It used to be thought in this country that once you hit 40 that was it. You need to stop engaging in a youthful activities and start taking up more leisurely hobbies. My friends are already doing it. We’ve all JUST entered our 30s and all they want to do is golf. I, for one, refuse to start golfing until I’m at least 55. I’m definitely an anomaly though. As are most of you. I’m sure you all have friends and family that hit a certain age and totally gave up on their physical ability. CrossFit is responsible for a lot of great things, but the greatest one has to be redefining what’s possible physically as we age. It is NEVER too late to make some serious changes in your body and I’m going to highlight that with Tanya. So, if you believe you can’t change your body because of your age or any other limit you might want to place on yourself, you’re wrong.
I played sports all my life. I was an athlete and a hard working one at that. I skipped spring break my senior year of high school to have one of my high school coaches work me out, because I was dead serious about playing sports collegiately. I also saw my mother die of cancer when I was very young so I’ve always been extremely health conscious. It’s who I’ve always been so you guys are justified when you look at me and say, “Well, he’s always been like that so I can’t do that”. You CANNOT say it about Tanya though.
Tanya was a cheerleader in high school. She would do whatever conditioning high school cheerleaders do and maybe some running on her own. Not sprints. Just a casual jog like millions of people who are still overweight do. She went to college and joined a sorority and like most if not all college freshmen she gained weight. The sorority house had a kitchen that was usually stocked with plenty of food and as Tanya will tell you, cereal. She would routinely eat whatever was made for everyone and then come back downstairs late at night like all college kids and eat a bowl of cereal before bed. And, if you’re thinking, “Well, maybe it was healthy cereal,” number one: there’s no such thing and number two: it was not. Once Tanya graduated, she would still run here and there but again not the most strenuous thing ever. When she started her first business she would routinely drink at least 1 beer when she got home every day, often more. When I met Tanya she was roughly 175 pounds. This is in 2013, when she started doing CrossFit. We started slowly. She had to learn movements. She had to learn body awareness. She had to pick one day a week where she wouldn’t drink at all. That one day slowly became two and then three, until eventually she stopped drinking during the week. She learned about weighing and measuring her food. Fast forward to today and she looks the way she does now. She’s about to be FORTY. She’s more ripped and in better shape than nearly every 20 year old I see on a day to day basis. She owns TWO businesses.
The point is she did not balloon up to 175 pounds overnight, and she did not drop down to the 150 pounds she is now overnight. It was a process. It took time. However, she did whittle away at her vices. She weighed and measured her food every day without missing a meal for 30 days. She committed to at least 1 workout a day for 5-6 days per week. She is UNDOUBTEDLY fitter now than when she started back in 2013. She’s also relearning old tricks, like back flips, and is better at them than she was when she was 17.
As traditional thinking would have you believe that SHOULD NOT happen. CrossFit redefined what is possible for us as we age. Does Tanya try to compete with what Games Athletes do in her workouts? No. Does she do every workout as prescribed? No. She very rarely if ever has an ache or pain. She knows her limits and pushes herself accordingly. This is what’s possible if you pay attention to your food with rigor and diligence and commit to your workouts. I would imagine she’ll still be fitter than people half her age when she turns 50. You can make that a reality as well.