5 Lessons Learned as a 50+ Crossfit Competitor

 

5 Lessons Learned as a Crossfit Masters Competitor
5 Lessons Learned as a 50+ Crossfit Competitor

Why I Started Crossfit in the First Place

I have been a “Crossfitter” for 5 years. When I started Crossfit, I really didn’t know anything about it. I wanted to get in shape for my daughter’s wedding and saw on Facebook that a couple of college friends were doing it. It looked like a tough “boot camp” type experience and since I wanted to look good for the wedding, I signed up.

Before I go on, you need to know that at the time, I had NEVER been what you would call athletic. Prior to Crossfit, all I had done was a little running, Jazzercise and the like. And boy, did it show when I went to my first class. It took me forever to “bear crawl” on my hands and feet across the room. I couldn’t even carry a barbell from the rack to the workout area by myself. The workouts (WODs) were HARD and I felt like I couldn’t finish them. But AFTER I DID finish, I felt exhausted in the most wonderful way. The people were so nice and encouraging. And I started getting stronger.

 

My First Taste of Competition

Crossfit Masters Level Competitor, Cathy Lawdanski, performing the Snath
The Snatch – Photo by Lindsay Youngblood

Fast forward to March 2015 where I had my first taste of competition by participating in the Crossfit Open. The Open is a 5-week competition where Crossfitters all over the world perform a certain WOD each week, enter their results and see where they rank. My Box (Crossfit Gym) made it a party. Each week, we gathered on Friday night, did the WOD, cheered each other on, high-fived our team mates and had fun. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to compete again.

Losing My Nerve

By the time my Box announced that they were hosting an “in house” competition last Fall, I wanted to participate, but had lost a little of my nerve since the Open experience. Since my coaches assured me that I could do it, I decided to sign up. I was excited…until the week before the competition. That’s when the negative self-talk set in. It went like this:

  • You are too old.
  • You are so stupid to try this.
  • Why would you want to spend a whole Saturday at Crossfit?
  • You are going to look dumb.
  • Just say you’re sick – nobody will know.

How I WANT to Live This Side of 50

That went on all day Friday before the Saturday event and I really had to talk to myself about the way I WANTED to live my life on this side of 50. I wanted to:

  • Try new things.
  • Not be concerned about what people say or think.
  • Be brave.
  • Just have fun.

So when Saturday morning rolled around I MADE MYSELF GO!

How I Did

Crossfit Masters Level Competitor, Cathy Lawdanski, performing the Push Press
Push Press – Photo by Lindsay Youngblood

At the competition, we did 3 WODs in about 4 hours time. Even though we had plenty of time to rest in between the WODs, I usually only do 3 WODs IN A WEEK. So 3 WODs in a day was challenging. But, I am proud to say that:

  • I completed all 3 WODs.
  • I didn’t quit, even when I was tired, wanted to cry and give up.
  • I set some personal records by lifting heavier than I ever had on some lifts.

Here’s what I learned that day:

  • I was reminded of the fact that I work out with a group of really nice, supportive people.
  • It is not dumb to try something that challenges you. It’s not about excelling or failing. It’s just about doing it and relishing the experience.
It is not dumb to try something that challenges you. It’s just about doing it and relishing the experience. Click To Tweet
  • Nobody thought I was dumb.
  • Nobody really cared what I was doing or how I was doing it other than to cheer me on.
  • And obviously I’m not too old because I DID IT!

What about you?

What is something that you would like to challenge yourself to do? What is keeping you from doing it? Fear of failure? Doubt? Worry about what others will think? Don’t let it stop you. You will never regret trying. And you’ll probably have fun!

You will never regret challenging yourself to try something new. Click To Tweet

I’m so glad that this time, I was brave and stepped out of my comfort zone. On to the next challenge.

 

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63 Comments on "5 Lessons Learned as a 50+ Crossfit Competitor"

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JRV
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JRV
4 months 29 days ago

That is awesome!!! I have thought about trying Crossfit but have talked myself out of it because it looks so hard. You’re showing me the way to cut out all the negative talk! I did start taking ballroom lessons & I am getting ready for my 3rd competition – it is great. Next week I am going to try belly dancing lessons and I promise I will not trash talk my own efforts!

Julie
Guest
4 months 28 days ago

Great work doing what is right for your healthy lifestyle and kicking negative talk to the curb!

Desirae
Guest
4 months 28 days ago

Very great post! I love the lessons you explain here and I am so impressed you have done some competitions! My husband is trying some for the first time soon! I actually just wrote a similar post on what I learned from crossfit if you’d like to check it out!

Cathy Lawdanski
Guest
4 months 27 days ago

Just read & commented on you CF post. Sounds like we are on sort of a similar health journey 30 years apart.

Kimberlee
Guest
4 months 27 days ago

Congratulations on completing the Crossfit challenge. I have never done crossfit but I workout every day at home with dvd’s – have for over 10 years. Enjoyed reading your post – hope that I will still be fit and active as I am now when I get to 50 and beyond.

Savvy
Guest
4 months 26 days ago

I’m on the other side of 50 too. I’ve been too afraid of injury to try crossfit, and even went from crazy body attack classes at my gym to Jazzercise because of injury. I commend you for doing this. Looking forward to your future adventures this side of 50.

Terri
Guest
Terri
4 months 25 days ago

Wow, this is a very inspirational story! Love that you are embracing life on the other side of 50 and that you have embraced CrossFit! Not any easy to do! My daughter is involved with Crossfit and even broke her humerus performing a muscle-up 6 years ago. Good for you!

