What were you doing before CrossFit?
Five years ago, I was 100 lbs. heavier than I am. I could not even go up a flight of stairs without getting dizzy. The nature of my job, like many, is to sit at my desk staring at a screen and talking on the phone. The thing is, I was in good shape in my 20’s so I remember what it was like to be fit. The wake up moment is when I went on vacation with family and friends and I could not keep up with them on hikes. My doctor said I needed to up my blood pressure medication, go on Lipitor with all those side effects. It took me 18 months, but I lost 100 lbs and I thought I was pretty fit. And I was off all medications with normal blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. I had been doing some cardio every day and lifting 3 times a week.
Why did you start doing CrossFit?
I had seen CrossFit competitions on ESPN and marveled at what those men and woman could do. I thought to myself, “I feel pretty fit, but these people are amazing”. I was also getting bored with my fitness routine and was looking around for another challenge to keep me from slacking off and losing all the gains I have made. I started researching CrossFit and in the back of my mind I wondered if at 58, I could do it. I left that thought in the back of my mind and continued my current fitness routine.
What apprehensions did you have before starting?
My age. I have the start of arthritis and my joints (especially my knees) ache at times. My flexibility was horrible. My strength was off the charts as long as I did not have to squat anything. In my research I saw there were a lot of movements that required deep leg movements and other joint busting moves. Frankly, it was very daunting to me.
What made you decide to come CrossFit SISU?
Like I said, CrossFit was in the back of my mind and was receding further and further back. In January 2013 there was a “Living Social” offer for a CrossFit gym that was 10 minutes away from my house. I thought, that was the prod I needed to try this out. I visited the gym one evening and was pretty intimidated. Pat talked to me for a few minutes and was very encouraging. I don’t shy away from challenges so I decided, what have I got to lose. If I blow out my arthritic knees, hips and back, well then I can at least say I tried. I said I was bored with my routine. Here is the perfect opportunity to put up or shut up.
What’s the greatest benefit you see so far since starting CrossFit and SISU?
I could write a book to answer this question.
First, it challenges me. I never look ahead of time at what the WOD is. I don’t want to psych myself out. Not to say that when I do come in, I’m not apprehensive. Especially when is see the frigging rope or handstand stuff. But amazingly, every single time, I amaze myself at what this old guy can do. And I’ve seen many advances in my mobility.
Secondly, the coaching. I’ve burned through several personal trainers over the years with varying results. Pat and Jason are truly a cut above all of them. They are so encouraging and balance that with pushing me farther and farther. To me, they are the key to the success of CrossFit SISU. They set the tone of this gym. An atmosphere of encouragement and challenging me to do things I did not think I could do. Which flows into this next benefit.
Thirdly, the vibe of SISU. CrossFit, by nature, is competitive. Although, for me, more of a competition with myself. Yes, in our group sessions, we compete with each other. However, I have never met a group of more positive and encouraging people. Each person I have met not only wants to succeed himself or herself, but wants everyone else to succeed. This vibe all comes from Pat and Jason.