CrossFit has been gaining popularity among people of all ages and fitness levels. This high-intensity workout is known for its community-centric approach and its focus on functional movements. While it might seem intimidating to some, it’s never too late to start your fitness journey with CrossFit. This blog post will focus on two inspiring older adults who have reaped the benefits of CrossFit – Clarke Holland and Mary Schwing. Their stories highlight the potential of CrossFit to transform lives, irrespective of age.
Meet Clarke Holland
Clarke Holland, who is about to turn 70, has been a part of the CrossFit community for over a decade. He took up CrossFit at the age of 58 with the aim of improving his half-marathon time and has since competed in the Masters division of the CrossFit Games for six consecutive years from 2012 to 20171.
Clarke’s CrossFit journey is not just about competitive success. It’s about defying the typical expectations of aging. Despite noticing a drop in performance as he grows older, Clarke acknowledges that his physical fitness far exceeds that of many men his age who don’t engage in such rigorous exercise. He works out for an hour or more five days a week and enjoys a health profile that allows him to avoid many of the medications typical for men in their 60s and 70s1.
Meet Mary Schwing
Like Clarke, Mary Schwing is another CrossFit success story in the 65+ age group. At 69, Mary is a CrossFit Games veteran who has competed eight years in a row from 2012 to 2018, even taking first place in the 60+ age group in 20121.
Mary started her CrossFit journey at the age of 59 and sees it as a fun activity that she enjoys with her family and friends. Her commitment to CrossFit is evident in the way she trains – always giving her best and continuously focusing on improving her weaknesses. Mary’s fitness foundation was built during her youth on a farm, which involved physically demanding tasks. Today, she balances her full-time job as a marriage and family therapist with regular CrossFit workouts and surfing1.
Their Goals and Challenges
Clarke and Mary have similar goals – to continue their CrossFit journey for as long as their bodies allow. They aim to keep improving and remain competitive in their age group. The challenges they face are mostly related to the physical changes that come with aging. However, both of them have learned to adapt their workouts, understand their bodies better, and avoid injuries.
Lessons for Older Adults Considering CrossFit
Clarke’s and Mary’s experiences offer valuable insights for older adults considering CrossFit. They demonstrate that age is not a barrier to starting CrossFit. Their stories also emphasize the importance of listening to one’s body and modifying workouts as necessary. Most importantly, they show that CrossFit can be an enjoyable, community-oriented activity that enhances overall health and well-being.
CrossFit can certainly be a rewarding journey for older adults. If you’re considering starting, remember to take it one step at a time, listen to your body, and enjoy the process. And who knows? Maybe you’ll become the next Clarke Holland or Mary Schwing, inspiring others with your own CrossFit journey.