There’s nothing easy about getting older. Sometimes I lament the fact that I got such a late start doing my CrossFit training. On the flip side, though, I feel like I can do things now that a lot of other people my age aren’t able to do.
I was commenting the other day that one of our members was celebrating a 21st birthday and that I had turned 21, as well — twice. My best friend and training partner, who I compete with and compete against in daily WODs, will turn the same age I was when I started CrossFit (36) in the coming year. (Keep in mind that I started CrossFit in 2010.)
It’s rare that I actually feel old or fixate on my age. I hit several lifetime PRs in the past couple of months. At almost 43, I’m stronger than I’ve been at any other point in my life. I see more and more people I know posting on social media about slowing down and having to get prescriptions or surgeries or dealing with various other health issues. When I visit a doctor (which is extremely rare), I always get a look of disbelief when they ask how many medications I take and I tell them that I don’t take any.
While I do have a tendency to scale down the Rx workouts to more of what I consider to be a Masters Rx level (closer to the women’s Rx), I am still able to do knock out the occasional workout as prescribed.
I feel like I get annoyed when people say things like “age is just a number” because it’s so cliché. However, a lot of the time during CrossFit training, that really is the case. I don’t care if the dude next to me is 19 or 30 or even in his 50s — I want to do the best I can, as quickly and safely as possible and beat as many people as possible. It doesn’t matter their age, their gender or their level of experience, I want to try to put my name up there on the leader board.
I’m never at the top of the leader board or even in the top 10, but my fellow Masters athletes and I are competing to get the best score. Stoking that competitive fire, especially after you hit that 40-year-old threshold, is very important in terms of continuing your health and general physical fitness for the long haul.
I can’t say for sure that I will be doing CrossFit for another seven years (or 10 or 15), but I’d like to think that even as I age, my mindset will stay the same and I’ll keep putting the work in for myself and my family.
What drives you to compete? Share your stories in the comments.