01 Nov Mikey’s Amazing CrossFit Journey:Two Years In
So, I celebrated my two year CrossFit anniversary this month. What has happened in those 2 years? To dramatically understate the answer to this question — A LOT.
October 7th, 2013 a 59-year old fat guy decided to give CrossFit a try after 30 plus years of being the “Couch Potato Poster Child”. Five months into the journey, I wrote a blog on the CrossFit Assateague webpage detailing my transformation. As I said in this original blog, CrossFit (specifically CrossFit Assateague) changed my life. One look at the before and after pictures in that first post says more than words ever could. Now, two years into this experience I wanted to update anyone interested in what I have accomplished and where I am today.
TWO YEARS LATER
I still work out 3-4 times a week. It’s hard, and life gets in the way regularly, but working out is a priority and an important part of my existence. I have mostly managed to maintain my weight. I have gained a few pounds but I honestly think most of it is muscle gain and not fat creeping back in. Am I the “Incredible Hulk” without the green tinge? Not even close, and that’s okay. I look pretty good (considering what I have to work with), have kept most of the weight off, and most importantly, I feel great.
I am amazed at the strength gains I have made and what I am capable of now compared to two years ago. My strength is so far beyond what I thought possible and ever hoped for. I went from hardly being able to lift anything, to consistently lifting heavier and heavier weights. I now occasionally sneak in a Men’s RX during my workouts. I have repeatedly PRed every lift we perform, except overhead squats. Overhead squats are not natural and should never be attempted by anyone, especially 61 year-old guys with mobility issues (perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek here).
I am also excited with my aerobic gains. I suck at anything requiring more than a resting heart-rate and normal breathing, but compared to where I was – WOW! A few week ago, I ran a “Tough-Mudder.” What amazes me most about this accomplishment is not that I finished (something I thought impossible two years ago), but that I ran it without any extra preparation. All I did to prepare for this race was go to CrossFit and do the regular workouts —no extra running, no extra strength training, nothing extra. That alone says all you really need to know about CrossFit’s effectiveness.
I listed some goals in my original blog that I hoped to accomplish. I am not trying to brag, but I have been busy and have gone way beyond my wildest expectations two years ago. Here’s my list:
Thanksgiving 2013 – Toys for Tots 5K Run. Actually, it was slightly less than 5K, but we did burpees, lunges, push-ups, etc. at 12 different stations along the race. My first attempt at anything remotely strenuous in 30 years. I finished last and was super excited to even finish.
December 2013- 5K Reindeer Run
May 2014 – My first Mud run. Savage Race- A 6-mile obstacle course to celebrate my 60th birthday.
Thanksgiving 2014 – Another Toys for Tots run
December 2014 – Another 5K Reindeer Run (I cut over 4-minutes off my previous time)
March 2015 – CrossFit Open competitor
April 2015 – Festivus Games Competitor
May 2015 – My second Savage Mud Run (6-miles)
Fathers Day 2015- A 9-mile Spartan Race ran in Boston with my Daughter.
October 2015- A 10- mile “Tough Mudder” race ran in Westbrook, ME. This was the realization of a goal I once thought impossible. I completed what I call the “Mud Run Trifecta”. In one summer, I finished a 6-mile Savage Race, a 9-mile Spartan Race; and a 10-mile Tough Mudder Race. I ran All of these with my Daughter (and my #1 Cheerleader), Michelle.
November 2015 – Registered to compete in the “Masters and Teens” regional CrossFit competition.
December 2015- Scheduled to run my third Reindeer Run 5K.
2016 – I plan on doing as much as I can as often as I can. So far – ESAC (Feb); The Open (March); Festivus Games (April); Savage Race (May); VA Spartan (Jun or Jul); ESAC (Aug); Savage Race (Oct);
Perspective is an interesting thing. When I wrote my blog 19 months ago, I was hoping to run a 6-mile Savage Race. Now, I think of this 6-mile race as a “fun-run” to do a couple times a year with friends.
CrossFit continues to be an amazing ride.