It can be frustrating being a Masters athlete.
This is especially noticeable in CrossFit, where young and old, novice and elite all play together.
If your age is 50+, and you charted your years on a distribution curve, you know that you are chronologically over the hill.
However if we charted our squats or deadlifts, many of us are still adding weight to the bar. We have not peaked yet.
That is why I keep coming back. Even though the years are piling up, I am still making progress, even if it is slow coming. I know you get excited by your gains. A PR provides you with a great deal of personal satisfaction.
But our role in the gym isn’t limited to our own growth. We have a positive impact on those around us.
I recently enjoyed an In-House Team Competition at my old CrossFit box*. The teams were set up by the Box Owner/Coach.
Each Team consisted of an elite, intermediate and novice member. I’m the old guy, I think they stuck me in as the “novice” on my team.
I enjoy Team Comps. It’s a fun atmosphere and there are plenty of bursts of intensity, followed by moments for recovery. Then relax and drink a Pumpkin Ale, cuz it’s Fall in New England.
My Team consisted of Tia, Sean and me. We just decided to show up and have fun. We had a blast. We laughed a lot. And we placed sixth overall.
A high point of my day was when one of the vendors expressed his shock about how old I was. He was amazed that I was in the mix with all these kids, and holding my own. When he told me he thought I was in my early fifties (more than ten years younger than I really am), I gave him a hug!
I know that this experience is something that many of the Defiant Wellness Tribe are familiar with. CrossFit Masters defy convention. We destroy stereotypes. We often outperform athletes 10-20 years our junior. And that doesn’t even begin to address how we differ statistically from our peers in the general population.
Let’s continue to shake people’s perceptions of what being old is all about. It’s our responsibility to be role models for all these young pups, in and out of the box.
Here is my personal role model. The man who inspires me to look ahead to my potential, to defy the number of my years, is Jacinto Bonilla. I’ve never met the man, but I love him.
Tell us your favorite “CrossFit Master” story.
*(I have “dual-citizenship”. I am a CrossFit member at one box, and I’m a member of a USAW Barbell Club at another.)