Sarah Mattison: Fighting back against Anxiety with CrossFit

Athlete Inspiration – this week our athlete highlight is Sarah!

Sarah is a regular attendee of our 6:15 class and an amazing example of hard work, resilience and strength, despite starting her CrossFit journey with crippling fear and anxiety. After three years of being asked, Sarah finally decided to give CrossFit a shot. She’d grown up spending recess on the monkey bars, while marching to the beat of her own drum. She spent many of her early years moving on the volleyball court or the soccer field. However, in the years prior to starting CrossFit, movement had shifted to the back burner and in the absence of healthy movement, anxiety moved in.

In the beginning, Sarah only showed up to class with friends and spent a whole year only going 3-4 times a month. Even though she found CrossFit intimidating, she stuck with it believing it would get better, showing up even when it was scary and hard. She pushed past the discomfort to find a community that was excited to have her and cheering her on as she conquered the challenges in front of her.

Sarah’s interest in CrossFit was waning as the 2023 CrossFit Open approached. However, she attended the Friday Night Lights and there, she discovered that she could do her first pull-up variation, a burpee pull-up. She only muscled through 15, but this got her fire reignited. She had a new goal: To do a strict pull-up. Competing in the Open opened a whole new door of opportunities for progress and skill development. Since then she’s buckled down and worked hard to build muscle and grip strength to achieve her goal. Six months after the open, she crushed 64 burpee pull-ups in one workout, followed by her first strict pull-up one month after that. She continues to apply that same dedication to work on stringing together double-unders.

She may have started her journey attempting to sink into the background, but she’s turned into a shining star in our community! She’s learned that failures are just an opportunity to learn and grow, and while CrossFit may seem intense, it comes down to how intense you choose to make it. You get to scale how you need to, knowing that you are going to grow, get better, and fuel your own fire as long as you put in the work. Sarah is an amazing example of resilience and looking anxiety in the face and conquering it anyway.

Go slow to go far, not just in CrossFit but in life!

It’s everyone’s right to party! CrossFit provides the opportunity and the community!



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