Like everyone else on the planet, I would like to be slim, strong and gorgeous, but that is not what got me to Classic City Crossfit. Now in my 50’s, the sedentary life-style that I was able to “get away with” in my 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s was no longer working for me. I went to C3 because I was alarmed at how rapidly I was losing the ability to do simple daily tasks due to loss of strength, balance and endurance. It exhausted me to carry a load of laundry up one flight of stairs. When I bought the 45 pound bag of dog food at the store, a stock boy had to be called to help me. Not surprisingly, my favorite hobbies of reading and knitting were doing nothing to reverse this decline.
Impressed by the results my sister had achieved while doing Crossfit in the Atlanta area, I wanted to give it a try. In March 2012, I sent Brent an email and a few days later walked into a gym for the first time in my adult life. I was terrified. I had good reasons to be afraid. I could not do a single air squat. Weakness and poor balance made simple lunges dangerous. I was too weak to lift a 33 pound bar over my head. My first time on the bike, I was so out of shape that I burst into tears doing 30-second sprints. I was pathetic. I don’t think I would have lasted three days in any other gym, but Brent worked with me and he worked with me a lot. He scaled the workouts down so much that they bore little resemblance to the original. He stood directly behind me those first few times sitting on the GHD until I got over the sheer terror of it. When I had gotten strong enough to attempt lunges, he held my hand so I knew I wouldn’t fall. That is what it took for me to be successful at the gym and that is what Brent did.
It worked. After 5 months at C3, I can load my own bag of dog food, thank you very much! I can Press 50 pounds, Deadlift125 pounds and do plenty of air squats and lunges. I am still, by far, the weakest and slowest person at the gym, but I don’t care. That’s because I am attaining MY goals. I am becoming strong enough to do the things I need to do. My aches and pains are greatly diminished and my energy level has increased tremendously. As I age, I want to be able to carry my own bags of groceries, put my luggage in the overhead bin on the airplane, or sprint to safety when I uncover a nest of Yellow Jackets in the garden. I want to be equal to the tasks that arise from everyday living. Crossfit helps me do that.
I had an experience in July that exemplifies the value of Crossfit for me. I have always been content to opt out of the adventures my husband would plan. Over the years, it was increasingly more our children, rather than me, that would accompany him caving, or hiking or kayaking. This year, on our annual beach vacation, I told him that I wanted to try kayaking as I had never done that before. He took one look at me and said, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” The next day, there we were, out on Mosquito Lagoon in a rented two-man kayak. A year ago even climbing into my seat on the bobbing kayak would have been too much for me. This year we explored the lagoon, saw all kinds of wildlife, and had a wonderful time together. Since this was a completely new activity for me and I had paddled for three hours, I prepared myself to be quite sore the next day. I had such a feeling of accomplishment, though, that it seemed a small price to pay. To my surprise, I had absolutely no soreness. That experience spoke volumes to me about the functionality of Crossfit and that is why I do it. I don’t care if it will add years to my life, but I do care that it ADDS LIFE TO MY YEARS!
Crossfit’s claim is that its movements are functional and, therefore, for everyone. Crossfit’s detractors say that it is too strenuous and question the safety of it for all but the fittest athletes. My experience says that with the right gym and the right coach, Crossfit is for anyone willing to put in the effort. If I can do it, anyone can!