming back, and looking at pictures from the vacation, I was so disappointed. I hated how I looked. I had gained too much weight and hated it.

At first I was in denial. “That is just a bad picture,” I told myself. But soon, I realized the truth: that was who I had become. And if I wanted to change how I looked – and change how I felt about myself – I had to do something different and make a change.

That’s when I read an article in the Vestavia Voice about Forge Fitness. I had never tried CrossFit before, but it sounded intriguing. Plus, a friend of mine did CrossFit at another gym and said she loved it and really encouraged me to give it a try. So with those words of encouragement, I decided to show up.

I remember walking into Forge for the first time in September 2013 and being really intimidated. When most people think of CrossFit they think of the CrossFit Games they see on TV before. That is exactly what I thought. Plus, I was never one to do any kind of group exercise, so that was a bit frightening, too. Despite my skepticism, I showed up and decided to give it a shot.

I’m not going to lie; it was hard. After the first day, I remember I couldn’t lift my hands above my shoulders to wash my hair in the shower. But as I kept going, first three times a week and soon four times a week, I started noticing something awesome: I was actually getting better! Suddenly, I found myself able to do things I’d never thought possible. Not just physically, either. I was improving mentally, too.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment after every single workout (I still feel that way!), and I feel great.

Since I started Forge, I’ve definitely lost weight and gained muscle mass. I look and feel better than ever, plus I enjoy the camaraderie of being a part of a group and a community that is so supportive and understanding.

If you’re trying to lose weight or get in shape, give Forge a try. If you’re anything like me, it’ll be really tough for the first few weeks, but it is worth it. The trainers at Forge will scale workouts for you and help you along the way. Hang in there and you’ll get real results and feel much better and look better!

I love CrossFit – it is not just a gym, it’s a lifestyle.

Kimberlee Harkins


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