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How I Became A Crossfit Competitor In Midlife

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I have been a “Crossfitter” for 5 years. When I started Crossfit, I really didn’t know anything about it. I wanted to get in shape for my daughter’s wedding and saw on Facebook that a couple of college friends were doing it. It looked like a tough “boot camp” type experience and since I wanted to look good for the wedding, I signed up.

Before I go on, you need to know that at the time, I had NEVER been what you would call athletic. Prior to Crossfit, all I had done was a little running, Jazzercise and the like. And boy, did it show when I went to my first class. It took me forever to “bear crawl” on my hands and feet across the room. I couldn’t even carry a barbell from the rack to the workout area by myself. The workouts (WODs) were HARD and I felt like I couldn’t finish them. But AFTER I DID finish, I felt exhausted in the most wonderful way. The people were so nice and encouraging. And I started getting stronger.

My First Taste of Competition

Fast forward to March 2015 where I had my first taste of competition by participating in the Crossfit Open. The Open is a 5-week competition where Crossfitters all over the world perform a certain WOD each week, enter their results and see where they rank. My Box (Crossfit Gym) made it a party. Each week, we gathered on Friday night, did the WOD, cheered each other on, high-fived our team mates and had fun. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to compete again.

Losing My Nerve

By the time my Box announced that they were hosting an “in house” competition last Fall, I wanted to participate, but had lost a little of my nerve since the Open experience. Since my coaches assured me that I could do it, I decided to sign up. I was excited…until the week before the competition.

That’s when the negative self-talk set in. It went like this:

  • You are too old.
  • You are so stupid to try this.
  • Why would you want to spend a whole Saturday at Crossfit?
  • You are going to look dumb.
  • Just say you’re sick – nobody will know.

How I WANT to Live This Side of 50

That went on all day Friday before the Saturday event and I really had to talk to myself about the way I WANTED to live my life on this side of 50.

I wanted to:

  • Try new things.
  • Not be concerned about what people say or think.
  • Be brave.
  • Just have fun.

So when Saturday morning rolled around I MADE MYSELF GO!

How I Did

At the competition, we did 3 WODs in about 4 hours time. Even though we had plenty of time to rest in between the WODs, I usually only do 3 WODs IN A WEEK. So 3 WODs in a day was challenging.

But, I am proud to say that:

  • I completed all 3 WODs.
  • I didn’t quit, even when I was tired, wanted to cry and give up.
  • I set some personal records by lifting heavier than I ever had on some lifts.

Here’s what I learned that day:

  • I was reminded of the fact that I work out with a group of really nice, supportive people.
  • It is not dumb to try something that challenges you. It’s not about excelling or failing. It’s just about doing it and relishing the experience.
  • Nobody thought I was dumb.
  • Nobody really cared what I was doing or how I was doing it other than to cheer me on.
  • And obviously I’m not too old because I DID IT!

What about you?

What is something that you would like to challenge yourself to do? What is keeping you from doing it? Fear of failure? Doubt? Worry about what others will think? Don’t let it stop you. You will never regret trying. And you’ll probably have fun!

I’m so glad that this time, I was brave and stepped out of my comfort zone. On to the next challenge.

For more great midlife experiences, check out

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Saturday 2nd of April 2016

I am so happy to read this post from you - I lived this almost exact experience going into my first Trodo competition! My team of two women and two men consisted of a twenty-five year old woman, a 32 year old man, a 52 year old man and myself newly minted at 50. I thought I was going to die during the first WOD, seriously the room began to spin and I wanted to sit down and cry, and I wondered what the hell I thought I was doing! But I pushed on and completed it, and the next two WODs which seemed to get easier as the day went on - mainly because they were some of my stronger movement that I felt confident doing. We even took the "Grit Award" for showing the most heart! I have never been more proud! I'm embracing fifty and looking forward to many more challenges and new experiences. No excuses and no fear!


Wednesday 30th of March 2016

Bravo! I work out too and train at a gym with lots of twenty somethings, sometimes I hear that voice in my head too screaming "you're too old!" Like you, I just keep on going. I want to prove to myself and everyone else that we can rock this side of 50!

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