Ally Bell

Name                     : Aly Bell

Age                        :  41

Occupation              : Paramedic

Goal for the Year     : Maintain a healthy lifestyle

How long have you been coming to Central Staffs CrossFit?

For just over a year.

What was your background in fitness or sport before you joined at CSC?

I haven’t really got one. I’d dabbled in various sports such as running, swimming and canix (running with dogs). I always hated big brand gyms & usually felt so intimidated by the other members that I ended up just avoiding the place totally.

How did you hear about CrossFit and how did you hear about CSC specifically?

I’d been driving past CSC since it started & always wondered what CrossFit was…. Eventually, one day, I pulled in & investigated.

What do you enjoy the most about CrossFit at CSC?

Wow, where to start! The coaches are great. Patient & encouraging, always pushing you further when you think you’ve got nothing left, the CrossFit family & the total absence of any ego. Working out with a group makes you push a bit harder & they encourage you all the way. The mixture of abilities in any WOD is amazing, you’re all training together, but essentially, you’re only up against yourself. Your fellow “WODders” support & push you further, then give out lovely sweaty hugs at the end when you all celebrate finishing the WOD. It’s euphoric! The smug feeling when you get back in the car to drive home & then discover your arms are too tired to hold on to the steering wheel. The list is endless.

What changes have you seen physically and mentally within yourself since you started at CSC?

Again, where to start? And how to keep it short?! Well, 2013 was probably the hardest year of my life, I was recovering from a double mastectomy. My sister was recovering from a cancer diagnosis and we lost our mum after her 10 year battle with Ovarian Cancer. Then I was involved in a serious accident at work, which left me with a spinal injury. My job throws me into all kinds of situations, physically & mentally draining 12 hour (usually 13 or 14 to be honest) shifts, that don’t really allow for any kind of healthy lifestyle. The personal stuff had left me struggling with life in general. I hate the depression ‘label’, but that’s where I was heading. I was extremely weak physically & totally fed up with feeling rubbish. CrossFit has turned all that around totally. I’m now fairly invincible mentally. My GP has been amazed at my psychological recovery. Physically, all my scars have healed & my lifting PB’s are changing constantly. My running style is still questionable, but at least I’m there, putting the effort in!

Would you recommend CSC and CrossFit to friends, family & others?

Without hesitation, it’s not a gym where you’re left to fend for yourself, you’re instructed & pushed all the way. It is personal training but with a group of your mates. Each time you go, you’re seeing improvement. The CSC Yoga goes hand in hand with the CrossFit too, I’m a total yoga convert even practicing at home! The CSC Kids is an essential part of our week now too. CSC has become our new religion!