WEDNESDAY WINS! COURTNEY K.!
Today we celebrate the successes of the amazing Courtney K. She’s one of the kindest souls we know and after hearing her story, you’ll agree that she’s also one of the bravest and most inspiring.
“My life has been a real roller coaster. I came from an upbringing where my family life was always great, but I was always the rebel. I didn’t play the rebel role to be rebellious per se; I just loved it. I loved the whole scene. I dressed so “Goth”. I listened to heavy metal, shaved my head and wore leather pants and Doc Martins. Preppy cheerleader just wasn’t my thing.”
Her Dad was a huge influence on everything she did. “He was a real big hippie. He was a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He was awesome. He’s the reason I am who I Am.”. While she expressed her identity through clothes and lifestyle in her younger years, she REALLY had to rethink EVERYTHING in her 20s.
“I grew up in Florida. My Dad was the guy to go to in Broward County if you needed help. He ran several halfway houses. He stood up for the guys who needed help and then stood by them as they got it. “ He changed lives, helped get people sober and on their feet again — and the family got to be a part of all the amazing change he created. “Through all of this he still made time for us. It was never a burden.” That is, until it went very wrong.
“My dad passed away when I was 23. It was just tragic. He was clean and sober 17 years and had helped so many people. It ended up that one of the people he was actually trying help killed him.” A man who gave so much of himself to change lives was stricken of his own.
“I had a really hard time after my dad died. I started doing bad things. I drank and did drugs. I tried to hide it from everyone. I felt horrible because I was his daughter and I was now in that position (of the people he tried to help)”. I didn’t want special treatment or attention because I was “Richard’s daughter”.
She knew she had to make changes. “I moved out of the area, but didn’t go too far – From Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa. I wasn’t particularly religious. But I tried to find God again.”
It was there she met her now husband. “He was back from his second tour in Iraq. It turns out he lived just a few blocks from me and we moved there the same month. I remember he was totally unique. We danced to Sinatra the first night in his apartment.” They’ve been together ever since.
“His family lives here (Maryland) so basically a work contract and family brought him here. We spent the next two years getting to know each other. We didn’t get serious until I had visited him a few times. I knew I wanted out of Florida and wanted something new. I just wanted to keep moving forward. I eventually moved here and after eight months he got a deployment for six months on a civilian contract. He was gone for almost a year shortly after I moved here. It was ok, though. I was always independent.”
“We didn’t talk much about his religion until he was deployed. When he was gone, I really knew I wanted to make my way back to finding faith. I see people so happy when they have God in their lives. When I told him that, he began to share a lot about his background. So, I actually discovered Islam while I was by myself when he was away. It broadened my horizons and perspectives – and I converted. I didn’t even tell him until after it was done. “
“I actually met his family for the first time while he was overseas and got to know them as a friend of their son. I knocked on the door and they welcomed me in. Every Friday I was invited over. His dad even invited me to a religious retreat. I dove in and tried all ways to express different types of religion. I like to soak it all in and then decide what’s right for me. I mean, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I get more educated? I mean, I had never met a Muslim before! I didn’t even know what Islam was when I was in Florida.”
“They were just amazing. There was always a big group and they were always there to help other people. Ultimately we knew eventually we would be together married, but didn’t know we were going to find ourselves within the process. One day I told his mom ‘I’m in love with your son and I think I want to marry him.’ And I got her blessing.”
“I love the religion and think there are so many misconceptions. Muslim men truly love their wives. Yes, the man makes a lot of decisions, but the woman holds it all together and the husbands are so appreciative. It hurts when people say we cover our hair because our husbands tell us to. It’s a commitment to god, nothing else. It makes me feel almost born again — it makes me feel really good!”
With a new relationship with God, she then focused on a new and healthy lifestyle. “I never played sports. I never exercised. Okay, maybe I did ONCE. I twirled a baton in a parade when I was kid. But that’s it. I’ve been in gyms before, but was so turned off by the sales process and the trainers and I could never make it stick. I didn’t know what to do with the machines. It was awful.”
“Two years ago we decided to try for a baby. I wanted to prepare myself for running around with a child. It’s then that I found CrossFit. It just changed my life and perspective on fitness. It keeps me eating healthy and on track. I don’t want to ruin the momentum I’ve created and that makes me want to keep everything in my life healthy. When he first came home I was working as a medical surgical tech for plastics (plastic surgery) and life was crazy. He then started a job that required odd hours so I’m basically a homemaker now. It’s great because he’ll come home and I’ll have healthy meals prepped and dinner ready.”
“It’s so funny. I always tell my husband I’d be a good soldier. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. That’s what I love about CrossFit. It’s organized. I’m told what to do. Go! And it’s all balls to the wall. Scale if you need to. Rest if you need to. That keeps the longevity for me.”
“And I love the small successes along the way. Even changing colors on the kettle bells lets me really feel like I’ve come so far. I used to have a problem with finishing things. It took me a long time to finish high school. But I’d work my butt off to get there. And I love the fact that I am making things happen. Things are not getting in my way anymore. I’m fearless now. I used to give myself a hard time all the time… about everything. But this keeps me grounded and on track.”
Sure, there are times she does fall off track (like most of us). “I sometimes consider myself a binge eater. I’m really good most of the week and then I have a cheat day. But it’s often a BAD cheat day. Like a cheeseburger and a big slice pie. Or a whole pie!”.
But those cheats are happening less and less and her attendance at the Cove is becoming more and more. She’s happy. She’s confident. She’s down 25 pounds. She strives for all organic. She’s got energy levels most of us dream of. She’s setting a great example for all of us.
“It’s a life-changer for me mentally and physically. I’m clear. My head is clear. The Cove has opened my mind too. The people here are really great and I love that there are people from all walks of life. The coaches we have are so great and I love it so much.”
You’ve opened our minds too. You make this a better place. And we love you too. More than you’ll ever know.