Will Hampton

I started CrossFit in December 2016, at age 54. I had kept in shape by running and playing basketball a couple of times a week. I had run one full marathon and four half-marathons, but I had gotten burned out on the running and was tired of my body feeling beat up after long runs on Saturday mornings.

To be honest, I had put off trying CrossFit because I was worried about injuries — I developed a really nasty case of plantar fasciitis a few years earlier when training for the marathon, and the only fix was to not run (or play basketball) for six months. Total bummer. But one of my running buddies had done CrossFit and had a great experience, so I figured I’d give it a try.

When I met coach Landon for my initial visit, he put my worries about injury at ease. First, I would be taking one-on-one sessions to learn the fundamentals of the Olympic lifts, Gymnastics movements and other movements so integral to CrossFit. He also informed me folks don’t get injured in CrossFit at a higher rate than any other athletic endeavor. And even after the Fundamentals program, the coaches were always checking to make sure I was moving correctly to prevent injury. It is a priority here.

So now to the bottom line: After nearly three years of working out at CrossFit Round Rock, I feel better, am stronger and look better than I have in — ever? Absolutely.

Where to begin with the wonderfulness?

What I love most is the camaraderie. I usually work out with the noon class and have experienced nothing but support and encouragement from the other athletes. I tend to be very self-conscious and not feeling judged was really important in the early days, when some of the guys in the class were significantly younger and in much better shape than I was. But there was never a side-eye, never a smirk, nothing but helpful attitudes and positive feedback.

A close second on the wonderfulness meter is the actual fitness. I’ve lost 12 pounds of body fat while adding 5 pounds of muscle. I’m much stronger and — maybe just as important to me at this point in my life — more flexible. My mobility — a real focus at CrossFit Round Rock — is so much improved from when I started. I love to golf, and my back never hurts the way it used to before CrossFit.

As for how I look, well … I have abs — that you can see! The focus on proper diet to go along with the intense workouts equals middle age guy with a six-pack. That really wasn’t something I was looking for when I got here. It’s total icing on the cake (not that I’d ever eat that kind of junk.) (At least, not that I’d admit to …)

Wonderfulness point No. 4 is the variety of the workouts. We do so many different kinds of lifts and exercises in a seemingly endless order so there’s no chance of burnout. For a former runner, this aspect of CFRR is especially gratifying.

What I also love is that while I always look forward to working out with the crew at noon, I’m still a little nervous before each workout. I know I’ll be challenged physically and mentally, and that’s a good thing. There’s so much life to live, and CrossFit helps me be my best as I live it.

Will Hampton

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