It’s 7:20 pm Thursday evening. The CrossFit Open 2018 season has kicked off and instead of watching the live announcement of 18.1, I’m sitting here at my laptop writing this post. I have made the executive decision to not watch any of the announcements this year.

WHAT??? Are you crazy Diana?! No, well maybe a little, but I’m choosing to de-clutter.

This will be my fourth Open and in all the previous years, I really got into it. We all do, right? Every Thursday evening, I had that laptop fired up at 7:00 to watch the live WOD announcements. And God help you if you chose to ask me a question or needed me for something while the live show was taking place. Nope. I remember one year I was at a happy hour and I had my phone on w/the livestream sitting on my lap while I also visited with friends. Anticipation building and building. Then the announcement was made, and the elite athletes did their thing. I studied them and made mental notes of how they paced.

And if that wasn’t enough, I sought out all the folks I followed on social media giving pointers on how to tackle the workout. There was certainly no shortage of tip and tricks. The best warm-up, the best mobility exercises, the best rep scheme to follow, etc. etc. etc. I could barely sleep that night because my brain was on stategery overload.

By the time Friday Night Lights rolled around, I was a mental mess. Nervous. Reminding myself of the little strategy nuggets to remember. Heart already racing. Sometimes I’d do well, other times, I would crash and burn, feeling horribly sorry for myself.

Not this year.

This year I have chosen to get rid of all the noise. I’m not going to look at the WOD until Friday morning. From there, I will make some mental notes, maybe look at one site for warm-up/mobility recommendations, then be on my way. I’m not saying this is the way everyone should do it. This is what I feel is the best course of action for me. Now, I would be lying if I said I’m not going to miss it. Especially tonight because one of my favorite athletes, Sam Briggs is on. But I can watch it later.

I’m also not sitting here thinking my scores will be substantially better by doing this and the butterflies will be gone. I mean hell, I still can’t consistently do double unders so…..but it’s a little experiment I’m willing to try and see what it does.

Good luck to everyone participating. Don’t let all the noise surrounding The Open distract you, because it’s very easy to do.

And remember:

  1. You are stronger than you know
  2. The Open doesn’t define you
  3. There is absolutely nothing wrong with scaling
  4. Have fun with it
  5. Breathe
  6. Dig deep and fight

 

 

*Special thank you to Shellie Edington for planting this seed.

 


I had the great pleasure of chatting with CrossFit Games Masters athlete Shellie Edington earlier today. She began her CrossFit journey in 2010 at age 46, not being able to do a push-up. Three short years later, she was at The Games. She has since been to the last five CrossFit Games Masters competitions, going from placing 19th in 2013 to winning it all in 2016 in the Masters Women 50-54 Division. This past year, she earned a 2nd place finish. She is also the founder and operator of Tumblin4Kids in Columbus, Ohio. Last, but certainly not least, she is married to Chris Edington and mother of three daughters.

Talk to me about starting your CrossFit journey and how you went from completely suffering that first time to ‘OK, I want to do this again.’

I actually didn’t want to go back. Nothing like it had made me feel that way. I was never afraid to work out. But this was different. It pissed me off really. And I said to myself, ‘You’re f’ing going back.’ I made myself go back and that was pivotal. There are two pieces to who you are, especially as a woman. First, what society has molded you to be – to look a certain way, a wife, a mother, supportive, all those typical things. And the second thing is what was there when you were born; the beast. That’s what spoke up. I was sick of being told I was too old to do certain things. I wanted to see what my body could do.

How did the hormonal changes affect your training and what adjustments, if any did you make?

