Yes, there are great “before and after” photos involved, but Molly Pritchard’s story is much more than that.
As warm and inviting as the Sunshine City itself, Molly is a human sunbeam. Anyone at CrossFit9 will tell you Molly is a tireless cheerleader for her teammates, finder of endless positivity, and just really, genuinely sweet.
You’d never guess that Molly, a bubbly 25-year-old nursing student from Philadelphia, was struggling with a crippling anxiety disorder when she joined CrossFit9 two years ago.
“There was a period of time where I would not even leave my house or my room. “If I did it would trigger a panic attack.”
New to St. Pete and stressed by her school workload, Molly says she relied on anxiety medication to function. She would frequently wake up in the middle of the night, heart racing.
“I was overweight, in therapy, and truly hated being in public.”
Molly was taking a yoga class or two per week, but admits she was a little bored at times, unable to focus or get the full benefit out of her practice. At a yoga class, she ran into a CrossFit9 coach, and admitted she was scared to try it.
But she was intrigued enough to pay a fateful visit to the gym.
Molly says she was stunned when she first walked into CrossFit9 with her boyfriend, Nick (who is now a CrossFit9 coach).
“My first impression was Holy crap everyone is a super hero here… how do I become one?! Those first few months were crazy. I was sore in muscles I never knew I had!”
Over the first few weeks and months, Molly’s mindset started to shift.
“In the very beginning it was more mentally challenging than physically, because I constantly compared myself to others. But that very quickly changed from the outpouring of constant love, support, and advice I received from both members and coaches.”
As Molly started pushing the boundaries of her physical limitations, her mental and emotional limitations started crumbling as well. She reports her panic attacks no longer haunt her, she has been able to go off of anxiety medication, and she experiences a better overall sense of well-being.
“I am mentally and emotionally much stronger and composed than I was before. I am also a much more loving and caring person. This is because of the love and kindness that I have learned through members and coaches.”
Molly’s physical changes have come steadily, as well.
“I sleep soundly through the night. I have lost a significant amount of fat, and I have gained a lot of muscle. My blood pressure used to be about 120/80, now it’s consistently around 108/60. I no longer have a muffin top or a puffy belly… I actually am just beginning to see abs forming! Woohoo!”
The Whole Life Challenge
Looking to accelerate her already-awesome progress, Molly signed up as part of Team CrossFit9 for the January 2018 Whole Life Challenge.
The hard stats don’t lie. In just six weeks, Molly:
- Decreased her body fat by 4.3%
- Dropped 5 lbs.
- Lost an inch off her hips and half an inch off her waist.
- Crushed stress and cruised into a new job with a feeling of wellness
In fact, Molly’s exuberant WLC wrap-up Instagram post caught the attention of The Whole Life Challenge, who shared her awesome progress pictures on their Instagram account!
View this post on Instagram
“Honestly at a loss for words at how absolutely AMAZING the whole life challenge was. 39 days ago I cut out dairy, grains, and sugar from my diet… and my entire life has turned around. My BMI decreased from 28% to 23%. I lost weight, gained a lot of muscle. Outside of my diet and exercise, I got a new job and also began physical therapy for my sciatica. The whole life challenge taught me how to gain control of my life and the value in discipline. It truly couldn’t have gone any better. THANK YOU @crossfit9stpete FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!!!!!” ❤️❤️❤️❤️ -@mollypritcharddd #wholelifechallenge
What’s Next for Molly
This nursing student is still sweet as pie, but Molly’s newfound gumption has re-routed her nursing career. She tells us she found the confidence to tackle the Emergency Room, a space she feels truly at home.
“My mindset is so much healthier than it used to be. Mentally and emotionally I am much more composed and mature. Physically I am much stronger, and having great endurance is such a perk in so many aspects of life. This all benefits me greatly in the nursing career that I am pursuing, because I am on my feet 12 hours a day lifting and comforting distressed patients.”
“I truthfully do not know where I would be, what I would be doing, or who I would be without CrossFit9. Thanks to supportive coaches and members, I have transformed into someone I never thought could exist years ago. I’m much more confident, independent, and have learned to believe in and love myself and others unconditionally! I am a much better team member now, and really enjoy giving back to the community and supporting others accomplish their goals.”
For all the newbies sitting on the sidelines, Molly’s advice is to stop overthinking and just do it.
“You don’t have to be at a certain level athletically to begin CrossFit. Everyone starts their own journey in their own special way. Stop thinking about all the what if’s and start thinking of what could be!”
If you don't think you have what it takes to own your story, let Molly's amazing emotional and mental transformation…
Posted by CrossFit9 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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