In celebration of my second anniversary of Crossfit, I thought I’d pass along these thoughts:
Crossfit suggestions for the gray-haired crowd:
- Everyone is younger - Pretty much everyone that walks into the box will be younger than you. There are lots of ‘Crossfit Kids’ classes around but I haven’t seen ‘Crossfit Old Dude’ classes. Take pride that you’re in the game when the majority of your age group is wearing Crocs because they can’t bend over to tie their shoes.
- We have different goals (but we definitely have goals) - The younger crowd has different goals. They’re thinking about frolicking on the beach while looking like Noah Ohlsen or Jackie Perez. We’re thinking about those two dozen pair of slacks hanging in our closet that we haven’t been able to fit into for the past decade.
- You’ll always have cheerleaders - While we’re long past being part of the shirtless or booty short crowd, we can leverage this group. For one thing, their athleticism is inspiring and you should be proud that you’re working hard right beside these phenoms. Also, they will usually finish the workouts before you and will always be your enthusiastic cheerleaders.
- It’s not just about sustaining - Being an older athlete isn’t about just sustaining or slowing down our physical demise. Many of us have never trained in this way. We have never been this strong or haven’t been in a couple decades. ‘Gainz’ aren’t just for the younger crowd.
- The most important thing is to show up on a very regular basis - Showing up on a very regular is the key to making progress. That said, it’s important to take a reasoned approach. Don’t try to win the warm-up. Don’t try to out lift everyone. Instead, compete with yourself based on what you can do that day.
- Age brings benefits - There are some benefits to being an older athlete as you begin to qualify for AARP-like benefits. Due to being 56, I received a 40-pound discount on yesterday’s WOD. That’s almost a 2 1/2 ton discount on yesterday’s. My back says thank you.
- Respect your coach - Not only are most of the athletes younger than you but so are the coaches. Sure that coach could be your daughter (or even granddaughter) but, guess what, she knows WAY more about Crossfit and weightlifting movements then you do. Listen up.
- The first ten minutes in the morning are tough but… - When you wake in the morning, the first ten minutes will be tough. You’ll think that there’s no way that you can do a WOD today. Pack your Crossfit bag anyway. A big cup of coffee will change everything.
- The first ten minutes of class are tough but… - During the first ten minutes of class, you’ll be thinking about how to slip away to your car unnoticed before the WOD begins. By the time class ends, you’ll feel better than you have all day. Stick with it.
- Enjoy being in cool for a moment - Let’s be honest, we’d be mocked if we walked into a club playing EDM and tried to get our rave on. Or if we tried to vibe at Coachella. Yet we can be part of the cool crowd by slinging some weight and WODing our ass off with the Millennials and Generation Zs at the Box. There’s even rave like music. Besides the burpees, it’s almost like being at Burning Man.
So take heart AARP crowd, our younger workout partners may lap us while chugging pre-workout, gulping protein bars and sporting skintight Lululemon shorts but they need our memberships to keep the boxes open!