My training at 39
2008 CrossFit Games WOD #2
5 deadlifts (275/185)
10 burpees My body has gone through a lot over the last 6 years. I began CrossFit in September of 2006. Without question one of the most profound and powerful choices that I have made in my entire life. For so many reasons – physical, personal, developmental, educational, and more.
I have been through both major and minor injuries. I have recovered from a back injury that had me thinking I wouldn’t walk normally again, let along work out. I have injured and rehabbed my shoulder, my elbow and my knee. Most of those injuries came from not stepping back, looking at my life and having a plan. I didn’t spend much time evaluating where I was and much of the time didn’t have a clear picture of where I was going. So I trained hard. I trained because it was fun and I just plain loved being physical and being in shape. Good, but maybe not great.
I’ll be 39 in June and over the last year have started to grapple a good deal with what this all means to me. Last year I wanted to be on the Team and I wasn’t. I decided to train to be on the team this year. But I didn’t really know why. Did I want recognition? Recognition is almost never a great reason to do anything. The struggle became more evident as we really started training for it. I saw what it was going to take and I was pretty sure I didn’t have in in me. At least I didn’t want it bad enough to put that much into it. Then the Open came and so did the heart palpitations. So I didn’t participate. Kind of a bummer. And really, a wake up call. What do I really want from my training? Am I a competitor or am I in this for my life? That question will certainly shape how I do what I do.
I always want to get better, but at this point radical gains are about as important to me as big biceps. They got me in the gym at one point in my life, but big improvements in weights, times or scores aren’t quite enough for me. I’ve also been looking at the things that I have done to my body in the name of performance — ignoring pain, not resting, spending oodles of time creating programming for myself and eating massive amounts of food (OK, I’d do that anyway). How much WORK and how much FUN do I want this to be?
I’ve decided that the best way to get what I want out of this is to have the most fun possible while still stretching myself physically. I’m taking a seasonal approach right now. The weather is getting warmer and training outdoors is fun, so I think I’ll run some more. As the summer gets into full swing I’ll probably still train in the gym a bit, but I’ll head out to the beach more, play football, do gymnastics workouts and train with just my body — climbing ropes, jumping around, playing like a monkey. It sounds like a great way to spend my summer. Maybe in the fall I’ll head back indoors for some more weights again and get stronger through the winter. It doesn’t sound RIGHT, it sounds like FUN.
No matter what I do, unless something dramatic happens, after 6 years I’ll probably always possess an exceptional level of fitness. Thank goodness for that. What an opportunity to break free from the constraints of what I think I have to do and do things exactly the way I want to do them.
What do I want out of my training now that I’m 39? To be around this planet as long as I can to help as many people as possible before I’m gone. Yup, that’ll do it.