CrossFit and Aging – Open 2020

And here we are at Open 2020. As usual, this puts me in a reflective mood.

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My youngest prepping for the Open.

Open 2020 started October 10th, 2019, and this post is up as we enter the third week. This has been my first year as an Open competitor (spring 2019) AND my first year as a Masters competitor (fall 2019). The Open will appear just in the fall from now on.

As a Masters athlete (55+), the required weights and some movements change. The change is to account for muscle loss. Yes, it’s happening to you, too, if you’re over 30. It speeds up as you get older. There is no reversing it, but there is a good way to slow it down: eat more protein and lift heavy shit.

At my Crossfit affiliate (Exodus Crossfit Coralville), we have three Open teams made up of all members, and the teams compete in categories of spirit, food, and performance. As with the last Open, my youngest son and I are on the same team (Go Trouble Unders!). My other son and husband have joined the box now, and they are on a different team (Go X-Men!). This makes it more fun to me, and builds camaraderie. I have goals for this Open, but I’m more just curious to see how I do, rather than determined to achieve a certain standard.

A really cool thing is a boy at the high school where I work attends CrossFit. He and I talk about the similarities and differences between our categories — Teen Boy and Masters Woman. He attends a different box with his parents, and he takes the time to chat with me between classes about his successes and failures. CrossFitters are awesome that way: we embrace how we’re always failing and always succeeding.

I would love our high schools to offer CrossFit to kids as PE. Not only would the kids get a safe and educational experience with a range of exercise modalities, they would also learn about self-discipline, meeting obligations, finishing what they start, supporting others, working with diverse age groups, and managing pain in a highly motivational environment while they get strong. And CrossFit’s general nutrition guidelines are so much more on point than the government-mandated (read *political*) claptrap the schools push from the 1970s.

As a school board member mentioned to me a few weeks ago, businesses tell him all the time they don’t care what we teach our kids in school since they’ll give them the skills they need for work; what they really need kids to know by the time they enter the work force is those things that CrossFit can teach and school often doesn’t: Adulting 101.

Two work outs are now done (20.1 and 20.2). Neither sounded tough going in, and both were modified in a way for me that the last Open wasn’t, yet I was wiped out after each. I really love to be surprised by things, and CrossFit seems to surprise me every time I step into another metcon.

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