My name is Rob Wilson and I have the privilege and honor of calling the Pacific Northwest my home. I have lived in Zimbabwe, New Jersey, Iowa, California, and Washington State. Of all these places, Washington has been, by far, the most beautiful place I have ever lived. As a photographer, I love being able to capture the beauty of the outdoors up here, as well as the intensity, grit, and personality of people doing amazing things! Enter CrossFit. I began CrossFitting a few years ago and have been afforded the chance to not only shoot at my local affiliate (SnoRidge CrossFit) but to also do other CrossFit-themed shoots outside the gym. Being able to showcase a person’s raw emotion while in the shadow of mountains and the silence of the woods has been one of the most rewarding pieces to this hobby of mine. To me, Living Life ASRX™ means pursuing your passion and working hard at it. It means not letting obstacles like weariness, apathy, and time derail you from achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. There are going to be times when the passion seems to become more of a burden, but pushing through the excuses and the pain will ultimately make the outcome you're striving for that much more rewarding! Meet Cassie Beaudry.
I first met Cassie two years ago when she joined SnoRidge CrossFit. At the time, she couldn’t climb a rope, couldn’t do a pull-up, couldn’t hold a handstand, and couldn’t clean a barbell. Except with a cleaning wipe - she could do that. Now, she does all of these things regularly, and even helps others through the same! It hasn’t always been easy - she’s had a long road to travel to reach and surpass these goals, but to her, Living Life ASRX™ means keep moving forward, and no excuses.
Cassie would have every excuse not to push through and accomplish her goals. You see, Cassie was diagnosed with Endometriosis a few years ago and has been pushing through yoga, CrossFit, and life in general, ever since. Simply put, Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus, begins growing outside the uterus, in different parts of your body. For Cassie, this tissue has settled in her hip, rendering certain movements almost impossible! Although a little morbid, we often joke about the feeling of the size of the knife being jabbed into the back of her hip and glute. The pain ranges from toothpick / pocket knife all the way up through lightsaber!
Cassie loved yoga. For a long time, she did hot yoga 4-6 times a week. This was therapeutic for her and helped her to feel strong and flexible, but three years ago, she began noticing pain in her hip. From her blog - “I remember bending over to stretch. Doing a forward fold and placing the palms of my hands flat on the floor [normally] wasn’t hard for me. This day, I felt a very uncomfortable pulling/stabbing pain just doing a gentle forward bend.” This was just the beginning. For a while, pursuing her passion was put on hold due to the debilitating affliction that seemed to thwart her every move. She could no longer do all of the things that had previously come so easily to her. She was forced to give up yoga. But Cassie is not the type of person to give up easily. No excuses. If she couldn’t do yoga, she would find something else equally as challenging and pursue that.
Cassie’s husband Joe had just recently finished the first of his introductory classes at SnoRidge CrossFit and thought that this might be just what she needed. Cassie remembers Joe coming home “after his first night and after he caught his breath and stopped feeling like he was going to die, he said ‘you have to do this. You will love it, these are your kind of people! You’ll be so good at it.’” Cassie joined the next month. It was difficult at first. It always is, but she stuck with it - she enjoyed learning new things and was able to set goals for herself unrelated to Yoga. One of her major goals was being able to get a rope climb. She remembers back to 6th grade where she couldn’t even hang onto a pull-up bar, but now, here she was climbing ropes within the year! She still has large flare ups - days when the pain is almost insurmountable. But she keeps moving forward. No excuses. She continues to push through the pain and work around it when necessary. She never gives up.
This year especially, Cassie has made it her mission to always finish a WOD with the weights she’s chosen, no matter how long it takes. In previous years, she might have taken the easy road and just done a workout and tried to finish with / faster than everyone else. This year she has challenged herself. For her, it’s not about having the fastest time. It has turned into doing something really difficult and not giving up. She may be the last one to finish, but she has purposed in her mind that no matter what, she will finish, and not blame her disease, even when it’s over the top. For those days that Cassie can’t come into the gym because of the excruciating pain, she gets creative with her workouts. She doesn’t ever want to let endometriosis stop her from doing what she loves, and luckily (for Joe!), one thing she loves is splitting wood that he has chopped into rounds from the mini forest that was just cut down next to their house. Cassie has turned herself into a “workout anywhere” type of girl, doing things like pull-ups on whatever is around, carrying heavy logs to their wood store for winter, and even practicing some yoga positions that have eluded her since her diagnosis. She keeps moving, no matter what.
It would be easy to use Endometriosis as an excuse to not work out, to not live well, to complain all the time, and Cassie Beaudry does none of those things. She is one of the prime examples of what it means to live your Life as Rx because she doesn’t settle. She doesn’t ever make excuses. She works hard. That’s not to say that things aren’t difficult - they are - but she doesn’t let that difficulty prevent her from doing what she now loves to do. She encourages others and lifts them up by her example. I can’t wait to see what she’s capable of with her hard work, her infectious positive attitude, and her willingness to keep moving forward.
- Rob C. Wilson
If you want to read more about Cassie’s journey - you can do so here - http://endotheroad.tumblr.com