Mine really hit after the 2014 Games. I was 49 and placed third, was going to be 50 that October. I went to a Power Monkey Fitness camp and I had the worst cycle I ever had in my life. When I got back home, I went to my doctor and we did some blood work. He’s actually an endocrinologist which is great. Turns out my estrogen and progesterone levels were really low. So he put me on 200 mg of progesterone which worked out really well. But that was after the 2015 Games, so it was about a year later. Before that, I had this sense of loss of well-being, a loss of confidence. Then the hot flashes hit and I didn’t know what was going on. I had a huge anxiety thing hit at the Games in 2015 and I attribute it to that for the most part. There were multiple factors, but just the well-being you loose when you don’t have your progesterone. So going on the progesterone helped but I still was getting hot flashes. That really affected my sleep which went on throughout 2015 and 2016. Then in September of 2017, I got on Prempro, which is the combination of progesterone and estrogen and stopped taking the progesterone. I was a little concerned about taking estrogen and the breast cancer risk, but I was literally getting no sleep. Now, I have no hot flashes and it’s made such a huge difference.

How were able to balance all of this with preparing for the Games?

You know, we’re all going through it. We’re just all at different stages, different levels of it. Some women treat it, some choose not to. I just didn’t like the person I was without the treatments. If you’re active, eat right, hydrate and don’t eat a bunch of garbage, you’re gonna be OK.

It’s January, which is the crunch time with your training, however, I know there has been an injury (knee). How has it affected your training and any decisions needing to be made?

I’m not going to be focusing on the Open now with the knee injury. The reason I started CrossFit was to feel better, move better and have a higher quality of life. However, if I continue to train the way I was training, I will lose my knee; I won’t be able to walk on it properly, I won’t be able to pick up my grandchildren…it will negatively impact my life. So the first goal is to get the knee better and we decided to do stem cell injections and PRP. That will happen in a couple of weeks. The good thing is my coach is helping me get what I want and achieve what I want. And the only thing I ever really wanted was to go to the Games and win. I’ve made the podium three times, been to the Games five times. It’s been an amazing experience. I may try to go back when I’m 55. I have qualified to go to the Masters Weightlifting Championship in Barcelona in August and might just power clean and power snatch and see what I can do in that capacity. I will also continue to take the platform I have been given to help and inspire others to become the very best version of themselves. Specifically help masters athletes believe in themselves, try CrossFit, and understand it’s just exercise. You can be bad ass at 50, you can look great!

Speaking of the Open, what advice do you have for balancing being competitive with having fun?

The Open is a different animal. It goes on for five weeks and it is mentally draining. You’re all excited about the workout coming out on Thursday, you stay up, you watch it, then you try to go to sleep. But you can’t because your brain is constantly running through it telling you all the things you can’t do. It got to the point to where I didn’t watch the announcements. And I did better. I’d also always do them again on Monday, sometimes having better results. But Monday is more of a mental training exercise. You know at a certain point in that workout, you better pour it on for that ten minutes or it will be a complete waste of time. I stopped having fun in 2013 when I was training for the Games. But I was building my body, learning, understanding the fact it was literally no pain no gain and it being a true statement. As a gymnast, it wasn’t like that. It was more technical, more skill and difficulty. So the training pushed me to different mental levels. The bottom line is don’t start to lose your shit during the Open. Do some subconscious training. There’s a book out there called Sports Psychology for Dummies written by my sports psychologist, Dr. Todd Kays. It’s an amazing book on how to develop your subconscious. Even breathing. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths before the 10 seconds goes off. I do that every time, even at the Games. Relaxing as much as possible because your heart rate is about to go through the roof. To make it fun, just don’t care about it. It is what it is. You’re going to go out there and do you best. However, if you have been training, preparing yourself mentally and physically, and feel like you can make the qualifiers, then being kind of hard on yourself is not a bad thing. When I didn’t make it in 2012, I missed it by 10 burpees. I was really upset. But you can’t let it get into your subconscious. Your subconscious will go where you tell it to go. I walked away from my sports psychologist with:

  • You are stronger than you know
  • Relax
  • Breathe
  • Get on it
  • Fight

Very simple and quick things. It’s very liberating and empowering.

As it relates to recovery, I believe you have said if there were three things, it would be a good coach, a good chiropractor, and a good massage therapist, right?

