I read lots of health and fitness things and I’m going to respond to one from Tabata Times. Blair Morrison: Fitness Is… Self-Fulfilling

After some looking, I see that Blair is indeed young and fit. By the calculations from his “About me” page, he is in his late 20s or early 30s and placed 7th in the 2009 CrossFit Games. He actually thinks that being in his late 20s or early 30s is aging.

According to the article, I’m not supposed to keep telling myself I’m old (or busy or sick) because these are self-fulfilling prophesies. Well, if you tell yourself you are old long enough you will surely eventually get there. I’m Masters Division for those same CrossFit Games. I’m not young and supple and my creaking body takes longer to accomplish things and much longer to recover from both injuries and simple use.

Ryan was recently traveling for work and stopped at a CrossFit bursting at the seams with people in their 20s and he was whelmed (not overwhelmed, but close) by the differences inherit in disparity of age. These youngsters could run circles around him.

When I am given, or when I take, accommodations built around my age I simply do better at the box. I am not in the same physical shape as I once was. Forty years ago, I could do all sorts of things I can’t do today. If you weren’t around forty years ago, the same is true for you, right? The passage of time makes changes even if we passively go through our lives.

But I haven’t always been passive. For about 12 years I played lots and lots of racquetball and sustained several injuries – most of them minor. In the last forty years, I’ve been pregnant twice, raised two sons, held down anything from part-time to full-time jobs in a few different careers. I’ve written for publication and I’ve written for my own amusement. I’ve read thousands of books and learned lessons from print, from life, and from others. Lots has happened and some of it isn’t all that good.

I will never know the etiology of my crappy heart rate stuff but I’m going to guess (since one of those careers was a nurse, I might have some insight into this guessing stuff) that it was either being preeclamptic or the years of taking vascular drugs for intransigent migraines. Both of those would do stuff to my vascular tree and leave – as they say – a mark.

I’m not trying to make excuses. I’m trying to be as fit as possible without actually killing myself.

I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly. – Mark Twain

Just as one wouldn’t expect a preteen to lift the same weights as a college kid, one might be wise to give me a break for not being young anymore. Form over function is not just a rule, it is a way to keep from injury. Giving people a break and actually scaling workouts for where they are isn’t being weenie, it is being proactive and keeping people from injuries that could be life-changing.

We are not all the same. I love that my box, CrossFit Summerville, has begun writing different versions of the WODs so that there is some differentiation. What I’m finding and I don’t know if Kim and Ryan are watching this, is that almost everyone picks the “Fast” versions. They aren’t going heavy. They want the big numbers and so they are scaling below their peaks. When I look at these, the fast versions are still often higher weights than the old fart can manage. I’m still scaling everything because I need to not die while I’m there because that is really bad advertising and no one wants that.

While Blair may not realize it, some of his “excuses” aren’t an excuse. I’m simply far older than most of the kids who are exercising next to me and I have to have some scaling. Hannah was at the box on Thursday (after donating a pint of blood) and couldn’t manage a workout (her clotting factors weren’t factoring) and she was chagrinned since she pays for three times a week and wasn’t going to have the time to get there two more times. She was busy. She was trying, but health reasons said she had to skip Thursday night. Life happens.

People do get sick. Often. It isn’t an excuse when one is actually sick and even Blair realized this. People who use sickness or injury ALL the time are who he is talking about. Their low expectations are giving them low results.

How am I supposed to be younger four hours a week? I’m this old, Blair. And when you get to my age, you will see that it brings with it many surprises that are unwelcome. The best we old farts can do is keep plugging away, dealing with the limitations placed upon us, and forging ahead with lesser numbers.

As an update to my partner WOD conundrum. I’m changing my workout plans to avoid Fridays. No more unfun for me. I will go on Monday and Wednesday at 6 AM. I will go to noon Thursday class. I will send Craig the partner WOD on Friday and he will scale it for me so I can go to open gym on Saturday and get my fourth workout in by myself without trying to keep up with a partner who deserves to have an equal athlete or at least scaled in a way that I’m not holding someone else back. I can work to capacity with the goal of the WOD intact, not harm myself or anyone else, and maybe feel a bit better about being old and doing CrossFit anyway.