For over a year I had watched Heather (Heather Lewis, his daughter and 4B member) come home from CrossFit sweaty but always smiling. I thought something must have gone crazy in her head. How could she put herself through a grueling hour of hard physical exercise and still be happy about it. Several times she invited me to come along but after 35 years in the Army and enduring the dreaded semi-annual physical training test I declined the invitation.
I knew I should do something but I also had spent over a thousand dollars on various diet and gym plans. I am probably one of the very few people that would spend a $200 joining fee to the YMCA in another state plus a prepaid 6 month trial and only show up to get my fingerprints for the entrance gate.
I was 25 pounds heavier than I should be and had no energy at all. I would actually go to the “Y” here in New Albany, exercise for 10 minutes then go downstairs and read while my wife finished her workout.
But in a moment of weakness in August of 2014 after much encouraging and challenging from both Heather and my wife I took the plunge and signed up for the 101 program at Four Barrel. They say you are never too old to learn and I proved the saying right. I learned my flexibility had been lost somewhere along the way. It was so bad one of my previous coaches called me the Tinman.
I also learned that to run 50 yards seemed like 50 miles and getting down was just as hard as getting back up. After the first 2 sessions I was sure I had made a mistake in even thinking about going to CrossFit. I would begin fighting with myself around 5 PM and mentally making up excuses as to why I should not go, but being challenged by 2 strong willed women and after 3 or 4 sessions noticing slight changes in how I felt and seeing the readings on the scale dropping, I decided to hang on for the 4 weeks. How well I remember that last Thursday of 101 and thinking I made it this far. And, “this far” was a major accomplishment since the following day was my 73rd birthday.
As I look back on the months since then I have so many things to be thankful for. How very fortunate we are to have not only a top notch facility but in my estimation the most positive and caring staff ever assembled. I still remember those nights in September when Case, Lindy, and Mark, I am sure I missed one or two and I am sorry, would be so kind and gently correct this old tight and rigid body trying to get it loosened up moving again. To that team I owe my success. You are the greatest.
And thankfully it didn’t stop there. I chose to get the mobility test done and following that have been working with Derek in the Elite program. I am sure there has been times when he wished he was not my coach. Reach my hands way above my head, do a box jump, sure. Don’t forget the fact that I could stand on one leg as long as I could hold on to something stable. These were all things that young people do. Patience must be one of his strongest traits because all his coaching and encouragement is positive and gentle. He always demonstrates the correct way to do a maneuver and then watches me strain in an attempt to even get into the correct starting position.
So why Crossfit? One big reason for me was the fact it worked. Within 2 months I had lost 20 pounds and had an attitude change. I felt better and had more energy than I had in a long time. Have I mastered all the things crossfitters do? No way. But I keep learning and getting gaining strength and mobility. So I am thankful for Heather’s encouragement and can happily report that 2 months ago my wife began training with Renee and now she can’t wait for her classes 3 times a week.
If getting in the best shape possible is your goal then CrossFit might be your answer. Case and the staff of Four Barrel has changed our outlook and in so doing our lives. Thank you to all.