Yep, that’s it. Go to a massage therapist once a month. It makes a difference in your recovery, your longevity, etc. The same with chiropractors. You cannot afford not do it. I’ve taken care of my body and been able to do CrossFit hot and heavy for 7 years. Now I have what is a very typical knee injury (osteoarthritis) most people my age get just from regular life. A great coach, because that is your programming. If you have an idiot doing your programming, you’re going to get hurt. If you have somebody that’s not watching you, not caring about your fitness, don’t work out with them. Have a good olympic weightlifting coach because the great thing about olympic weightlifting is it transfers to everything CrossFit. It’s not a waste of your time.

Any last thoughts?

I hope this helps your athletes and encourages them. Just show up, you’re not done yet, keep trying whatever it takes, and modify as needed. Just because you modify, it doesn’t mean it’s easier. We do in CrossFit, all these different sports what some people spend their entire lives trying to do – olympic weightlifting lifting, running, swimming, gymnastics, rowing, cycling…and then they they throw in cyclocross! You don’t have to be good at everything in CrossFit, just be consistent.

Follow Shellie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

 


Want to connect with other like-minded masters athletes on the interwebs? Looking for some apparel to show your masters pride? I wanted to see what was out there and found some interesting results.

Most of the sites and/or groups I came across were old (no pun intended); in other words, their content was from a year, sometimes two years ago. But there are a few gems mixed in. Here are a few to check out.

Facebook Groups

Silverback Masters Athletes AKA WOD-Life Masters Community

Old Lady Gains

Viejo Strong

Crossfit Masters 45-55

South Central Masters

CF40 – Masters WOD

 

Apparel

Silverback Nation

Old Lady Gains

Viejo Strong

WOD Masters

 


There are so many recovery mechanisms out there; giving us basically no excuse for taking the time to give our bodies some much needed TLC. And I’m not talking about nutrition and rest. Massages, chiropractic care, foam rolling, lacrosse balling, and many others are pretty standard options. However, today, I’m going to highlight some alternative options you may or may not have heard of. Make sure if you do go with any of these you do so with someone is qualified to do so and clearly explain the process to you.

Acupuncture

Used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture triggers the release of the body’s own natural painkillers. It also looks to release chi, or energy throughout the body. Thin needles are placed at various depths in the skin in very specific areas of the body. You may feel slight pressure when the needle goes in, however it is relatively pain-free. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of ailments from migraines, to tennis elbow, to asthma.

 

Cupping

Cupping dates back to Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. While typical massage therapy involves pushing down on the muscles, cupping is the lifting up of muscles via special cups placed on the skin and creating suction on it. The idea is to free up blood flow, release toxins, and relax the nervous system within your affected areas for relief. They are usually left on your skin 3-5 minutes. There are various types of cupping, however, wet and dry cupping tend to be the most common. It’s not painful, just a pulling sensation. Your therapist should be able to adjust the level of suction on the cups, so if you are doing it for the first time, you could start with a lower suction setting. I personally like the highest level. J

 

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

EMS is known by various labels – neuromuscular electrical stimulation, electromyostimulation, or e-stim. The stimulation is delivered through a small electrical device which sends electronic pulses to your nerve fibers to create involuntary muscle contractions. That device contains pads which have adhesive and are placed on the skin. Some health practitioners offer it (I used to get it at my chiropractor’s office a few years back), or you can buy your own set at various price ranges.

 

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is essentially the Western equivalent of acupuncture. Acupuncture needles are actually used to do the dry needling. ‘So what’s the difference?’ you ask. Acupuncture generally takes longer; the needles are left in for about 25-30 minutes. However, dry needling is trying to elicit a local response in the muscle, so the needle isn’t left in as long. Also, dry needling typically involves the placement of just one or two needles, where you get multiple needles in an acupuncture session.

