Drop and give me 20!
No? OK then. Here’s a little news with your coffee instead.
Some folks divide their year up into everything that happens before Christmas and everything that happens after. Guess what event serves to mark the new year for CrossFitters? You got it. The CrossFit Games. This year’s Games were the best ever. In my category, Masters 60+, the field was the strongest yet, and the volunteers and staff took great care of us. Every year since my first Games in 2008 they’ve gotten bigger and better. Rather than suffer from rapid growth, Greg Glassman and Dave Castro have risen to the challenge and made the events better organized and more imaginative. Of course, a zillion dollar cash infusion from Reebok didn’t hurt either, but it speaks volumes that HQ has responded to exponential growth by getting ever more organized and efficient. Like a good burpee.
This was my fourth year at the Games. Not my best in terms of placement (8th going in, 17th coming out), but possibly the best of all in terms of difficulty in qualifying, with over 600 athletes in my category at the start of the Open. To put that in perspective, in 2008 there was a total of 300 athletes, men and women. The few geezers in attendance were all struggling to dead lift the event weight of 275 lbs. in the warmup tent, commiserating on the travails of aging and wondering when a Masters event would appear. We didn’t have to wait long; by 2010 we had a 50+ Masters group. By 2011 we had five year age groups over 50, and finally today’s grouping of 40+ in five year increments.
As for the dead lift, I’ve since added 70 lbs. to my max, and one guy ran the table this year on the dead lift ladder, maxing out at 475. That’s one tough old bird. Who saw that coming in 2008?
So the synergy between CrossFit and the “Community” continues apace. Some have their grievances, as humans always will, but for me CrossFit has been the greatest thing to happen since the invention of Adamantium. At 60 I’m a little slower, but stronger, more mobile and more versatile than I ever thought possible. The vision I had for my life in my 20’s has been borne out. If you have a vision of continuing to improve into your dotage rather than deteriorate, then you’ve come to the right place.
Games season always changes my perspective and gets me charged up to rush back to the box and start shaking things up. Over the next few weeks, you’ll see some changes in training protocols, especially for advanced athletes. I don’t want to give too much away, as I’m still processing a lot of new information. Just be ready for the “unknown and the unknowable.” The blogosphere always gets humming once the results are in, so let the Monday morning quarterbacking begin. From this quarter, some observations:
1. If you’ve heard me say “Tricks are conditioning disguised as fun,” get ready to get tricky. Some geezers got caught with their handstand walking down last week, and that’s not happening to us.
2. Whoever’s going on Facebook groaning about being tired of Rich Froning had better be able to beat him. Put up or shut up. Going 4 and 0 is no mean feat, so until you can beat it, I invite you to, as my ol’ granpappy used to say, “suck eggs.”
3. Training = work + rest. Let’s not get all crazy and try to cram six months’ training into six weeks. These things take time.
4. If you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not trying hard enough. CrossFit keeps getting better. We’re constantly putting in greater levels of due diligence to address concerns about safety and quality of coaching. Of course there are critics. If you’re getting flack from your pals and family about the cult you’ve joined, invite them for a workout. First one’s free; no charge for robes and candles.
5. Always wear gloves when doing burpees on hot rubber mats.
6. Run more.
7. Lift more.
8. Help the new guys.
9. Don’t worry if you’re the new guy. We’re here to help!
Major shout out to our farm team! If you came to class last week, you might have been coached by Jimmy, Jen, Joe, Pat, Eric or Scott. We have a great team at PCF. One thing I never worried about while worrying about the next event was our level of coaching, because I knew I’d left you guys in good hands.
Beach Party! Mrs. Coach and I are thinking about a trip to Leo Carillo on Sunday the 3rd. Who’s in? It’ll be an ultimate Frisbee kind of day, not a kettlebell-lunge-on-the-beach kind of day.
Our official mission is “Forging Elite Fitness,” but my version has always been “Elite Fitness for Everyone.” In other words, not just the elite. If you’re destined for the Games, you’ll get there with or without me, and more power to ya. But if you’re the guy who always got picked last, who never made Varsity or never did a pullup, I’m for you. If you’re looking to lose the last 20 or 80 pounds of baby weight or hike the Grand Canyon, I’m for you. Together we can do this.
Now get in here and get busy – vacation’s over!
Yours in wholesome living,