Ok guys…perhaps overly melodramatic post coming. Scroll down if you don’t need this kind of thing in your life.
So…today is my birthday and I LOVE BIRTHDAYS! Seriously I do. I have no problem with getting older. We all do it, every day. And while I could lie about it, it doesn’t change that simple fact. I know my grandmother was 29 years old for about 40 years. And then when she was 88, she told people she was 90 because she thought that sounded cooler. She just celebrated her 97th birthday, so at this point she doesn’t really care anymore. But why lie about it? I mean, I get the “funny factor” and the “you just don’t ask a lady her age or her weight” jokes, but seriously, I never really understood lying about your age, nor really worrying about it.
But I saw some posts on Facebook recently from high school friends (keep in mind I went to my 30 year class reunion last summer) and they are dealing with some serious health issues. Don’t get me wrong, exercise and eating “clean” (whatever that means to you) are not going to prevent all health problems, but it really go me wondering about the fact that I am the same age and I have so very few health issues and what is the difference in my life and theirs?
I’ve read about folks with various cancers, weight problems, joint replacements, digestive disorders, alcoholism, problems breathing, issues getting up/down stairs, hearing and vision loss, depression, some diseases I’ve never heard of before, gastric bypass, and trouble moving during the day.
Do I suffer from depression and anxiety? Yes. But crossfit has certainly helped with that. And during last year, one of the worst for my depression, it was a constant and supportive friend, and never even yelled at me for not supporting it in return. Are my joints what they used to be? No, but crossfit has kept them more mobile than they were 3-4 years ago, and hopefully will keep them functioning for years to come. Can I run a 5k without getting winded? No, but I never really could, and my cardio is better than it has been in years and slowly getting better. Is my eyesight what it used to be? No. Crossfit can’t really help with that, but glasses could! LOL
I seriously considered gastric bypass at one point in my life. I was just over 250 pounds, well over 100 pounds overweight, the requirement for the surgery. But it wasn’t covered by insurance and I recognized that it would drastically change the way I eat for the rest of my life. It was at this point, I watched a P90X commercial on TV (beer in hand, of course) and thought ‘I can do that too!’. I recognized that I was going to have to change the way I eat no matter what, so why not get some exercise in and quite frankly, despite the fact that it was advertised as “the hardest workout program on TV” it really didn’t look all that hard and I knew I was still in high school shape (right?)!
Boy was I wrong on that account. But I did 4 rounds of it, and then ordered and completed several other BeachBody programs (you will know them: Insanity, Les Mills Pump, Body Beast, P90X2 and P90X3). With these programs and better eating, I dropped about 50 pounds and was feeling better. Then along came crossfit and the rest is (scaled) history.
Is crossfit the reason I really have so few health issues? Not 100%, I’m positive in that. I rolled the lucky genetic dice for a lot of the issues I mentioned above. But exercise and eating better are definitely contributing to keeping me doing the things I’m doing, at my age, when so many others are struggling with the aging process. Am I headed to the Games as a Masters Athlete? Certainly not anytime in the near future! I’m still carrying too much weight, plus, if you’ve read any of this blog at all, am scaling way too many moves for the Games. Am I interested in being a Masters Games Athlete? Not really. I AM, however, interested in making sure that I can bend down to pick stuff up, cart my own groceries, get off the furniture on my own, getting back up if I trip and fall and keeping myself as strong and healthy as possible so that as I age, I run into as few health problems as possible.
Is crossfit the solution to all age-related health issues? No. Is crossfit even for everyone? Probably not, though I do believe that anyone can do crossfit! But the program that will keep you healthy and moving is the one that you enjoy and will continue to do, even on those days when you don’t want to, even on those days that are hard and when the workout is going to suck more than normal. I firmly believe that crossfit can work for more people, and since it IS scalable for all ages, abilities and goals it can readily fit into so many health and exercise regimes, but I know there are many other ways of exercising. So guys….find a exercise program that works for you, and if you aren’t sure, drop on by our local box because one of the amazing coaches will show you just how awesome this could be on your life and your future.