 

 

Scraping

Gua sha or scraping also has its origins in Traditional Chinese medicine. It involves taking a tool and repeatedly rubbing or scraping the tool on the skin over the area giving you trouble. It releases blood flow, as well as all the lactic acid built up to decrease pain and accelerate the healing process. You will likely be left with red splotches or bruises on the scraped area due to the repeated scraping of it. However, it is considered a positive thing in that it’s a sign all the metabolic waste within the tissues are being released and healing has begun. I’m not going to lie; this procedure can be pretty intense and maybe even painful for some. But the benefits are quite amazing. There are scraping tools available online you can buy, however, you should go with a licensed professional to get it done.

 

Some of these methods might sound weird or intimidating, and you may not want to try them. However, isn’t that what CrossFit is all about – getting out of your comfort zone? Try something out, you might be surprised.

Alternative Soft Tissue Recovery

There are so many recovery mechanisms out there; giving us basically no excuse for taking the time to give our bodies some much needed TLC. And I’m not talking about nutrition and rest. Massages, chiropractic care, foam rolling, lacrosse balling, and many others are pretty standard options. However, today, I’m going to highlight some alternative options you may or may not have heard of. Make sure if you do go with any of these you do so with someone is qualified to do so and clearly explain the process to you.

Acupuncture

Used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture triggers the release of the body’s own natural painkillers. It also looks to release chi, or energy throughout the body. Thin needles are placed at various depths in the skin in very specific areas of the body. You may feel slight pressure when the needle goes in, however it is relatively pain-free. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of ailments from migraines, to tennis elbow, to asthma.

 

Cupping

Cupping dates back to Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. While typical massage therapy involves pushing down on the muscles, cupping is the lifting up of muscles via special cups placed on the skin and creating suction on it. The idea is to free up blood flow, release toxins, and relax the nervous system within your affected areas for relief. They are usually left on your skin 3-5 minutes. There are various types of cupping, however, wet and dry cupping tend to be the most common. It’s not painful, just a pulling sensation. Your therapist should be able to adjust the level of suction on the cups, so if you are doing it for the first time, you could start with a lower suction setting. I personally like the highest level. J

 

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

EMS is known by various labels – neuromuscular electrical stimulation, electromyostimulation, or e-stim. The stimulation is delivered through a small electrical device which sends electronic pulses to your nerve fibers to create involuntary muscle contractions. That device contains pads which have adhesive and are placed on the skin. Some health practitioners offer it (I used to get it at my chiropractor’s office a few years back), or you can buy your own set at various price ranges.

 

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is essentially the Western equivalent of acupuncture. Acupuncture needles are actually used to do the dry needling. ‘So what’s the difference?’ you ask. Acupuncture generally takes longer; the needles are left in for about 25-30 minutes. However, dry needling is trying to elicit a local response in the muscle, so the needle isn’t left in as long. Also, dry needling typically involves the placement of just one or two needles, where you get multiple needles in an acupuncture session.

 

 

Scraping

Gua sha or scraping also has its origins in Traditional Chinese medicine. It involves taking a tool and repeatedly rubbing or scraping the tool on the skin over the area giving you trouble. It releases blood flow, as well as all the lactic acid built up to decrease pain and accelerate the healing process. You will likely be left with red splotches or bruises on the scraped area due to the repeated scraping of it. However, it is considered a positive thing in that it’s a sign all the metabolic waste within the tissues are being released and healing has begun. I’m not going to lie; this procedure can be pretty intense and maybe even painful for some. But the benefits are quite amazing. There are scraping tools available online you can buy, however, you should go with a licensed professional to get it done.

 

Some of these methods might sound weird or intimidating, and you may not want to try them. However, isn’t that what CrossFit is all about – getting out of your comfort zone? Try something out, you might be surprised.

Sep 29

Evolution


There’s a topic I’ve wanted to write about since I started this masters blog, but have been waiting for the right time. And I’ve also been pondering whether to even talk about it. Well, it’s time to stop overthinking and just put it out there. Let’s dive right in.

My birthday is coming up in a week, October 7 to be exact. I will be 46 years old. 46. Damn girl, not too shabby.

