One member of my box exemplifies why CrossFit is for everyone
There’s a very sweet lady at my CrossFit box, Kathy. She’s retired, has two adorable grandchildren, and comes several times a week to the 8 a.m. class. She’s 58. And every time I see Kathy or talk to her, I realize that she is what CrossFit is all about.
Kathy isn’t looking to compete in the CrossFit Games. Her goal is to be better at life: to be able to keep up with her grandchildren, to maintain a healthy weight, and to keep enjoying her life, especially during retirement. She sees the workout on the board, and instead of trying to lift the RX weight or do the RX movements, she scales when she needs to. Sometimes that means Kathy is doing strict dumbbell presses while sitting on a box instead of handstand pushups. Sometimes that means she’s using an empty bar for some of the barbell movements. But all of the time, it means she’s challenging herself to be better than yesterday.
Over time, Kathy has gotten stronger. She’s lost weight and has more energy, and she doesn’t need to ask for help to carry her gardening supplies anymore. And that’s been her goal all along – to live a full life and be independent, to make memories with her grandchildren and get the most out of every minute of her day.
And Kathy is why CrossFit is for everyone. You don’t have to be a hardcore athlete to get the benefits of the workout. You don’t have to be super-strong to start CrossFit, or even continue CrossFit. You just have to want to be a fitter, healthier version of yourself.
With Good Coaching, CrossFit Is for Everyone
I don’t know about other CrossFit boxes or other CrossFit coaches, but I do know that the owner of Clear Lake CrossFit, Holly Lynn, is really great about showing scaling options for our athletes. (Yes, we’re all athletes.)
For example, let’s take handstand pushups. Our RX athletes can get up on the wall and bang out a bunch of them, no problem. But then there are the athletes at different levels. Some of us may need an abmat or two to give us some leverage. Some of us may be doing handstand pushups with our feet or knees on a plyo box. Some scale handstand pushups by doing pike pushups. And still others aren’t comfortable getting upside down, and that’s perfectly fine. They still get the benefits of the movement by doing strict dumbbell presses. In fact, that’s very functional: putting dishes away in the cupboard above the stove, or lifting your carry-on into the overhead bin.
A good coach will have options so that no matter what the workout, CrossFit is for everyone in the box. He or she will make sure you’re using good technique so you don’t get hurt, give you scaling options appropriate for your abilities, and challenge you to push outside your comfort zone.
If you’re afraid of starting CrossFit because you’re too old/not strong enough/too out of shape, remember Kathy. And take a look at some of the athletes at my box. Not all of us are RX athletes, and we come in all shapes and sizes and fitness levels. For the most part, we’re just average Joes and Janes trying to live a fitter, healthier lifestyle – and be better at life. If Kathy and I can CrossFit (and as I have mentioned previously, I am very much a scaled athlete), you can, too. Because CrossFit is for everyone – really.