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CrossFit After 40?
By Diane Zuri
It seems like a bold move, right? CrossFit can be intimidating to someone fresh out of college, let alone after you turn 40. Does that mean that one shouldn’t do it? No, and let me tell you why.
Public admission: I am in that category of “after 40” which means I started CrossFitting after I had already turned 40. I know, hard to believe right?! I never talk about age because I don’t feel it and I don’t look it (just agree with me here, k?) and I certainly don’t want to be categorized by it. This all being said, I think it is important to share how this sport is for ALL ages, not exclusive to any.
As I shared in the last article, when I discovered CrossFit I was intrigued. Once I came to a class and got through it with the support of my fellow CrossFitters, I was hooked. I did movements I had never even heard of, let alone attempted, and I loved it! I never once thought, “Oh, you’re 40, what the heck are you thinking trying this?” I didn’t want to begin to think that way because in my opinion, that line of thinking is what causes people to stop trying new things and in turn become stagnant and simply slow down. I’m a firm believer in the power of the mind and once a person starts thinking a certain way, they become that way. Think old, act old, become old faster. We all know someone in their 20’s who acts like a senior citizen, and some seniors who are as spunky as people half their age! They become what they think.
Magazine articles talk about how once a person hits 40, their metabolism slows down and they put on weight. While that may be scientifically true, I don’t believe it applies to everyone because there are too many variables to make a general statement that once you turn 40, it’s all downhill physically from there. I am in the best physical shape of my life and that is entirely owed to CrossFit. I am competitive and can keep up with people who could be my kid and that is because of CrossFit. This being said, things don’t come as easily to those of us over 40 but it doesn’t mean that we stop trying. We simply try harder and when we DO get it, the feeling of accomplishment is all the greater.
You see, CrossFit wasn’t around when we were in our twenties. If it had been, I like to imagine that I could have been a female Froning. Even though that window has long since closed, that mental image keeps me going through the most difficult WODs and brings out the beast in me when I want to quit. (a CrossFit box is the only place where you can call a female a beast, and it is a compliment) All the twenty-somethings who are CrossFitting now, need to recognize the gift they have and realize that when they hit their 40s, they will be physically superior to their non-CrossFitting friends (or muggles…for all you Harry Potter fans). Fact!
The bottom line? Don’t start thinking all you can handle is Tai Chi. While that may be a great activity to reduce stress, so can the exertion of flipping a tire. We’re called Masters for a reason, people!!! So get out of your head and get into a box and watch your world expand. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.
She has been in the fitness world since college and has been CrossFitting for 2 years at Integrated Fitness in Pittsburgh, PA. As a hairstylist, she loves to recommend healthy tips and ideas to her clients to help them feel beautiful inside, as well as outside. CrossFit, she believes, is the answer to people’s fitness prayers. www.if-fit.com