I have never been one to get caught up in the numbers during my birthdays. I’ve owned them all. I was SO happy to turn 30 and didn’t have a problem with turning 40 whatsoever. I still feel like I’m in my 30s in many ways TBH. And I will always have the mind of a 13-year-old, but I digress. This past year has been a bit different. It’s been more of a friendly little reminder of how old I really am. Something which couldn’t be more clear to me because of…well…because menopause.

Ugh, the M-word. Something I NEVER even gave a single thought to. It wasn’t even an afterthought! That shit is WAY out there isn’t it?? Like 20 years away, right?? Nope! It’s lurking, circling around you sister. Let’s be clear, I’m not officially in the M game yet. I’m what they call perimenopausal. Didn’t even know it was a thing until I was diagnosed two years ago after a couple of funky fresh things were happening with my body I never experienced before. This past year, though, things kicked up a notch. Hot flashes. Serious fatigue. Forgetfulness. Poor concentration. Just an overall feeling of ‘I think I am going crazy.’

What does this have to do with CrossFit you say? Everything. Just as I noted in my last post about nutritional considerations for masters athletes, some of us may also be dealing with hormonal changes, both men and women. And it can wreak havoc not just physically but also psychologically. If you’re going through it now, I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. There have been some days where I didn’t work out because I was exhausted. We’re talking about a level of exhaustion I’ve never felt before, even when I was pregnant. There have also been days where a hot flash came in the middle of a WOD and I felt like I was suffocating. So I headed over to the Costco fan, took a couple of deep breaths, got my mind right, and then went back into it. It’s not every day, but I know it’s now my new reality.

As I am attempting to get used to this shift, I’m learning to adjust my thinking, just as we do with CrossFit. If a movement starts to get in our head, we might find ourselves getting stuck, or overthinking, and not progressing. But we learn to shift our mindset into something more positive, more productive. I’m grateful to be able to utilize that resilience skill.

 

So I’m working to own this next chapter. This is my evolution, my unfolding into the next version of me. And damned if I’m not going to let some stupid hot flash get in my way.


As we get older, our bodies evolve in form, function, and needs. We can also evolve with it by making adjustments in different areas along the way. One of those areas is in nutrition. While doing research on this topic, these three items came up pretty consistently and I wanted to share them. I even learned a few things. Obviously, I’m not a medical professional or even a nutritional specialist, and each person has their own individual needs. These are just some things to keep in mind. Get with your coach to discuss any specific nutritional needs, concerns, or questions you might have.

 

Protein

We know protein is crucial to helping our bodies transform all the work we do into gains. However, as we get older, our body’s response to protein intake starts to decline. This is usually due to inactivity and/or poor diet. Coach Emilio has a great explanation of protein synthesis, check it out below to learn how it works. We are at an advantage because, CrossFit. However, you might want to take a look at your protein intake, and possibly increase it. Eating protein-rich foods throughout the day, and not just post-workout, will help boost the recovery process and maintain your gains. There are plenty of recommendations out there on how much protein you should consume. Here are a couple of helpful reads:

 

Nutrition for the Masters Athlete

Protein Requirements for the Ageing Athlete

Recovery for Masters Endurance Athletes

Coach Emilio has a great explanation of protein synthesis, check it out below to learn how it works.

 

Leucine

Leucine is one of the nine essential amino acids (a branch chain amino acid to be exact, or BCAA) provided by food. Specifically, leucine is essential to protein synthesis. This, combined with increased protein intake gets you well on your way to better/faster recovery and gains. There are a number of ways to get your Leucine on:

 

  • Whey-based protein powder
  • BCAA supplements
  • Lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, cheese (if you have any dairy issues, then cheese would not be an option of course)

 

Leucine: Anabolic Key to Unlocking Gains for Older Athletes

 

Hydration

Older athletes can be more susceptible to dehydration than younger ones for a few reasons. One is our thirst sensation may decrease (therefore, we don’t take in fluids), we may sweat less, and there can be blood flow changes. Therefore, staying hydrated before, during, and after your workouts is even more important. So get your fluids in people, it’s probably one of the easiest things you can do.


