Better With Age

Whether it’s CrossFit or whiskey, sometimes it takes time to cultivate the taste.
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When it comes to CrossFit and whiskey, I always seem to find similarities. Whiskey, in many languages and translations, is referred to as “the water of life.” Whatever your feelings are about it, they probably have to do with your drinking experiences in your 20s.

Like CrossFit, I was not immediately sold on whiskey. The liquor was always served up to me as a challenge shot and usually after many other drinks. When I was younger, I could never understand who in their right mind would sip this fiery drink without having to forcibly choke it down as fast as possible. This relationship was akin to my early CrossFit experiences. I would watch people doing these training sessions and laughing and high-fiving afterward and wonder, How can they be enjoying this stuff? I feel like I’m going to die!

What I’ve found in my training, and subsequently my enjoyment of a good glass of whiskey, is that both are very much an acquired taste. Rare is the person who walks into an affiliate and is immediately at ease with the physical and mental task of hammering through WODs. The best course of action is to build up a tolerance and taste for the workouts. Learn to savor the flavor of the lifts and the gymnastics and the culture so that one can cultivate their own taste for taking in all the flavors CrossFit has to offer.

I read recently that people didn’t know at first that whiskey actually got better with age. This made me think about the section of my Level-1 certification when they explained to us that our age will catch up to the arc of our fitness level. Meaning, at some point, we will peak and then it will take us much longer to see improvements in lifts and times for workouts than it would for a younger athlete.

While that might be the case, I have to think that even though I’m now 41, I can do a lot more things than I could when I started at 35. In a lot of ways, I feel like CrossFit is changing what it means to age. If you can follow your diet and training with proper coaching, then who knows how long you might be able to add to PRs — just like a good barrel of whiskey won’t truly hit its best flavor until it is properly seasoned and allowed to age.

I didn’t like whiskey until I got older and learned how to appreciate and savor it for what it is. For many people, CrossFit can be the same. Trying new things is not for everyone whether it’s CrossFit or whiskey. But my best advice (at my advanced age) is to be patient with both, let them burn a little and give yourself a chance to really let them get better as you both get older.

Stay on the Grind.