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You’ve almost decided to try CrossFit.

You’ve picked out the gym. You’ve been to the website to get familiar with the trainers. Maybe you even walked past during a class and admired what appears to be choreographed chaos.

You have one step left, and it’s through the front door.

I know you have a dozen reasons why you think you can’t do it. Running and jumping aren’t in your wheelhouse at present. You’ve surmised that those things appear regularly in CrossFit, as do pull-ups and burpees. A voice is telling you that you can’t do it.

But I know another voice is urging you to try CrossFit—and you need to listen.

One thing is certain: If you don’t try it, you definitely won’t create the body you envision. The path to that body—that healthy, capable and fit body—runs directly away from your sofa.

I know exactly how you feel.

The first day I walked into CrossFit, I was so obese I couldn’t jump. At all. My body wasn’t capable of creating enough force to propel myself even an inch into the air.

I felt like an imposter.

ALT TEXTThe author, once 300 lb., made a commitment to diet and exercise and lost more than half her body weight. (Courtesy of Kai Rainey)

If you are worried that you’ll stand out because of your lack of fitness, I have a secret to share with you:

CrossFit humbles everyone daily.

This is not a secret inside the CrossFit community. Ask the fittest person at your new gym about his or her first workout. You’ll hear stories about not finishing, almost puking and being shocked about how much harder it was than it looked.

Here’s another secret: You have a bit of an advantage over the typical fairly fit person who drops in to try a CrossFit class. You already know it’s going to be hard.

In truth, the workouts are always going to be hard because when they start to get easy, you’ll make them harder again. That’s what we do, and that’s how we get fitter and accomplish our goals. We aren’t a bunch of genetic freaks with a high pain tolerance. We don’t love the actual workout while we are doing it, but we love its effects, and the reward is worth the effort.

I want you to experience this transformation, but it’s going to take more than a session or two before you notice the changes your body will start making on Day 1. The space between your first few classes and the first look-what-I-can-do-now moment can be a challenge.

Maybe you’ve even gone to a class here or there but stopped for whatever reason.

I have a proposal for you: Give yourself 24 hours in the form of 24 CrossFit classes.

That’s enough classes to get you past the initial what-was-I-thinking panic and through the week or two when your body threatens to go on strike in protest of your new hobby.

Likely, you will question your decision during every class for at least the first 10 sessions. You’ll be sore. You’ll be sure you are never going to remember the difference between a clean and a snatch. You’ll curse gravity and wall balls. You will swear that you will always hate burpees.

Somewhere between classes 12 and 20, things will start making sense, and you might even find yourself looking forward to the next challenge written on the whiteboard. Trust me.

ALT TEXTReclaiming your life won’t be easy. But it will be worth it. (Megan Hales)

Think of the struggle you feel as an airplane fights nature to climb into the air. Your first 24 classes are like that takeoff. You’re going to have to fight excuses, old habits, the desire to quit. But just like the airplane overcomes gravity, you’ll fight through your excuses and reach “cruising altitude.” Once there, you’ve created a routine, and quitting won’t be on your radar.

Three or four days a week for the next six to eight weeks—that’s all I’m asking for. Don’t look beyond that. The time is going to pass whether you get off the couch or not. How much better for it to pass as you grow stronger and healthier?

Any structure that is meant to last requires a solid foundation at its base. Think of each class as another brick you are adding to the foundation of your health and fitness. When you fill in that 24th brick, your basic foundation will be complete and you’ll be ready to really start building the body and life you want.

Every day, CrossFit cures chronic disease, reverses obesity and saves lives. Spend 24 hours and see what changes CrossFit can make in your life.

Part 1 in this six-part series: “An Open Letter to Those Who Need to Lose Weight”