“I soon realized that my biggest challenge, being a box owner and trainer, was not a muscle up, it was old guys and gals getting past the excuses and into the box. I wanted to turn all of them into Master Athletes because I knew it was possible.” – Tom Bender

“Most athletes get down time after a hard workout. I don’t get to go relax or recover. I have to go get birthday presents, take the kids to activities — I’m constantly moving.” – Tonia Osborne

Our masters post this week is pretty short and sweet. I wanted to share a few great stories of masters athletes. I hope you find some inspiration from them.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you: CrossFit master pushes herself to success

Tom Bender – How I Started CrossFit as a Masters Athlete

Extraordinary Lives of Masters

The Balancing Act

Master-ful: Ron Ortiz’s Best Advice for Athletes and Finding His Old Man Strength

Interview with CrossFit Games Master Champion Shellie Edington


Today, I got a 15lb PR on my front squat; 155 lbs. Really wanted 160, but I just couldn’t get it. I found myself leaving the gym feeling pretty disappointed and down, even though I PR’d. As I gave myself the pep talk about getting the PR, I also reminded myself about the fact I wasn’t wearing lifters, I didn’t have any knee sleeves on, nor did I have my wrist wraps on.

As I thought more and more about it, the immortal words of Carrie Bradshaw came to mind…’I couldn’t help but wonder’, are we sometimes using accessories as security blankets?

Now hear me out, I certainly know there are many of us who have to use these items because of physical limitations, previous surgeries, and anything else preventing us from doing full range of motion without them. I’m not suggesting you need to stop, or it’s the wrong thing to do. What I am curious about is, are there those of us who may be able to do without or reduce the need for them because we have a different kind of limitation?

When I started Oly class, I bought the lifters. Then eventually knee sleeves (and I didn’t even have knee problems, they just felt good) and already had wrist wraps. I also bought a weightlifting belt. I even bought elbow wraps. All of these items, of course, helped tremendously in their own way. But as time went on and I took in the teachings of ankle, wrist, hip mobility and overall movement technique more, I started to notice a shift. I eventually started to play around with not wearing lifters. I did just as well on some movements, like cleans, but not so well on snatches. So I kept using the lifters on snatches until eventually, I didn’t have to. But because I had a fear of snatches and anything overhead, I wore the lifters probably a little longer than I needed to because they made me feel safer. They were my security blanket.

Then…140# front squat

But you see the real issue was my mobility. And once I improved that, everything changed.

So my challenge to you is this: think about why you are using your accessories. Are they rehabilitative or are they your security blankets?

Now…155#

Side note, I still wear wrist wraps sometimes; I may not be feeling as mobile that day and the extra support helps. And I will pretty much always wear a belt for max deadlifts. Finally, lifters are not completely off the table, they may come back in as squats get heavier, who knows. Time and effort will tell!


When you think of the CrossFit Games, of course, you’re going to think about the usual suspects – Fraser, Briggs, the Dottirs, Smith, Wells, etc. But what about Edington, Ramirez, Grundler, Sakamoto, and Prodromides? As the Games get underway today, I invite you to check out the Masters competitions, they’re quite inspiring.

 

Here are a few folks to check out. There’s definitely a lot more, but it’s a good start. Also, here’s a complete list of masters athletes and their Instagram handles to follow if you’re interested.

 

And don’t forget about the teens either!

 

Shawn “The Ram” Martinez (40-44)

He’s the Masters equivalent of Froning…a BEAST. He’s won the Masters Men competition 3 years in a row for his age group and is gunning for his fourth. Shawn comes from the Southeast region; he’s a coach at CrossFit Armed in Miami and has been in the fitness industry for 17 years. If you want to see a master class in pacing, check out the CrossFit Open 16.3 announcement workout between him and a much younger Nick Paladino.

