My CrossFit Journey – Sam Lass

June 2, 2023
My CrossFit Journey – Sam Lass

Firstly, I just want to say that CrossFit is the best thing I've ever done when it comes to sport and fitness. Especially more so since joining CrossFit Access Wangara.I've played competitive netball since I was 12 and always loved it. But my knees and ankles sure took a beating from the heavy landings on the ground, changing direction and, being the defender I am, accidentally taking people out going for what I like to call "MY BALL" haha!

I've always been a solid body type. I needed to slim down and gain better fitness. My long term goal was to loose 15kg. As well as netball, I've always gone to the gym- mainly 24 hour gyms- where you do your own thing and I always thought I was doing the best I could.

This was until I met my first PT Belinda. I saw her training someone else and asked her if she would watch what I was doing in my normal routine and if it was EVER going to get me results, as I wasn't succeeding at all.

Our first session, she followed me around the same machines I used every time.

Treadmill 20 mins


Some weight machines- the ones i knew how to use (or so i thought)20 mins on the crosstrainer

Same routine everyday.

A massive reality check was sitting on the leg press. I was super proud of myself as I told her confidently "I can leg press 40kg! Isn't that great?"

She laughed.

She automatically moved it to 80kg. Thats Double! DOUBLE!! No way was I doing this.

Then I did. Wow! She became my PT 3 times a week from that day and within the first month I managed to leg press 300kg- UNREAL!

About 2 months later and 6kg down, she convinced me to join her in a CrossFit class in Currambine.

January 2016- this is where my life changed forever.

At first, I couldn't air squat. My knees and hips were too tight and sore. My achilles were stubborn and I couldn't run or jump. I could barely hold onto a 15kg barbell. But one thing I found I could do was row. That indoor rowing machine was my favourite. Low impact and great cardio. I spent my time at the 24 hour gym practicing and using it daily.Then i met my new CrossFit coach JC. He offered to do PTs with me to help me with the basics of CrossFit. I still remember the first PT session I probably asked 100 questions. He gave me so much confidence in trying it out- everyone starts from somewhere and he said as long as I keep showing up, I will learn and improve. JUST SHOW UP!

1 month in- JC killed my legs on the rower. "You can row dude" he said. I was thinking-yeah yeah whatever.

As my fitness got better, I kept loosing weight and finally hit my 15kg weight loss goal.

It felt incredible!

Then they convinced me to do the CrossFit Open. Have some fun. What an awesome experience! The rowing workout was my favourite!

In Sept 2017 I joined CrossFit Access Wangara.

What an amazing place! Head coach Kayla welcomed me and I felt at home straight away! Then I met Aidan- the most energetic person ive ever met! I thought there is no way this guy is the owner- so positive and full of life! You could tell they both want people to get the most out of life and achieve results!

After being at Access for a while, doing PTs with Kayla, some rowing and a bit more rowing, I convinced myself to enter the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships. I saw the event coming up and with the support of Kayla encouraging me to go for it, I thought, why not!  I signed up 2 weeks before the competition.

I entered 3 races-

1km row for time

500m row for time

1 min row for maximum meters

I did extra rowing technique work with the help of Kayla, JC and Yousef from Access. 3 coaches helping me to do well. Amazing.

I went in the comp wanting to have fun, do something different and make myself and the coaches proud for giving it a go. I mean, I was up against seasoned rowers- people who do this for a living and train everyday! But- why not!

Kayla came to the comp with me that day. She was the most amazing support! What a coach!

First race- 1km row.

I went in, nervous as all hell and rowed. 3 min 20 secs. Came out to beat the current Australian record by 7 seconds! Unbelievable! Kayla and I had a laugh. No holding back now.

Second race- 500m row. I rowed my best 500m time ever. 1 min 32 secs. I beat my own personal best by 4 seconds! Stoked! Last race- 1 min rip for maximum meters rowed. No strategy- just go in and row like there is no tomorrow. Give it everything. It was horrible. I rolled off that rower and curled up legs in so much pain. 333 meters. Worth it! After the comp- the Head rowing coach wanted to know how I could row so well. I have strong legs. Its a fluke. Thanks to my Dad for me inheriting his strong legs! Thanks Netball! But mostly- thanks CrossFit! 2 weeks until the results came in.  Again- I did this for myself, but if I did okay- then even better hey!? Results are in- my Mum calls me, she had been refreshing the website for hours. Super excitedly she says to check it out! I'm completely gobsmacked!! I call my Fiancee to tell him how I went! He is so excited and proud!

1 km row- 1st place & New Australian Record!

500m row- 2nd place by 1 second!

1 min row- 1st place!

I was shaking with excitement and laughing at the same time. I did this for fun. I did this for me. And for something different.

How freaking cool is that?! I know I wouldn't have had the confidence or motivation if it wasn't for all the amazing coaches at CrossFit Access. My fitness has improved ten-fold since starting CrossFit.  I've even stopped playing netball because i love CrossFit so much and my body, knees and joints haven't felt so good ever. I'm not saying its for everyone but the amazing community and programming has helped me achieve things I would never have done.I do want to say one more thing- i'm not a social media person when it comes to posting things about my fitness or weight loss. So when Vicki, the owner at CrossFit Access approached me to do this blog story- I was very nervous and couldn't decide whether to share it or not. But, all the support from my amazing partner Matt, family and close friends at CrossFit said I should be proud to share it and maybe encourage others to go outside their comfort zone to try something different. I am now 22kgs down, 4 dress sizes smaller and the healthiest i've ever been. One thing that always stuck with me in the back of my mind this whole journey- when you don't feel like you did enough in the class that day, or didn't get the results you were aiming for, is knowing that showing up is everything and better than not showing up at all. A bad day in the gym is still a really good day!

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