The grandaddy of all excuses. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this…well, you know where I’m going with that. I hear this more often then all other excuses combined. I would like to think that people are just saying this as a token excuse, and I think that many of them believe that they really are just throwing out an excuse. However, I believe that most people deep down really believe that they ARE too old, and this breaks my heart. I want to tell you why you are not only NOT too old to be doing CrossFit (or exercising in your preferred way), but that you owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to do so.
Are you too old to get up off the floor if you fall down? Are you too old to walk up a flight of stairs? Are you too old to run? Are you too old to get up off of the toilet? Are you too old to carry your groceries? If you answered no to any of these, then you are not too old to perform functional movements. CrossFit is functional movement performed at high intensity (with intensity being relative to YOUR capacity). Therefore, if you said yes to any of those questions, then you are not too old to do CrossFit. One of the beauties of CrossFit is that it is infinitely scaleable, meaning that any movement can be scaled up or down. Can’t lift the bar? Use this PVC pipe. Can’t jump on a 10″ box? Step on this 4″ plate. Can’t run? Walk. Can’t do a pushup with your knees on the ground? Do a pushup against the wall. We have kids as young as 4 working out, as well as adults well into their 70s. If you show up we will find something for you to do. No one is too old to be exercising in some form or fashion, and CrossFit makes it easy for you to find something that you can do, no matter your fitness level or age.
Now that we have established that no one is too old to do CrossFit, lets talk about why you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to do it. The ultimate goal of CrossFit is to promote health and longevity. What this means is that the program is set up to help you live a longer, healthier, more active life. We are all getting older every day, and the only way to slow down this process is through good diet and exercise. CrossFit is set up to keep your interest for years, meaning that you can do it for the rest of your life if you so choose. Not only will you feel and look better, but you will be able to do things that you would not have been able to do otherwise. There are countless stories of people who have improved their blood work drastically through CrossFit, people who were protected from major injury from a car wreck or other trauma because of the muscle built in CrossFit, and people who were able to enjoy their vacation more because of the things they were able to do because of CrossFit. The longevity piece is something that many other fitness programs do not offer. Doing the same routine or a super high intensity regiment can get you results for a while, but eventually burnout or boredom set in. If you can find something that you do consistently outside of CrossFit for 20+ years then by all means go for it! However, from what I have seen (and trust me I have done a LOT of different programs and training styles) most other programs pale in comparison to CrossFit in the ability to keep you interested and coming back for multiple years at a time.
One of the saddest things that I hear is when someones says that they “peaked” in high school. What this person is basically saying is that they reached their physical peak at 18 and the rest of their life they have basically given up on their health and fitness. Let’s examine this a little further. If the average person lives to about 75, this means that they have peaked with almost 60 years left to live. I know that most people don’t think long term like this, but the thought of slowly getting worse over a 60 year span makes me cringe. You owe it to yourself to maximize the years that you have on this earth. If you give up less than 25% of the way through your life then you are going to have a really rough go of it. Not only will you have a tough decline, but you will place a heavy burden on your loved ones. Taking care of a sick person who cannot take care of themselves for multiple years is one of the most physically and mentally exhausting task someone can undertake. If you do not take care of yourself then someone else will be forced to, maybe even for decades. Think about what you may be setting your loved ones up for in the future before you decide to quit on your health with so much of your life left to live. Also think about what you want your life to look like down the road. Do you want to be basically immobile and stuck in the house, getting looked after by someone else? Or do you want to be out getting the most out of your life all the way until the end?
I hope that I have shown you that you are never too old to exercise, and opened your eyes to what you are doing when you give up on your health and fitness. Not only are you affecting yourself and living your life to the fullest, but you are affecting your loved ones as well. Starting an exercise routine now that you can keep following consistently will not only benefit you now, but it will benefit you and your loved ones many years down the road as well.