 

Annie Sakamoto (40-44)

Annie made her first masters Games appearance last year and came in 2nd place, however, she’s been to the Games four times. She comes from the Northern California region where she is a coach at CrossFit Santa Cruz Central, the first CrossFit gym. Annie’s claim to fame is participating in a video of an early CrossFit workout which became known as Nasty Girls.

 

Bill Grundler (45-49)

The “CrossFit Legend” is the second fittest man on the planet for his age group, a CrossFit HQ commentator, and owner/coach of CrossFit Inferno in San Luis Obispo, CA. He’s also a retired firefighter, taking that mentality with him where “you just get the job done. The fire doesn’t care how old you are.” His brother James is also a masters athlete competing in the same age group.

 

Ron Ortiz (50-54)

This guy is insane. 51 years old with two masters titles and has been doing CrossFit for eight plus years. He comes from Hustle Hard CrossFit in West Palm Beach, FL and will be defending his title this year.

 

Shellie Edington (50-54)

Shellie is who I want to be when I grow up. She went from placing 19th at the Games in 2013 (her first year in the Games) to masters champion four years later in 2016. She started CrossFit in 2010 at 45 years old. She hails from Fit Club in Columbus, OH where she is also a coach. Check out this interview with her from the July issue of Prevention.

 

Mary Beth Prodromides (55-59)

Mary Beth’s performance in last year’s Games was truly inspirational to watch. She is a 5-time Games masters athlete and a three-time champion. A former bodybuilder, Mary Beth hails from CrossFit Vex in Grand Junction, CO and is a middle-school P.E. teacher. She will be defending her title this year. She’s also representing for us short girls, at 5’2” Mary Beth is a little powerhouse!

 


5 Things You Learn as a Masters Athlete

 Here are a few things I’ve learned as a Masters Athlete. Nothing you don’t already know. But it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder.

  1. Know Your Body, Honor Your Body

As Masters Athletes, our bodies are not the same as what they were when we were in our 20s or even our 30s. It’s OK to push your limits both mentally and physically, but you also must balance it with being mindful of any potential limitations. Pay attention to the cues your body gives you because believe me, they are there. Which leads me to…

 

  1. Rest Days are Your Friend

There have been a few occasions where as much as I want to go to class, my body tells me I need to sit it out. Sometimes, I just make the proactive decision to rest because I know I’m going to need more time to recover. Recovery is important for all of us, don’t get me wrong. But to my fellow Masters, you don’t have to go full on 4, 5, 6 days a week, every week. Get adequate rest. Your body will thank you.

 

  1. Importance of Warming Up AND Cooling Down

I can’t show up to class, mobilize for 2 minutes, get right into it, and immediately leave when I’m done. I just can’t. I need more pre-workout mobilization, warm down, and stretching time. So showing up 15, sometimes even 30 minutes before class to not only get loosened up, but also to get my mind right has helped tremendously. Then take a few minutes to cool down and stretch sets me on the right path to recovery.

 

  1. Goals May Take Longer to Achieve…And That’s OK

Because it might take you longer to recover, you might find trying to get that first un-banded kipping pull-up is taking longer to get than you would like. I still have that bar muscle up in my sights, but it’s just not quite there. I have to give my shoulders, lats, etc. some time to recover from any pull-up work before I start it back up again. But we will all get there, when it’s right. The key is not to force it. You’re not bound by some ticking clock reminding you your goals should have been met by now. It will happen. Just don’t ever underestimate yourself. You are capable of a lot more than you think, regardless of age.

 

  1. Perspective

There have been a few occasions where Marcos and I find ourselves bummed because we didn’t make a certain lift at the weight we wanted, or we didn’t finish a WOD, or didn’t do as well as we wanted on a WOD. As we give each other pep talks, we also sometimes remind ourselves…we’re probably the oldest ones in our respective classes. And yet, there we are side-by-side with the young ones. Don’t beat yourself up. Change your perspective. You may not have had the best CrossFit day, but you showed up. And you’re in it with everyone else.

 

Share what you’ve learned in the comments!