Marilyn Lesniak
Guest
4 months 25 days ago

I envy you. I could never have yor energy and commitment. Great work. Pinned and shared. Thanks for linking up at #overthemoon! I hope to see you also at #thursdayfavoritethings.

Kim
Guest
Kim
4 months 23 days ago
Bravo! I too am North of 50, and I used to teach Jazzercise, and I participated in boot- camp-like workouts, and I thought I was in pretty good shape — and then I joined Crossfit. I have never been able to do the type of workout I do now. And I feel awesome! I hated that I was nervous about doing a competition but like you said “I did it!” and I’m glad that I did because now I can do another one with a better attitude about why I’m doing it; to be healthier, and stronger, and to have… Read more »
Lisa
Guest
4 months 22 days ago

Congrats! This post is so inspiring and a great reminder that your body is capable of incredible things no matter what age it is! Trying new things despite negative self talk is the way to live a full life, for sure. Thanks for this great post.

Peggy
Guest
4 months 22 days ago

I started training Muay Thai Kickboxing shortly after I turned 43. This past fall I tested for and earned my 3rd black level prajioud (black belt) and I’m 52.

Here’s to being fit and fab after 50!

Miranda
Guest
4 months 22 days ago

Awesome! I totally cheer you on. I have wanted to try crossfit but I will admit I am a bit intimidated by it. I know of a gym in the next town over that does it, I will have to check if there is a gym here in my town.

Thanks so much for linking up this motivating post to Fitness Friday on Drops of Learning. I can’t wait to see what you share tomorrow.

Charlotte
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

This looks so good! I have never tried crossfit but it is definitely something I want to try! what a great inspiration too, and well done for overcoming your fears!

Linda at Mixed Kreations
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

Congratulations on completing the competition! I haven’t ever done crossfit, all I’ve done is lift some weights to tone up. My challenge is finding the time now to start back up. Looks like a great way to get in shape and start living a healthier lifestyle.

Carrie
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

Amazing post and I’m so impressed! What a great inspiration you are and thank you for sharing your story.

Jessica
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

I want to try Crossfit so badly! My husband and I went to the Crossfit games a few years ago, and since then, I have been dying to try it. It’s not in the budget at the moment, but as soon as it is, I cannot wait! I love how Crossfit seems to be the only sport where the person that finishes last gets way more applause and encouragement than the ones that finish first. That kind of community feeling is really inspiring. Kudos to you for getting in there and getting it done.

nicole
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

You are my inspiration. I am not a cross fit fan because it just doesn’t work for my body type. I admire your strength and determination, and not listening to anyone that says fifty is too old

Michelle
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

This is amazing. Your willpower and desire to do this. I have a friend who does Crossfit and she has worked so hard at it. It isn’t for the faint of heart. Thanks for linking with me this week.

Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

This is so great! Good for you for overcoming your fears and doing it! I’ve never tried crossfit, but I do admire those that push themselves and compete. Thanks for sharing at the Blogger’s Pit Stop.

Carol
Guest
4 months 21 days ago

Good for you Cathy! It sends positive vibes to anyone second guessing themselves to pursue their dreams of just getting healthy for themselves.

Gina
Guest
4 months 20 days ago
That is so great! I have a lot of negative self talk that sets in before I try things like that. I’ve never known much about Crossfit. But, I used to rock climb in gyms all the time. I got a little busy and haven’t had time for it in the past few years. I’d really like to go back and do it again, but I have that negative self talk too. It says that I’ll look dumb when I fall off the wall. It’s so hard to build up those muscles. I like your story though. It makes me… Read more »
Nikki
Guest
4 months 19 days ago

Cathy, you are such an inspiration I love that you told the whole story which inspires me more than just saying “I did it.” We all have fears when starting something new but most of us let those fears stop us from trying. I love that not only did you try you fought down your fears and you succeeded kudos to you can’t wait to see more.

Angela
Guest
4 months 12 days ago

I love this! I have never done Crossfit and have been a bit curious if it is something I would enjoy, but have been a bit afraid of it 🙂 Thank you for sharing this at the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-up. I may have to hit a Crossfit class this week!!

Sally
Guest
3 months 16 days ago

YAY! I loved reading this awesome post! You are such an inspiration!

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[…] piece first appeared on MySideOf50.com.  See Cathy’s complete bio and contact info below the […]

Carol Cassara
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

That is AMAZING! You really are fit and I am impressed w/ your dedication. It’s not easy to do Crossfit!

Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

I’m totally impressed that you went for it and got out of your comfort zone. I’m sticking to walking and disco dancing. I’d say writing a book would be a challenge I want to overcome.

Roz Warren
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

Inspiring. LOVE the photos. “It is not dumb to try something that challenges you.” Amen, sister.

Carolann
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

Wow congrats! What a great accomplishment. You look fantastic!

sue
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

Good for you Cathy! I started running at 50 and ran my first full marathon at 55. My friend is in her 40s does crossfit but I stick mainly to PT sessions and running. As long as we try that is the main thing and not let negativity from others or ourselves hold us back. Life is way too short. Well done!

Nancy Hill
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

You are so inspiring! I need to start… tomorrow. Today is my birthday and it is late evening. So I’m starting my 60th year as I turned 59 and it is time to get serious about saving what is left of my fitness… and I have a daughter’s wedding coming up.

Lois Alter Mark
Guest
1 month 9 days ago

Wow! That is so impressive – and inspiring. I’ve never tried Crossfit but you’ve definitely made me think about it. At this stage in our lives, we really shouldn’t care what anyone thinks any more and should just go for our dreams.

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